LOS ANGELES — Actress Lisa Rinna, best known for her roles on “Melrose Place” and the soap opera “Days of Our Lives,” has retail and entertainment on her mind.
And she’s thinking growth.
Two years after Rinna and her husband, actor Harry Hamlin, opened the Belle Gray boutique in Sherman Oaks., Calif., she is launching a second outlet on Friday at the Calabasas Commons mall in the posh Los Angeles suburb of Calabasas.
And even before the enormous steel doors swing open, Rinna is geared up to open a third location and wants to launch a reality TV show about — you guessed it — opening a clothing store.
“We are definitely going to do a third [store] and maybe more, and possibly do a show around opening a store,” said Rinna, who counts Scoop co-owner Stefani Greenfield as her main inspiration for starting a retail career.
Eighteen months into their initial venture — the store takes its name from the middle names of the couple’s two daughters — Hamlin said he asked Greenfield when it was time to open a second one. She replied, “Now.”
“It really put the bug in our ear,” Rinna recalled. “Stefani said, ‘Lisa, once you open the second one, it’s so addictive.’ And I’ve caught the bug and am already thinking about a third and a fourth and fifth.”
Rinna is anticipating sales of about $2 million for the first year at the new store, and $4 million to $5 million for both stores and their Internet business combined. Rinna is also the host of “Soap Talk”on Disney’s SoapNet channel, and had been the host of the Lifetime reality show “Merge,” which focuses on newlyweds.
The 1,400-square-foot Calabasas Commons unit is nestled between L’Occitane and a movie theater in an outdoor lifestyle setting that blends an array of retail spaces, including a Ralph’s grocery store, a Rite Aid pharmacy and high-end contemporary women’s boutiques such as Theodore and M. Fredric. The mall is owned by Rick Caruso, the developer behind The Grove, a popular lifestyle mall in Los Angeles’ Fairfax District.
The store, which Hamlin has taken charge of and built in about 28 days, has an airy, romantic feel similar to the original location: white-washed tin tiles on the walls, wainscoting, chandeliers, sea-grass flooring and an enormous arched floor-to-ceiling window that bathes the store in natural light.
On the decision to open in another suburban location, Rinna said the Los Angeles boutique scene was oversaturated and that she loved the idea of the foot traffic at the mall because the Sherman Oaks store had become more of a destination shop.
Finding lines to carry was a challenge because some of the other boutiques in the mall already had dibs on many of the brands.
“We have had to be very creative going into a place that has quite a few of the [standard lines]. I can’t rely on the Grails and True Religions and Da Nangs,” she said.
The result has been a refreshing mix of new lines and some old favorites: Joe Bush, Second Jeans, Tracy Reese, Millie and LaRoc, Diane von Furstenberg, Joie, Generra, L.A. Made and more.
“I’ve grown to love it out here,” she said. “We want to bring a shopping experience that’s cozy and where women want to shop. We’re hoping to have a love fest.”