After designing jewelry for nearly four years, Aquarius owner Sara Ash Jessop decided to channel her creativity into opening a boutique in October of 2010. Jessop seeks out classic looks with just the right twist of edginess to ensure her clients leave feeling confidently original. Within the shop’s turquoise walls you can find jewelry, clothing and handbags by designers including Clare Vivier, Frame Denim, Mara Hoffman, Clover Canyon, Suzanna Dai and House Account’s Lizzie Fortunato.
Get to know more about the woman running the show at Aquarius…
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Style Icon(s): Gwyneth Paltrow, Jenna Lyons and Cate Blanchett
Words to live by / favorite quote: I love the Greek word “meraki,” a verb meaning “to do something with soul, creativity or love; to put something of yourself into your work.” And more playfully; forget the rules, if you like it, wear it.
How would you describe your style? I love things that make a statement. I’m not really a girly girl, but I try to pay attention to a sort of formula, which consists of something masculine and something feminine proportionately pulled together with something that makes a statement. I like to pair classic go-to pieces with edgy pieces.
Item from your closet you can’t live without? I strive to have a very classic oriented closet because I crave an edgy accessory whether it’s a standout shoe, piece of jewelry or handbag. I always have Yosi Samra flats because they are sooo comfortable, a great baggy pair of boyfriend jeans, leather pants, and a blazer. A blazer is a necessity for any season and looks great with any outfit.
Tell us the story behind Aquarius! After designing jewelry for nearly four years, I saw a thirst from women for something different in the retail market around town so I decided to channel my creative energies into this local, contemporary women’s boutique. Since 2010, I have been trying to mix eclectics with timeless pieces to bring San Antonio shopping an edge. Once the store was established, I decided to make it into an art gallery as well. I showcase various local artists to inspire not only wearing beautiful things but investing in them too.
What is the best part about running shop in San Antonio? I wanted the store to match the progressiveness of San Antonio economically and structurally and be fashion-forward. I love helping customers find timeless looks mingled with a contemporary savvy to leave them feeling confidently original. San Antonio has a very unique client that is both laid back but funky and loves something different, so it is fun to appeal to that aesthetic. The space is meant to go beyond a shopping experience to be one that inspires and merges local culture with fashion.
Favorite local spots in San Antonio? Restaurants, shops, watering holes? It is so fun to live in San Antonio right now because it is growing and emerging so much in culture and vibrancy. As a Texas native, I cant live without my local Mexican stop, El Jarro. Feast, Hot Joy and Barabaro are some other great new restaurants. I love an intimate bar downtown that will always have a great dirty martini or glass or red wine such as Brooklynite or Ocho. Blue Star Contemporary Art Museum is one of my favorite places to experience the wonderfully curated.
What are some of your favorite items in store right now? I am loving our Seraphine raw stone cuffs and chokers. I also love the Wilt jumpsuits. They are so comfortable and great for any occasion. The fall collection of Lizzie Fortunato makes me so incredibly happy. I’m also so excited to partner with Apolis for their City Series Market Bags which help promote our community as well as support underprivileged communities in Bangladesh.
Most interesting designers you’ve had the opportunity to meet? Throughout owning a store, I have met a lot of designers who had never sold in San Antonio before and a lot of emerging designers who needed to reach the more fashion forward shoppers of San Antonio. Lizzie and Kathryn Fortunato inspire me so much. Anything they do is gold to me and I have loved introducing them to my shoppers. I love meeting inspired designers like Yosi Samra and Mara Hoffman and Rozae Nichols of Clover Canyon who are interested in my store and how their products are selling to my customers.
What do you love about House Account? I think it is so wonderful because it caters to a woman on the go that wants every store she loves at her fingertips. It closes in the gap between our customer and the brick-and-mortar location and keeps the lines of communication and sharing between a store and customer on such a better level.
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