They’ve had opportunities to move their upscale women's clothing boutique to The Marketplace and other locations in Bakersfield's southwest.

But for twin sisters Kelli and Amy Davis, there's only one place they want to be.

"People ask us why we choose downtown," said Amy Davis.

The twin sisters seem of one mind on this question.

"We're downtown girls," Amy said, smiling.

"This is it," echoed Kelli. "Downtown is a city within a city. We love it here."

Fashionista, the Davis twins' labor of love, has had a presence as a retail clothing boutique in downtown Bakersfield for nearly two decades -- but for the past 18 months, since the Davis sisters left their longtime location adjacent to the Fox Theater, Fashionista has been dark.

No longer.

Now they’re back, this time east of Chester Avenue at 1219 18th St., in a slice of downtown that is now seeing a surge of entrepreneurial energy and investment.

And they want to be part of that renewal, that sense of growth and rebirth.

"The business owners downtown support each other," Kelli said.

"We call it 'local love,'" said her sister.

The new location, just east of Sequoia Sandwich Co., is bathed in light from the huge glass windows. Faux-birch trees strung with small white lights decorate the interior.

The twins, now 45, want their spaces to be clean and welcoming, and they want male visitors to be just as comfortable as their female customers.

"They've created an environment for people to come in and socialize," said Roy Keenan, a local jeweler who popped in one recent evening to check out the new store and wish the sisters luck.

"Shopping local is a big deal. Getting involved and having a relationship with the community is a big deal," said Keenan, who is a new addition to the Fox Theater Foundation's board of directors.

"That's why we support local businesses," he said. "It makes our lives better."

The success of Café Smitten, the new additions of The Kitchen and downtown's Narducci's, the pending development of the old bank building at 18th and Chester, and the popularity of the new upscale 17th Place Apartments bodes well for "Eastchester," as some are calling the once-neglected area.

The Davises say they love the energy here, the diversity, the urban feel, the "down-to-earth" residents. But their business is also social-media driven, and they want people who live in the southwest, the northwest and other areas of town to get it, too: Downtown is where it's at.

"They have a style nobody else has," said longtime customer Catherine Anspach, who popped in Thursday evening to pick out a few items.

"They're definitely tapped into my style."

No matter where they move, Anspach said, she will follow.

Rest assured, wherever that may be, it'll be in the Davis sisters' favorite business district.


Steven Mayer can be reached at 661-395-7353. Follow him on Facebook and on Twitter: @semayerTBC.