By Mary O’KEEFE
By now most have seen the signs “Going Out of Business Sale” on the corner of Honolulu Avenue and Ocean View Boulevard. Yes, it is true … Faye’s Intimate Apparel will be closing its doors after 73 years.
“It’s time,” said owner Linda Hattick, the daughter of Pat Grant, who was Faye’s longtime owner until her death recently.
Though it might be “time” it is still sad to see an icon of the Montrose Shopping Park take its last bow.
There is something comforting about the familiar, and Faye’s is more than that; it is actually the story of Montrose. It was the original owner Faye Snow who worked alongside Montrose Shopping Park founding families, including the Graysons, Draymans, Gelsingers and Frank Roberts, who really did put their community first and worked to create a shopping area that would stand the test of time.
Grant moved to California from the Midwest when she was 18 years old and moved in with her Aunt Faye. She started working at Faye’s immediately. When Snow died, she left the store and properties to her. Grant worked at Faye’s for over six decades until she died and ownership transferred to her children.
Hattick has worked at Faye’s for 47 years and said she is ready to retire.
“I would like some holidays, and a vacation,” she said.
Working retail has never been easy but in the last few years it has been even harder. Faye’s took some time off but remained cautiously open throughout the pandemic.
Faye’s Intimate Apparel is the last of the stores Snow owned, including a clothing department store in the building where the former Montrose Travel was housed in the 2300 block of Honolulu Avenue. There was another store she owned across the street from Faye’s where Starbucks is now.
“But mom’s aunt said [the apparel store] at this corner was the most successful and should be kept,” Hattick said.
The family still owns several properties north of Faye’s extending to the Montrose Barber Shop in the 3800 block of Ocean View Boulevard. The future of the family business properties will be decided by Hattick and her siblings but more than likely they will be sold.
Hattick said she does understand the concerns of the tenants who now occupy those buildings.
“My mom gave the tenants a fair and generous rent,” she said.
When there is a sale of a property there is little doubt that rents will rise but Hattick assured that nothing will happen right away.
Faye’s continues its going out of business sale, which started this week, with 50% off items. The first day of the sale saw a lot of customers come in to buy their favorite items, and a steady stream of customers continues to enter the store looking for great deals.
The store has a loyal customer base and has many traditional and unique items for all ages. The customers, including Helen Mirren who famously stopped by to purchase some items at Faye’s during the filming of “Hitchcock” in the Montrose area, have praised the selection. The customers’ love and praise, however, have been drowned out at times by snarky and negative comments shared online about how dated the items appear to be.
“I won’t miss those negative comments,” Hattick said.
Staff has heard comments of people walking by the store regarding the mannequins or the nightgowns that are on display. But for those who have gone into the store, or who understand the significance of Faye’s … the mannequins in the window are as much part of Montrose as the Montrose clock, or pony rides for kids on Sunday morning.
It is sad to see this store close but, after so many decades, it is time that the Hattick family gets a well-deserved break.
“I will miss the customers who are so kind and so sweet,” Hattick said.