Business

Hidden Gem Found in Downtown Hollister

Ella Boutique offers trendsetters a unique array of ladies’ clothing and accessories.

During the COVID lockdown last year, hairstylist Olga Arreola decided to grow the accessory section of her Bella Mia Salon into a boutique. 

“Salons were closed and retail stores were open, so I decided to make an investment in the boutique,” she said. “The building was open, and since I had to pay for it still, I added more merchandise—a lot more women’s clothing.”

Located at 729 San Benito Street in Hollister, Ella Boutique is easy to miss, as it shares space with Bella Mia Salon.  

Arreola purchases clothing from vendors in-person, as she prefers to ensure the quality of clothing she sells. She said after searching around Hollister for women’s attire, she wanted to provide locals with options that couldn’t be found anywhere nearby. 

 “I like to touch and feel to make sure I know what I’m buying,” she said. “That’s why I hand-pick. I know there’s a lot of stuff available online, but I choose to make a trip and really look for clothing that is going to [appeal to everyone].”

Shopper Kendra Baron (center) shopping with friends. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.
Shopper Kendra Baron (center) shopping with friends. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.

New customer Kendra Baron was surprised by what she found at the boutique. 

“The boots are phenomenal and the sweaters are so soft,” she said. “I’m excited to have something like this in town. It gives us some new styles other than what Target has.”

 “I want to make it a little bit different than what’s out in the department stores,” Arreola said. “And it’s a small town, so I wanted to make something available for trendy, casual, and work attire. It’s got a little bit of everything.” 

A single mother of three, Arreola has made the boutique a family affair—her son Julian, 20, created and runs the boutique’s website; her daughter Isabela, 17, works part-time at the front desk; and her son Noah, 15, has expressed interest in styling hair. 

“Hopefully one of them will follow in my footsteps and take over something,” she said.

A hairdresser for over 20 years, Arreola has not left that profession and doesn’t plan on stopping anytime soon. But she considers herself a fashionista and loves choosing merchandise to sell at her boutique. 

“It’s like having two full-time jobs,” she said, noting how the boutique has been growing. 

Ella Boutique. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.
Ella Boutique is one of the places you can find women’s clothing in Hollister. Photo by Jenny Mendolla Arbizu.

Arreola said the Ella Boutique serves all types of women. Sizes range from small to plus-sizes, and customers are encouraged to also visit the boutique’s website to find more options. 

A separate sign for the boutique is being made and will be placed outside along with Bella Mia. 

Arreola said she hopes to eventually open a separate store for Ella Boutique.

“I’ve looked around town for a location, but I guess I will open one when the time is right,” she said. “So far, it’s working this way. And it keeps growing.” 

Ella Boutique is open Tuesdays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

 

   We need your help. Support local, independent news! BenitoLink is a nonprofit news website that reports on San Benito County. Our team is committed to this community and providing essential, accurate information to our fellow residents. It is expensive to produce local news and community support is what keeps the news flowing. Please consider supporting BenitoLink, San Benito County’s public service, nonprofit news.

Jenny Mendolla Arbizu

Jenny is a Hollister native who resides in her hometown with her husband and son. She is a San Benito High School graduate, and received her BA in Literature from UC Santa Cruz and her MA in Education from San Jose State University. Jenny has written for the Hollister Freelance, San Benito and South Valley magazines. She enjoys meeting new people in San Benito County, sharing breaking news with the community, and spotlighting the county’s events and businesses. When not writing, Jenny can be found performing with SBSC, singing with the Hollister VFW, or working out at Cold Storage CrossFit.