Ok, we are back to Top 5 Friday! Things have been pretty chaotic so I took last week off, but we are back and this week we have Leticia Wiley, the owner of one of my favorite online boutiques, La Dama! She carries all of my favorite designers- TEAMO, Mociun, and Digby & Iona- just to name a few. But not only does Letty have killer taste, she's also a total sweetheart. She has been carrying Every Little Counts since the opening of her shop and it's always been a total pleasure working with her. Because we've been working together for so long and I realized I know so little about her and the origin of La Dama, I decided to ask her a few questions before we get to the Top 5...
Tell us a little bit about your background and what inspired you to start La Dama...
"I'm a stay at home mom to a little boy named James. I grew up and still live in San Diego, California. I was raised by my mom and grandma, who just turned 100 in November! I'm full Mexican and the name "La Dama" came from a Mexican card game called Loteria. It's the Mexican version of bingo, only instead of numbers we call out images and my favorite was always "la dama," which means Lady.
La Dama started because it had always been a dream of mine to open a brick and mortar clothing store, but I knew that I would never be able to afford it. I decided to sell vintage clothing on ebay and did that on and off for about five years until last June. That same month I started daydreaming of the possibility of starting an online boutique. One day I was flipping through Nylon and I saw an article about Teamo... an amazing brand from Mexico that was about to make it's US debut. Their clothes are so beautiful and inspirational, so I ripped out the page and put it on my vision board in front of my desk. The dream list of designers in my still not real boutique grew and grew until last June 21st when I was at a birthday party and I started talking about it to my friend, Danielle, who only happens to be an amazing artist and web designer! I couldn't believe that I didn't think of her before! We talked about it for awhile and threw ideas back and forth for weeks until La Dama was born!
What do you look for in designers and how do you find them?
I find designers in magazines, through friends, and of course, fashion blogs. I'm inspired by so many things- photography, unique street fashion, my friends, movies, and especially independent designers, which La Dama focuses on. I'm always looking locally and globally for independent designers whose work strikes a balance between distinctive, fashion-forward style and classic, simple luxury, such as Every Little Counts.
(psst... thanks for that shout out, Letty! We love you!)
And now for Letty's Tops...
Top 5 Films
Gone with the Wind- I love Scarlett. It's that moment at the end of the movie where she's watching Melanie die and she's looking up at Ashley and realizes it's been Rhett all along that gets me every single time.
Steel Magnolias- This movie is so outrageous that it makes it to the top 5. My best friend and I quote this movie at least once a week. It's tacky in every way and will always be in my DVD collection.
Bottle Rocket- It's a movie about friendship and adolescent games and so damn funny.
Reality Bites- LOVE, LOVE, LOVE this movie! I can't believe it came out over 15 years ago. Some of the best lines in this movie, I have to list some:
- "It's all just a... a random lottery of meaningless tragedy and a series of near escapes. So I take pleasure in the details. You know... a Quarter-Pounder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter become a cackle... and I, I sit back and I smoke my Camel Straights and I ride my own melt"
-"See Laney, this is all we need, a couple smokes, a cup of coffee... and some good conversation...you and me and five bucks"
-"The only thing I learned in college was my social security number"
5. Just Friends- It's so cheesy, it's good.
Top 5 Books
"What I was really hanging around for, I was trying to feel some kind of a good-by. I mean I've left schools and places I didn't even know I was leaving them. I hate that. I don't care if it's a sad good-by or a bad good-by, but when I leave a place I like to know I'm leaving it. If you don't, you feel even worse." - J.D. Salinger, The Catcher in the Rye, Ch. 1
Top 5 Crushes of All Time
3. Marilyn Manson- Something about him is so sexy, he mesmerizes me. If you haven't read his autobiography, "The Long Hard Road Out of Hell," please do ASAP.
- Beautiful and outspoken.
Top 5 Style Icons
- She has the most natural, laid back vibe of any "fashionista" at the moment.
Top 5 Songs
1. Letter to Elise by The Cure. Number one on this list and of all time.
2. In Your Eyes by Peter Gabriel. Another nostalgic memory- only this time I was falling in love at 18 and watching Say Anything.
3. This Must Be the Place by The Talking Heads- Best song to listen to on a road trip. Everyone I know who knows and loves this song holds it near and dear, something about it just makes you want to share it with someone you love.
4. So Lonely by The Police- I have never sang as loud as I did when I saw them on tour a few years ago and they sang this live... good times.
5. Lie in the Sound by Trespassers William- Eerily beautiful.
5 Words to Describe Falling in Love...
For more of La Dama: