In my last blog, I revealed the exciting news that we are hosting an Il Mercato pop-up on the east side of El Paso.

When we confirmed the deal, I immediately begin the preparations, which include one of my favorite parts of the business: the buying! And let me tell you, buying for this highly curated pop-up was quite the adventure!

It’s long been a dream of mine to open a store on the east side, but I never knew exactly where to go, and if my concept would be met with success. Although I’ve had multiple visits to The Fountains in the past seven years, for whatever reason, the spaces just never felt right. Another east side space opportunity was presented last year, but again, my intuition said to pass.

But like with everything in life, timing is key. This time, an opportunity arose, the stars aligned, and I was able to offer a resounding, full body YES! I was soon on my way to a Los Angeles market to stock up for the new store. What an exhilarating experience it was to buy for this brand-new space. I scooped up new brands and designers that we don’t carry at our flagship and, staying true to the Italian inspiration behind “Il Mercato,” I opted for affordable luxury: think romantic gauze, luxurious cotton, breezy linen, and casual (but not basic!) basics like denim, classic and graphic tees, and vibrant, one-of-a-kind novelty pieces. I gravitated toward fashion-forward sunnies, candy-colored hats, fabulous new fragrances… and the best part? Almost everything retails for under $200!

I patronized every showroom on each floor of the marketplace to really curate for the best pieces for this shopping experience. Being able to try all new things was so exciting! I felt very unrestrained – like I was some how free to try something totally new! I touched all of the fabrics, feeling for the best quality possible within a reasonable price-point, keeping in line with our GAL signature.

As for the store interior? The design concept is coming along as well! It is so much fun to create and cultivate this new dream. My hope is that the east side community will come and support, shop and enjoy, and see what GAL is all about. I invite everyone to allow yourselves to feel transported! If this goes well maybe we’ll stay a little longer… the mystery is part of the excitement.

One more note: We are still hiring! So if you want to be an expert stylist, send your resume along. And whether you live on the east, west, or anywhere in between, mark your calendar for April 7!