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Getting “Socielle”

Fashion finds its way to Avalon at just the right time

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Owners Lauren and Patrick King outside their Socielle boutique

A recent customer of Socielle accurately summed up the new clothing store’s upscale atmosphere. It’s like you moved a part of Sewickley to Avalon, she said. The difference, though, may be the price tag. While the new, stylish boutique on California Ave offers trendy, unique apparel similar to what you may find in Sewickley or Shadyside, there is something for most budgets inside Socielle’s doors.

Owner Lauren King, a petite and sweet fashionista, said she aims to sell unique, yet affordable items. Apparel ranges from $25 to $63 and accessories are less. Most pieces are neutral solids in sizes small, medium and large with a few x-large pieces mixed in. Some comfortable styles offer generous sizing.

Socielle supports small local businesses including Desh and Co, of Lawrenceville, and Whiskey Moon, of the South Side.

She buys regularly from about 15 vendors she met at fashion trade shows. Trendy Kancan jeans, loose fitting Mono B pullovers and Three Hearts baby gear are among the brands you’ll find on display. Apparel includes tops, crew neck pullovers, shorts, joggers and dresses. Accessories, such as purses, headbands and jewelry, can complete the outfit. She offers adorable baby apparel as well, ranging in size from newborn to 5T. The cutest faux fur sandals come in white and tan.

Some items are exclusive to Socielle. Lauren designs them herself. A black crew-neck pullover, known as Pittsburgh Places, boasts some of the city’s popular hotspots including the Strip District and Bloomfield. She makes a mom and baby ensemble with ‘Mama’ and ‘Mini’ playfully scripted on comfy pullovers. Tie-dyed onesies are her creations as well. Custom items can be made upon request.

Coordinating pullovers are designed and created by Lauren.

Lauren studied Fashion Merchandising at ICM School of Business. She sold for a few direct sales clothing companies before launching Socielle as an online apparel site. “I’ve always had an interest in fashion,” she said. Last summer, a friend featured some of her items within a resale shop in Ebensburg, Pa. By November, Socielle expanded into a larger space. “It did so well, my friend opened up a space next door. That’s what made me realize I could open a store in Pittsburgh,” Lauren said. She makes a weekly trip to Ebensburg to deliver new inventory and to check in.

Socielle, pronounced the same as ‘social’, opened its doors in Avalon on June

The one shoulder eyelet top, front facing,at $37.50, is just one of many tops with unique detailing. Headbands, at $12.50, give that put-together-look even on a bad hair day.

12th. Lauren wanted a unique, one-word store name and landed on Socielle, a spinoff of the word ‘Socialite’. It sits in the location of the former Avalon Mart, not far from the newly opened Lash Dolls Pgh and Violet Street Florist. Lauren said she had her eye on the property for months before signing the lease. “I literally called, texted and emailed the owner of the building and mart every week for five months,” she said. She feels it’s the perfect fit with its high ceiling, beautiful updates done by the owner and close proximity to home and family. Lauren, husband Patrick and

Cipriana and Lauren in their new home-away-from-home.

daughter, Cipriana, age 2, live in Sheridan, within the city limits. Patrick works as a city fire fighter.

A walk through Socielle reveals Lauren’s sense of style as well as her sense of humor. One of her pullovers reads, “I feel like I’m already tired tomorrow”. A coffee mug begs the question, “Does this ring make me look engaged?” But the phrase on the back wall will bring a sheepish grin to any woman’s face…”All I ever wanted was everything”. Stop in, you won’t be disappointed.

Shop in person or online at www.shopsocielle.com. Follow on Facebook and a private Facebook group, or Instragram.

Socielle is located at 632 California Ave in Avalon, Pa. Hours are Tuesday to Friday 11:00am to 5:00pm, Saturday 10:00am to 4:00pm and closed on Sunday and Monday.


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Dianne Stuckman

Dianne moved to Ben Avon two years ago into the once-abandoned home she and husband, John, renovated from top to bottom. She lived in Hampton Township 30 years prior. While she enjoys her creative work as a Visual Merchandiser, she finds more recent work with Farm to Table - delivering meals to needy families – most meaningful. Dianne has three grown sons and a fat cat, Anthony. She enjoys writing, gardening and is a self-proclaimed fitness nut, always happiest while on a bike.

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