For the Santa Barbara woman who feels she must to drive to Los Angeles to find great shopping, Whistle Club will be a tremendous time-saver and blessing. Located at 819 State Street, Suite A+B in Paseo Nuevo, the boutique opened its doors on Saturday, March 22nd. In contrast to the influx of mass market and fast-fashion chains like Marshalls, H&M and Forever 21 that have taken root on State Street, Whistle Club showcases a tightly curated assortment of women’s apparel, accessories and gifts from a thoughtful selection of emerging designers and industry favorites. With lines like A.L.C., Thakoon Addition, Cynthia Rowley, Zimmermann, Kelly Wearstler and Tom Dixon, the merchandise has a distinct focus on quality, integrity and design. Overall, this independently owned and operated boutique brings a more intimate and premium shopping experience to State Street and an east-meets-west coast design sensibility to the Santa Barbara community.
The founder and buyer, Rebecca McKinney, has always been passionate about working where business intersects with fashion. She played an integral role in launching the contemporary price point on the flash sale site, Gilt Groupe, shaping the category’s presence online and growing the department into a multi-million dollar business. Beyond her extensive buying and e-commerce background, Rebecca worked as an editor and consultant with Tobe of The Doneger Group. With this renowned team, she transformed emerging fashion/lifestyle trends into tactical, profit-driven business opportunities for some of the most prestigious retailers both domestically and abroad. Her strong pulse on the evolving retail landscape has helped high-profile brands effectively connect and engage with consumers. As a skilled curator, idea generator, style driver and problem solver, Rebecca’s corporate background in New York City’s fashion industry gives her a competitive edge with Whistle Club in the Santa Barbara market. She holds a Fashion Marketing degree from Parsons The New School for Design as well as a B.A. in Communication from the University of California, Santa Barbara.
The Whistle Club website is currently in the makings. Meanwhile, the business has a strong social media presence on Instagram (@whistleclub) and Facebook.