There's been much hype about Palisades Village, but this weekend's highly-anticipated opening is the light at the end of the tunnel for one beloved Pac Pal fashion haven. After enduring nearly two and a half years of construction (and watching many of their neighbors shutter), Get Dressed is ready to get back to business on their once-sleepy stretch of Swarthmore Avenue as megadeveloper Rick Caruso's newest lifestyle center prepares to arrive this Saturday.
The fashionable force behind the shop is entrepreneurial duo Molly Flaherty and Erica Paige, a self-described "odd combo" that became quick BFFs after bonding over their Catholic school backgrounds. Flaherty, a former advertising and publishing exec, founded Get Dressed on eBay while working at cult-favorite boutique Elyse Walker (located not far over on Antioch Street). The mother of three built a successful side hustle helping clients sell their luxe closet castoffs online — and that's when Paige, a recent college grad and aspiring singer/songwriter two decades her junior, entered the picture.
View this post on Instagram
When their clients' high-end heels and carryalls started overflowing out of Flaherty's '50s pool house, Paige suggested that it was time to open a bona fide brick-and-mortar shop. Open as of 2013, Get Dressed stocks pre-loved clothing, footwear, and accessories from luxury European fashion houses like Chanel, Valentino, Givenchy, Balmain, Gucci, Saint Laurent, and more alongside cult-cool luxury names like Stella McCartney, Victoria Beckham, James Perse, R13, Pam & Gela, and many others — including many pieces from Flaherty's former customers at Elyse Walker looking to swap last season's buys for fresh-off-the-runway accoutrements.
Ahead of Palisades Village's grand opening this weekend, we got to know Flaherty and Paige to learn more about their inspiring story, how they empower each other, what they anticipate most about their stylish new neighbors, and more. Read on below, and scroll down for the store's full address and map. (Don't forget to pay 'em a visit before hitting up that massive new shopping haunt.)
We love how you two connected. What exactly drew you to the other person?
Molly Flaherty: The immediate connection came from the similarity in our upbringings and being from a long line of native Angeleno families. Coincidentally, we were both raised by Italian mothers who are extremely committed to their families and involved in their communities. Our parents on both sides collectively placed high value on sending their daughters to all-girls catholic high schools.
Erica Paige: Yeah, I think pretty early on we realized we were kindred spirits. Coming from private all-girls high schools like (Louisville High School and Marymount) you are sort of groomed to carry yourself in a specific way. We were taught to be fiercely independent, driven, and to never take "no" for an answer. It makes you go out into the world with a unique brand of confidence, so you can always recognize another woman who has been through that same training. It's a sisterhood for sure.
MH: Exactly. While focusing highly on academics, this style of education also developed our souls and spirits during our formative years which prepared us for the ups and downs of real world. We recognized this balance and well-roundedness in each other and immediately knew we could build something big.
How have you kept the business thriving despite the inconveniences of the recent construction?
MF: We both naturally have very positive attitudes and quickly learned that we have an innate resiliency to setbacks and challenging situations. We never stopped looking at the big picture. Showing up day-in and day-out for the sprint but always knowing this construction project would be a two-year marathon. We had to pace ourselves, pace our emotions. We thrive on the daily interaction of our clientele and the Palisades women never gave up on us so that alone, meant everything.
EP: We are so lucky to have such incredibly loyal customers. These women have been with us through the tears, the laughter and the uphill battle that this project has been. No matter how obstructed the store was, they traipsed through rubble, gates, (even those menacing security guards), just to stop in, check on us and say hi. It's such a tight-knit community in the Palisades. We feel really grateful to be a part of that.
How have you seen your retail neighborhood change/transform since you opened, and since construction on Palisades Village began?
MF: When we moved in in October of 2013 we basically moved into a ghost town of a street that was liquidating before our very eyes. We really are the only remaining original "Survivors of Swarthmore." Recently, lots of new stores and coffee shops have popped up around the greater Palisades area so its been fun watching our town come back to life. This is a very special place with amazing people and we are so privileged to be doing business here.
EP: Once things really shut down, we had fun with the construction. Shamelessly paraded up and down the street daily in our gowns and five-inch heels taking photos for Instagram. We started calling it "Construction Couture." It had a real editorial vibe; the construction workers loved us. We were their constant entertainment.
View this post on Instagram
How does the other person empower you?
MF: They say who you surround yourself with is who you become. I spend more time with Erica than I do anyone else. She has an inner strength that spills over on to me daily. I am the lucky recipient of her loyalty and friendship and a daily witness to her courageousness and blind faith. She has been right there with me to push through what seemed impossible. Erica empowers me every day to get up, show up, and never give up. And that is exactly what we did. I could never have made it to this day without her.
EP: Well I wouldn't have been given this opportunity if it weren't for Molly taking a chance on a girl straight out of college. She really has a way with people. She's constantly connecting and uplifting everyone around her. Her optimism and positivity is contagious. This two-and-a-half year construction project would have brought anyone else to their knees, but Molly shows up every morning with a smile on her face, ready to make the most of the day. She's fearless. Her sheer will power and drive rubs off onto me.
That synergy between us is really where the magic lies. I am so proud of what we have built together. It's simple. We have each other's back. In business and beyond. Come hell or high water. And at times, these past two years have felt like hell & high water, all at once. But ultimately, it taught us a lot about ourselves. Particularly how powerful we are independently, but even more so as a team.
We're sure construction has been quite the challenge on your business. Now that Palisades Village is opening soon, what are you most excited for? Are there any particular restaurants or stores that you're looking forward to welcoming to the neighborhood?
MF: Even with the surrounding years of chaos, this store has been and will always be our sanctuary. It has always been a gathering spot for our customers who have become family to us. We can't wait to be in full operation and get back to being around all of our people that inspire us and fuel us each day. We look forward to welcoming our friends Elyse Walker and Elena Baldi with their new ventures Towne and Edo Little Bites, respectively. We are planning to have a fabulous party at Matt and Marissa Hermer's restaurant The Draycott in honor of our customers and consignors who supported us this entire way through.
EP: Get Dressed really is one of the great loves of our lives so it never really feels like work. The store is our second home. So now, it'll be like our cozy abode just had a really fabulous facelift.
What fall trends and styles are you excited to wear?
EP: Well, I am the kimono queen. I have an entire closet dedicated to them. Most days you can find me in a delicious vintage duster with an amazing pair of denim (usually Mother), a hat or headscarf and as much gold jewelry as I can get on my body. More is more!
MF: For me the more ruffles, flowers, and billowy sleeves the better! Vintage rock 'n' roll t-shirts. Anything gold from Jaimie Geller Jewelry. Leopard prints and fur. Last but not least I will never turn down a matching top and bottom set.
When it comes to reselling, are there are any particular items/designers that you're looking to buy?
MF: Our stylish consignors are truly our curators. They shop at the best boutiques in Los Angeles. We follow their lead and it works. They call us "Elyse Walker West" because we are best known for having such current items that many are still in the stores. Need I say more?
1017 North Swarthmore Ave., Pacific Palisades, CA 90272