Updated: Mar 30, 2019

September 5, 2018

Story and photos by: Veronica Perry

Shopping can be stressful and can take hours to find the right fit. If you’ve been looking for a place that makes the shopping experience enjoyable and easy, then look no further than The Pomegranate Boutique.

This fashion forward boutique, located at 3000 Freeport Blvd in suite 5, is run by two family-oriented Armenian sisters, Stella and Araxia Manukyan. They focus on functional and fashionable clothing while bringing a family feel to the shopping experience. When you buy from their selection, you will be able to work as well as play in the clothes you choose. The Sacramento Spotlight was afforded the opportunity to interview one of the Manukyan sisters, Stella.

Stella earned a Bachelor's degree in Anthropology and Philosophy with a minor in Education from UC Santa Cruz. Throughout her entire educational experience, from high school to college, Stella was interested in fashion. So much so, that she even created pieces of her own wardrobe by hand.

“When I was in high school I tailored all my own clothes.” Stella says. “I picked up all my clothes second hand and re-purposed them into comfortable, fashionable and stylish pieces.”

During high school Stella studied at FIDM in San Francisco for a summer, but didn't find her place in fashion school.

“When I went to fashion school I did a summer program at FIDM in the city,” Stella says. “I did not feel like I fit into the culture that I was immersed in. I felt like I fit in on a different level, but not the everyday way. I finished school and I didn’t know what I wanted to do, so I did Americorps. I taught and facilitated parenting classes in South Sacramento. This was a great opportunity to connect with the Sacramento community on an impactful level and I worked with clients from a broad spectrum. But it was not my passion.”

Stella decided to end this role and begin traveling around the globe. From India to France, Stella has many memorable experiences abroad. After traveling for two years, she decided to teach English in Paris. She taught for two and a half years there. When she came back to the States on holiday she and her sister started The Pomegranate Boutique.

The sisters started from humble beginnings selling clothes out of Araxia's home, which they called an "open house" where people could come and shop their selection. This ultimately led to the opening of their own store last fall.

“We have now been open for a year,” Stella says. “The first two months we did open houses. We were open Saturday and Sunday out of the spare room of my sister's house. We also did pop-ups in Midtown. We moved in to this space around the end of October 2017.”

The Manukyan sisters chose the name The Pomegranate Boutique because the symbolism the fruit means in their culture.

“Because we are Armenian we picked the name The Pomegranate Boutique specifically because the pomegranate is a huge symbol in our culture” Stella says.

“The pomegranate represents good fortune and abundance. We met for hours with a designer and when we finally decided on this design we were so thrilled.”

One of the many unique aspects about The Pomegranate Boutique is the selection the Manukyan sisters offer.

“I go to showrooms in Los Angeles and pick up their left over stock,” Stella explains. “It's high end brands sold at Bloomingdale's. It takes time on my part. I go down to Los Angeles and then I sell it for way less here, the actual value of the item. We want our clients to feel as comfortable as they do stylish. We have styles for every body shape, every aesthetic and our price points, brands and customer service are superior. The brands we choose have better manufacturing practices as well. The whole concept of our boutique is that the clothes that we sell are live-in. You can wear it out. You can go shopping in it, you can wear it to work.”

The goal of this boutique is to provide versatile clothing for people of different ages, sizes and aesthetics.

“Everyone from a college student to a grandmother can benefit from the clothing we supply,” Stella says. “Our styles and our selection is ultimately the most comfortable and affordable out there.”

What’s amazing about this boutique is their promotion of other local companies. Yes, this local boutique is selling other local made products, such as skin care and jewelry. 

“We carry two lines,” Stella explains. “One is Rebecca’s hand-crafted products from her brand the Good Rub. She makes a lot of oils and topicals for skin health. She has an extensive product line. But we carry the salvy, her oil and lotion. They are all amazing. She also does bath bombs and showers streamers which are therapeutic as well. They are made with essential oils. You can treat anything from eczema to a minor skin rash. It relieves a lot of pain.”

Stella elaborates, “we also carry a beautiful jewelry line. It's called Metro Jewelry Designs and it's made by a designer named Bridgit. All of her jewelry is made without nickel. This means there are no allergic reactions. Also, her jewelry is made with healing gems. She is 73 years-old and such an inspiration. She does it because it's something she enjoys doing. Everything she creates is customizable.”

Since starting their business in 2017, the Pomegranate sisters have now expanded to offer a variety of helpful services. One of the things that Stella and Araxia are dabbling in is the possibility of doing some personal styling on the side.

“One of the things we decided to try out this summer was helping folks go through their wardrobes making capsules wardrobes or helping them re-create outfits out of pieces they have never worn before or could not match with things,” Stella explains.  

The Manukyan sisters are huge proponents of community involvement. They have opened a position for a social media intern. So, The Pomegranate Boutique is providing an opportunity for practical applications of marketing skills  and allowing a social media savvy local to gain valuable work experience at a functional fashion business.

The sisters’ family values and work in the community are derived from one Mother Teresa quote: “If you want to change the world, go home and love your family.”

If you are looking for a friendly staff, fantastic finds and functional fashion, stop by The Pomegranate Boutique off Freeport Blvd and visit Stella and Araxia. Don't forget to give them a follow on Instagram as well.