Two Sisters, One Dream: Zouk Mixes Culture With Charity

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Zouk: a style of music inspired by the rhythms of the Caribbean islands (or a four letter word that can earn you tons of points in your Scrabble or Words With Friends game).

But for Jenny Best and Katharina Tagliaferro, Zouk is a way to bring worldly treasures to a new audience. The sisters are the owners of Zouk Los Angeles, a new boutique that just opened in Santa Monica.

Within the four walls of the shop, customers are taken on an exotic journey. Maybe you’d like a dining table from Portugal, blankets or pillows from India, or Moroccan candles!

Whatever your fancy, you can be sure that you won’t walk into your mother-in-law’s and see the same piece – each find is unique and hand-picked by Jenny and Katharina.

The shop was born out of a passion for exploring new countries. As they live on continents half a world apart, the sisters stay connected through their love of traveling. (Best packing tip: “Always bring one pair of high heels, you never know where you will end up.”)

The sister also love finding beautiful things, and as they discovered more and more unique items, they decided to combine their two passions into one business venture. Zouk’s philosophy is simple: to bring the culture, colors, language, scents and beauty from countries around the world to shoppers in the local community.

But they didn’t just stop there. Jenny and Katharina are active advocates for giving back to the global community, especially after finding themselves in countless situations on their travels that made them feel grateful for their own good fortune in life.

“Something that I think will always stay in our memories was Marrakech in April this year, when a bomb went off in one of the cafes and killed 11 people on the main square just a few minutes from our hotel,” said Jenny. “That made us feel very insignificant in the big scheme of things but also very lucky.”

They also recall deeply meaningful moments, like being invited into a poor Cambodian’s family hut to share a coconut.

So as part of their business model, Zouk Los Angeles donates 3% of all sales to a variety of charities, like a medical center in Cambodia and an orphanage that supports disabled youth. They encourage customers to get involved by asking them to choose which cause their purchase donation will go towards.

Stylish, successful, socially responsible and they’re seasoned world-travelers – is there anything these sisters can’t do?

Check out Zouk Los Angeles, located at 1311 Montana Avenue, Santa Monica, 310-260-1230

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