Buy Local: It’s good for Santa Monica!
DOWNTOWN SANTA MONICA, CA, April 6, 2009 – Robin Coe-Hutshing is co-founder of internationally-known downtown Santa Monica store STUDIO BEAUTYMIX at Fred Segal, but she is proud of one simple thing: “That we’re still here!” That humble frame of mind was the foundation for the opening of STUDIO BEAUTYMIX at Fred Segal in 1984.
The store, which Coe-Hutshing opened with her sister, Jennifer Coe-Bakewell, is a free-standing beauty business that promotes and incubates new lines – including its own – as well as brings distinctive products from all over the world to Downtown Santa Monica. After the sisters opened at the Fred Segal building in 1984, they worked without one day off for the store’s first three years. Gradually, that work began to pay off as they built relationships with loyal – and mostly local – Santa Monica customers.
Today, she serves customers she first met as toddlers. “Women trust us,” she said, enough to bring in their 13- and 14-year-old daughters for skin care and makeup sessions. “It is our loyal, local customers that we have to thank for our success,” she said. “People who have known my sister Jennifer and I since we were working seven days a week for years on end through bad hair styles, fashion faux pas, bad relationships, good relationships, marriage, pregnancy. We have really bonded with many customers over the years – looking back, it is like a time capsule of life!”
The ability to build those kinds of relationships is part of what she loves about Santa Monica.
“Santa Monica is an incredible town because it’s really a lively and varied place,” she said. “It still has a heritage that it maintains, but it’s constantly in motion and alive, and I think it’s the people that make that.”
A petite woman with a shy but bright smile and true sense of style, Coe-Hutshing loves bringing distinctive products to her customers in Santa Monica so much that in the pursuit of them, she has traveled to the ends of the earth.
“I always coveted the strange products and collected them,” she said.
A small niche collection of products with only a 12-foot counter eventually turned into a local gem of a store with 3,000 square feet of selling space.
Today, Coe-Hutshing still helps determine which brands make it onto the shelves. Because the store gets 50 to 100 submissions monthly, STUDIO BEAUTYMIX Associate Buyer Matthew Aguilar prescreens and organizes submissions for Coe-Hutshing’s review.
“I am very open and attempt to try all products before we stock them,” she said. “We are like the Salvation Army for weird beauty brands. But they do have to be great formulas. I insist on efficacy!”
And she puts as much thought into her store’s displays as she puts into the products that fill them. Each corner
of STUDIO BEAUTYMIX feels like a new store at which you want to linger.
Take your time at Memoire Liquide – a unique line of custom-blend fragrances created by Coe-Hutshing – and explore the world of fragrance. The beautiful display, designed in classic black and white, is as userfriendly as it is attractive.
Choose two, three or more base scents that you love, and then mix! There are 160 to choose from.
All of the scents, with names like Fleur des Tropiques and L’Orange Sanguine – Neroli flowers and tart blood oranges – can also be worn alone.
“It’s really a specialty,” Coe-Hutshing said.
And it is one that comes at a great price, too. $45 will buy you a quarter-ounce of truly personal, never-massproduced fragrance.
Memoire is one line that makes up the vast platform of STUDIO BEAUTYMIX’s products. Another is the Burn candle – one of the first high-end fragrance candles on the market. Created by Coe-Hutshing in late 2001, “I just felt that people wanted comfort in their homes more than they
wanted perfume,” she said. So she began using the same fragrances for candles that she had been using for perfumes.
The expense of using high-end fragrance for a candle was such that no other company had previously attempted to market it. “It was actually a huge risk in the candle business,” she said.
Coe-Hutshing’s innovative and discriminative attention to detail is evident in everything from the candle’s packaging – which she monitors at press checks – to its burning qualities. In addition to featuring scents like Beach Glow and Himalayan Black Tea, the candles do not smoke, their cotton wicks are self-trimming and they do not tunnel, so they burn for a long time.
Just $26 will get you 35 hours of burn time. “You have to really like the scent,” she said. “Because you can’t get rid of them!”
STUDIO BEAUTYMIX at Fred Segal is located at 500 Broadway in Downtown Santa Monica. To reach the store, call 310.394.8509. Hours of operation are 10 a.m. – 7 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and Noon – 6 p.m. Sundays.
About Buy Local Santa Monica:
Buy Local Santa Monica is a campaign that was created by representatives of the Santa Monica business community and the City of Santa Monica to support local businesses and raise awareness of the community, economic and environmental benefits of choosing local first. To learn more, please visit
About Bayside District Corporation:
In existence since 1984, the Bayside District Corporation is a public-private management company that works in partnership with the City of Santa Monica on issues impacting the area, including keeping the area economically viable and environmentally sustainable. For more information, please visit www.downtownsm.com
Visuals available upon request.
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