Oak Boutique in Kelseyville feels more like walking into a friend’s home that also happens to have clothes for sale. Just inside, owner Caitlin Andrus warmly invites you into her world. A welcoming sitting area in front of the store encourages you to slow down and stay awhile, another gentle reminder that this isn’t going to be an everyday shopping experience. It’s no wonder Oak is loved by locals and visitors alike.
Even though Oak’s located in downtown Kelseyville, it’s still got cutting edge designs. Caitlin drives to the fashion district in Los Angeles and handpicks the clothes for her shop. “I like my clothes to be size-inclusive and true to women’s bodies. A 3X is a 3X, not a large. And,” she smiles, “I want to know what the fabric is going to feel like when you wear it. I can’t do that when I order it online,” she explains knowingly, holding an empty clothes hanger in a free hand.
Sure enough, I can’t help but touch a cream sweater nearby. It’s so soft and well-made that it’s hard not to imagine wearing it.
“Isn’t that amazing!” Caitlin laughs out loud, knowing precisely what I’m feeling.
“I have a good feel for what my customers like,” she continues. “I bring in on-trend clothes because we want to keep us on the cusp of fashion, but we focus on quality and style. You’ll be wearing our clothes for a couple of years, at least. We like things that are more classic.” It’s easy to see Caitlin’s eye for detail in her ensemble. Today she’s sporting a classic look, with open-toed heel shoes, gold and crystal earrings, black blouse, jeans, and kimono all purposely put together. Even her mask matches her outfit.
Tasteful accessories, purses, and other odds and ends adorn her displays. “Not only that,” she continues, “We live in Lake County; people want fashion that’s functional and comfortable, on-trend but not trendy.” She motions to a collection of tops and sweaters on the nearest rack.
There’s no doubt that every item is chosen with intention. The most difficult choice is deciding what you like most. Shopping at Oak is more of an experience than a chore; its relaxed feel and intentionally placed racks don’t overcrowd as you browse, making every item easy to see in classic boutique style.
But I do notice one unique thing about the store. Every item is at least three feet off the ground.
Caitlin laughs out loud, still holding onto her homeless hanger, and motions around the store. “You can see everything is childproof; that’s because I have two kids that spend a lot of time with me here. Being a single mom means this is their home away from home.” I look closer; there’s nothing that a toddler could easily dismantle. A knowing smile twinkles in the corners of her eyes as we move towards the kids’ section, filled with not just quality clothes, shoes, and socks but also books, toys, and the softest fuzziest companions you’ll ever find.
“I try to pick books that have a message, not just ones like everyone else has,” she says, pointing up to the shelf higher than little hands can reach. “I want this section to be more than just clothes, but a great place to buy gifts as well.”
Across the way, two curtains pulled back display Oak’s two dressing rooms. These are not your ordinary cramped, stuffy dressing rooms. Inside are shelves with tasteful art and décor on the wall, continuing her homey, welcoming atmosphere It’s no wonder that Oak Boatique is loved by so many.
“I’m going to come back with my daughters,” I say, noticing several things they would like.
“It’s a great place for that,” Caitlin gestures, still holding the lonely coat hanger. “Goodness, I need to set this somewhere,” she laughs.
If you’re looking for an even more personalized experience with Oak, book your own after-hours party with up to five people. For only $10/person, you can enjoy a safe evening away, complete with a wine and cheese platter.
Hours of Operation: Thursday through Sunday, 11-4
3940 Main St. Kelseyville, CA