Those looking for figure-flattering designs for the beach are urged by Cecilia Filter to check out her new Bird Rock boutique.
Filter has upwards of 800 samples of her product lines at the brand-new Birdrock Bikini at 5651 La Jolla Blvd.
Reggae music played in the background as two customers, Mary Brown and her 20-year-old daughter, Annemarie, browsed the shop looking for just the right style and fit of bikini.
“Look at how cute that is,” said Mary as Annmarie exits one of the fitting rooms in the rear of the store, showing off her choice of suit, a blue bottom with little shells on the side. “I like everything but the shells. You can’t lay down on those.”
“You don’t lay down on your side,” replied her daughter.
It’s a typical exchange in the beachwear boutique, according to Filter.
“I wanted it to be fun,” said Filter. “Look how fun it is with that cheetah print (carpeting) back there. I’ve shopped for bikinis forever, and I wanted it to be nice.”
Filter said her 17-year-old daughter was part of her inspiration for switching careers. She dealt in mortgages before starting her own business.
Besides bikinis, Filter carries Brazilian sandals, wraps and swimsuits for children and adults.
“A lot of moms have little kids and those (suits) are flying off the shelf,” said Filter.
Picking Bird Rock to set up shop was an easy choice for Filter.
“We selected Bird Rock because there’re no bikini shops here,” she said. “Chicks are crazy about bikinis. I knew it would work here. So, my husband said, ‘Why don’t you open your own shop?’ I don’t think he thought I was going to take it and run with it.”
Filter carries what she calls the hottest bikini designer lines, like Salinas, Vix, Split, Girl Star, Sauvage and Love Surf Love.
“I carry a lot of Brazilians,” she said, referring to the briefest of brief swimsuits. “Chicks here love Brazilians. The less they have on, the better they feel. You’ve got to remember you’re in La Jolla, the bikini capital.”
Filter also carries a bikini line from surfing photographer Aaron Chang, designed especially for surfer girls who want a good fit and don’t want to worry about slippage.
The price range at Birdrock Bikini is $65 to $150, said Filter. “We have board shorts, cover ups, cut dresses and wraps that aren’t that expensive.”
The beachwear shop also carries jewelry with colorful stones by Farah Cirulnick.
“We’re going to get bags,” she said. “They can wear them to the beach or to a party. I started out with just bikinis, but people have been giving me ideas. They wanted things that they could wear to a beach party.”
Birdrock Bikini has a lounge with a sofa and books to keep guests occupied while ladies browse.
“I want them to be comfortable,” Filter said. “I don’t want to hurry them out, God forbid.”
Three months before she opened the shop, Filter erected a sign in the shop window informing passersby of the new store in town.
“It was the best $75 investment I ever made,” she said.
Filter enjoys being part of the influx of new businesses in Bird Rock like Jep, Baby Bird Rock, Baby Locks and Soap bath boutique.
Bikinis of every conceivable style and color, polka dots, hearts, stripes, studs and even camouflage line the shop’s walls.
“Everything colorful and teeny-weeny bikinis, that’s what they seem to like right now,” said Filter.
Each bikini designer line has a sales rep for California. Filter contacted them when she set up shop.
“At first they were a little hesitant,” she said. “But, then they drove by and said, ‘She’s going to make it.’ That made me feel good. Obviously, they would know.”
Hours at Birdrock Bikini are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 11 to 5 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. But hours, like everything else at the beach boutique, are casual.
“People who are in here,” said Filter, “I’m just going to let them browse. I’m not going to close the doors.”