Long-Time Storeowner Foster Plans to Sell Business

Vivian Foster shows off the merchandize at her store on Via de la Paz.
Photo: LESLY HALL

Vivian Foster, who has a dress shop, Vivian’s Boutique, on 875 Via de la Paz, is looking for someone to buy her business.

“After 38 years of loving and working in fashion in the Palisades it’s time to retire,” Foster told CTN on May 11. “It was my third career and I loved it.”

But, she added, that even though her business is thriving: “It is time to retire. And you know when it’s time.”

Foster would like to see a younger, vibrant woman who loves fashion and people contact her. The business will come with a three-to-five-year reasonable lease (no triple net), and “I will train,” she said, and offered “if necessary, I will help for a couple of weeks.”

Her business model is attractive to many shoppers in the Palisades because she carries numerous sizes, from 0 to 20. “In the United States, the average dress size is 12 and the average woman weighs 160 pounds,” Foster said.

Her merchandise is reasonably priced, and she caters to all ages.  “I have customers aged 13 to 90,” she said.

When Foster arrived in Pacific Palisades as a single mom in 1986, she sold real estate, sold wholesale clothing in a small office behind her current space on Via de la Paz, and also worked as a cocktail waitress. Her daughter attended Palisades Elementary.

Vivian Foster

At that time, there were numerous dress shops in the Palisades, including Whispers, Village Store, Julia Ann (a lingerie store) and La Femme. It was then she established her successful business model, “I did great clothes for great prices,” Foster said. Residents loved her selection and soon she found herself concentrating solely on women’s clothing.

“I outgrew the space and moved to the courtyard off Sunset, next to the Glendale Bank [now Citibank]. That’s where I met Arnie Wishnick, who worked at the bank,” Foster said.

After eight years at that location, she needed more space and moved to the 970 Monument building and remained there for 16 years, surviving a boom-and-bust era. “Blockbuster and Kinko’s were in that building and more than 100 people a day came to the center,” said Foster, whose business flourished, even after those stores shut down.

She loved the location, but her “aunt” Joan Miller, who owned the 875 Via building, asked if she would return to that location.

Foster, who grew up in West Covina, said she came to the Palisades because of Miller, who not only served as a mentor to Foster, but also wanted her to sell real estate with Miller.

As she looks forward to retirement, Foster, a grandmother of four, said she has “been blessed with so many amazing relationships and memories.”

For years, Foster helped dress women for the Woman’s Club fashion show and also worked closely with Wishnick, who became the Executive Director of the Palisades Chamber of Commerce, on chamber events including the auto show.

In an earlier interview Foster said, “I wanted to be a therapist, but I have a dress shop instead.”

Daily, there are women who stop by just to chat with Foster, who is lively and upbeat. “We have group therapy in here daily,” she said.

To her shoppers and friends, she said, “Thank you so much to all of my beautiful customers and thank you for so many wonderful years,” said Foster, who moved to Oxnard almost four years ago. “I’m off to a new chapter in my life in Ventura.”

The store is located 875 Via de la Paz and is open Tuesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. The phone number is (310) 573-1326 click here.

At a recent Chamber event, Gerry Blanck with Vivian Foster, who came to help him celebrate.
Foster owns Vivian’s Boutique, which has been in business for 38 years.
Photo: RICH SCHMITT/CTN

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One Response to Long-Time Storeowner Foster Plans to Sell Business

  1. M says:

    I wish Vivian the absolute best! She has been an asset to the Palisades and will be
    greatly missed. Have a wonderful retirement Vivian, you deserve the best!!

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