ME & Blue Brings The Flower Power To Rose Ave
Located at the corner of 6th and Rose, this groovy bungalow boutique offers a happy mix of drapey dresses in retro prints, baby soft wraps, sparkly costume jewelry and vintage slips tie-dyed in a rainbow of hues. It radiates with the same positive vibes and fun-loving personality of owner, ME (sounds like Emmy) Ster-Molnar, who designs (and tie-dyes) most of the items herself.
Named after herself and her sister Blue, Ster-Molnar loves to incorporate the bold patterns they remember as kids in the '70s with the effortless fashion of beachside living, and with most of her signature label comfortably priced at less than $100, it's not surprising that ME & Blue has become one of Venice's most beloved boutiques.
"The beauty of producing locally is that I can cut stuff, have patterns developed, designed and tested pretty quickly," says Ster-Molnar. "I can get stuff out in the store within a couple of weeks."
Some of her direction comes from customer requests. If something sells really well, or if several shoppers make a similar recommendation about fit or color, she quickly reacts to the feedback. But Ster-Molnar bases most of her styles on what she'd like to wear -- elegant, comfortable numbers that can be cinched at the waist or let loose to drape freely.
It's this same intuition that led Ster-Molnar from the Philadelphia boutique where she launched ME & Blue more than 13 years ago to where she is today. Her defining moment came in the cut of an A-line top that was an instant success, and after six years of honing her beach-ready garments, she moved to LA. Not quite ready to open another boutique, however, she worked various design and merchandising projects, which eventually led to a position at Poolside, a home decor and lifestyle shop in Santa Monica. While at Poolside, she visited the recently-opened landscape/hardscape boutique Big Red Sun in 2008 and was instantly smitten by the "vacation" vibe of its location on Rose Ave. Within a few months, the corner shop next to Big Red Sun posted a "For Rent" sign, and the timing was ideal to make a new home for ME & Blue.
"I wanted a little bungalow with a garden outside, and it appeared … next to a garden store!" says Ster-Molnar.
ME & Blue opened in June 2009. Whole Foods had moved into the neighborhood, and the development down the road, which would eventually become The Frank, and then the Avalon apartments, had just broken ground. The street was quiet with only a few shops and restaurants, and parking was scarce due to the RVs, but Ster-Molnar knew that something special was happening.
By the end of the year, Big Red Sun moved one house over into the big blue bungalow where it is now, and Stephanie Stuart, the owner of Poolside, moved in right between ME & Blue and Big Red Sun. She rebranded her shop as The Golden State. With a shared garden behind the three shops and unique finds within each one, Ster-Molnar, Stuart and Big Red Sun owner Selena Souders have been a creative force, developing Rose Ave into the destination spot that it is today.
ME & Blue // 566 Rose Ave., Venice 90291