Whenever my friends in San Francisco question Marin’s sense of fashion, I point them to Eli Loftus.
What do you do?
I own Eli and Fez in downtown Mill Valley. Eli is my women’s boutique with clothing, shoes, handbags and a growing selection of modern heirloom jewelry. Fez is filled with men’s and unisex California-style clothing that you can dress up or down, as well as home goods and artwork from around the world.
Where do you live?
I’ve lived in Marin almost all my life, but moved into the city about four years ago!
How long have you lived in Marin?
I was born in San Francisco but moved to Lucas Valley when I was three.
Where can we find you when you’re not at work?
These days, it’s quite rare that you’d come by my stores and not find me there. But on my off days, I love walking through Golden Gate Park, and definitely finishing the day off with an Aperol Spritz at Pearl 6101.
If you had to convince someone how awesome Marin is, where would you take them?
On a hike out in Tennessee Valley or up Mount Tam, drive out to Stinson, then catch the sunset at Bolinas Ridge on the way home. Then show them around downtown Mill Valley, grab a coffee at Equator and pop around the shops—especially my favorite, Honeygirl Beauty!
What’s one thing Marin is missing?
A fun speakeasy or lounge where you could hang out, grab a drink and dance. The nightlife could definitely use a little boost.
What’s one bit of advice you’d share with your fellow Marinites?
Support the many incredible small businesses Marin has to offer. And don’t be afraid to put on a fun outfit every day!
If you could invite anyone to a special dinner, who would they be?
It depends on the vibe of the dinner. If it’s a date with a post-meal serenade, Morgan Wallen. If I could go back in time, I would have loved to meet Robin Williams.
What is some advice you wish you knew 20 years ago?
The right people always find you. While my women’s store has evolved since I bought it in 2020 and rebranded from Carolina to Eli, my incredible team, family, friends and clients always believed in me.
What is something that in 20 years from now will seem cringeworthy?
Fast fashion and online dating.
Big question. What is one thing you’d do to change the world?
Help people find the freedom to authentically express and feel good about themselves. When people feel confident it radiates out into the world around them.
Keep up with Loftus at @shopeli and @shopfez.
Nish Nadaraja was on the founding team at Yelp, serves on the San Anselmo Arts Commission and attempts to play pickleball at Fairfax’s Cañon Club.