//Bebe O’s Boutique

Bebe O’s Boutique

Vintage, eclectic, all original boutique in the heart of the Tower District.

by Lisa Talley

Genuine leather jackets. Suede shoes. Rare, discontinued board games. There’s no telling what vintage conversation starter you’ll find inside Bebe O’s Boutique. But chances are that this locally owned shop nestled in the heart of the Tower District is the only place you’ll find it.

You’ve probably driven past it a number of times, caught a glimpse of their banner on the building and just kept winding on down Wishon toward Fulton without much of a second thought. In fact, unless you’ve gone through the doors yourself and walked into the boutique, the whole spectacle and any hints of what gems lay inside would remain a mystery.

“Our shop really has no outside visual presence, people often nudge the door open cautiously and then immediately say ‘Oh my god, we had no idea you were here!’ We usually give them some time to take it all in before offering our help,” says Lupe Oftedal, owner and founder of Bebe O’s Boutique.

The building’s large open floor plan, built in the 1920s, is partly the culprit in inspiring jaw dropping reactions from first-time visitors. It also gives Lupe and her husband, Martin, a lot of room to stage their various items of furniture, decor, attire, and accessories in some really captivating displays. One thing is certain, your eyes won’t know where to start first, particularly with the cleverly dressed mannequins.

“We get so many compliments on the coordination of the mannequins. It helps people visualize a look versus just garments on a hanger,” Lupe shares.

The selection process is fairly thorough as every item in the shop is hand picked by both Lupe and Martin. Their passion for the eclectic has them traveling extensively to find that which is earning their boutique a unique reputation. Whether clothing or accessory, everything is closely examined by the Oftedals for the highest quality. Each item must be well-preserved to make it into Bebe O’s Boutique. However, being on the constant hunt for original items has brought some interesting things through their doors.

“The most surprising item we’ve brought into the store would have to be a vintage 1950s doctor’s examining table, stirrups included,” says Lupe of their numerous finds, “[that] or the 15-foot snake skin.”

Apart from the offbeat finds, what also arrives at the collection of the shop are beautiful suits and dresses. This is where the Oftedals claim a personal favorite from all the things they’ve found so far. It was a mint condition wedding dress and suit of a couple from the 1940s.

“The groom was a WWII navy pilot and they were both in mint condition and beautiful. It’s super rare to find items [like these] that are still together. They don’t make clothing the way they used to,” shares Lupe.

Bebe O’s Boutique could be called a playground for the proverbial time traveler. Even if you’re just time traveling for the evening with a Great Gatsby inspired, or Sock Hop themed party… from the 20s to the 80s, the essence of what made each decade a fashionable icon of the 20th century can be found within the walls of the Oftedal’s shop. And if you’re not sure where or how to start looking, the owners are happy to help.

“Because we specialize in vintage clothing, we cater to lots of people who are attending a themed event and have no idea of the attire worn during that period. Let’s face it, not many people were alive during the 1920s, so when they’re going to a party and the theme is 20s, 40s, 50s, or whatever, they don’t know where to start. That’s when our selection and expertise come into play. … Lupe’s favorite line is ‘Humor me, just try it on.’,” offers Martin on how they’re ready to be hands-on when their customers need them.

One of the more unique services Bebe O’s offer their customers, aside from their unique collection, is the ability rent just about any item in the store.

“A lot of people who come in say they’re going to a themed event or party, they need an outfit but will only wear it once. So we offer them an opportunity to purchase or rent it. And they can rent everything, head to toe, clothing, hats, jewelry, and even fur coats,” says Lupe.

Bebe O’s Boutique will be celebrating their 7th anniversary on April 1st this year. You can follow them on social media @BebeOsBoutique on both Instagram and Facebook to keep up to date with events and incoming items found only at their store located at 1130 N Wishon Ave in Fresno.