Opening at the end of the pandemic actually turned out to be a good thing for Monkee’s of Fairfax. The boutique started welcoming customers just three months ago and is already making a name for itself with its mix of hard-to-find labels, high-end denim and vintage designer handbags.
“Obviously, people are ready to go again and are not sweaty anymore,” says Kaley Carillon, who owns the store with her mother, Amy Hollstein. Carillon can identify with its customers. “I know I’m ready to buy new clothes, I hardly bought any last year because I wasn’t going anywhere.
The store is part of a franchise based in the South, with the original store in Wilmington, North Carolina. Founder Dee Dee Shaw named the store after a nickname her mother called her and her energetic sisters: A Bunch of Monkeys. A second store opened in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, and now includes outposts in Fredericksburg and Ocean City. Carillon and Hollstein opened Monkee’s last store, which started as a shoe store and now also sells clothing and accessories.
No two Monkee’s franchises are the same. Carillon and Hollstein like to target items for the area in which they live. “The things that sell in Northern Virginia are different from those in Texas,” she says. “They are different people and different climates, and different brands sell more than others.” Notable labels from this store include Olivia James, Crosby, Tyler Boe, PAIGE Denim and Julie Vos; there is also a selection of vintage designer handbags.
“The pandemic power of social media has also helped,” Carillon says. “The store has exploded even more than expected – social media has been very helpful in getting our name out there. Most of their customers, Carillon says, see the items they want on Monkee’s social media (especially his Instagram feed, @monkeesoffairfax) and come to check out the fur vests, printed blouses and suede ankle boots in anybody. The store’s social media channels are updated daily, with new items appearing almost daily.
Carillon describes Monkee’s as an upscale clothing store, but with a sense of comfort. The mother-daughter duo chose to design the store in blue, green and gold. In addition to clothing, Monkee’s sells shoes, jewelry, and candles, among other items. Most of their clothing is available in sizes XS to XL, and the pants range from size 12 to 14.
“We love to say that we want you to feel like stepping into your most fashionable friend’s oversized closet,” Carillon says. “We strive to achieve the goal for anyone of any age to walk into the store and find something they like. “
What’s in store
1. Julie Vos half-link bracelet, $ 285
2. Aja sweater, $ 96
3. Jean Cindy with destroyed hem, $ 229
4. Piza sequin trapeze dress, $ 195
5. Ulani slippers, $ 189
This story originally appeared in our December issue. For more stories like this subscribe to our monthly magazine.