A Brief Insight into the Journey of Frances Kiradjian and the Establishment of Boutique Culture

Written by Ariela Kiradjian of BLLA and StayBoutique

Originally published in the 2019 Spring edition of StayBoutique Magazine

Frances her daughter, Ariela, also author of this letter

Dear Mama, 

You are not afraid to be different, to be a leader, the anomaly. You’ve had so many people attempt to put you “in your place,” but you’ve never ceased to prove them wrong.  In your professional lifetime, you’ve gone through hell and back.

In 2009, you identified boutique hotels as the future. It’s now many years later and you’ve cultivated a beautiful community of individuals taking over not just the hospitality industry, but commercial culture itself.  In just a decade, you’ve begun accomplishing your goal of disrupting corporate culture, and now together we are leading this movement.

Frances as the star of Carlson Travel’s advertisement in the eighties

I remember when you took me to my first business event – I was 6 years old.  From that point forward, I accompanied you to business meetings.  You didn’t care that it was “inappropriate” to bring a child, you had me involved with all of your business ventures from that age.  At that point, you knew that experience would be the best education for me. In those years, you showed me your vulnerability.  Your unfiltered honesty surrounding your personal and  professional struggles has prepared me in ways that no class could – and watching you overcome each hurdle has been my greatest inspiration.

Your genetics run strong – not only do your two daughters look nearly identical to yourself (at 25 years apart no less) but we both inherited your strong entrepreneurial spirit and drive. 

Frances with her two daughters, Ariela and Angela Setters Bessard

Sometimes I feel like I don’t deserve you – I not only have the most fantastic mother, but the most fantastic mentor. You’ve always believed in me, and I was fortunate enough to have you to learn from in place of formal education.  When I think of the day that I become a mother, my goal is to be as good of a mother as you. 

You are beautiful inside, and out – an aspect that we wanted to highlight in this feature, with images from your modeling days of the seventies to those of who you are today.

Thank you, for being you. Thank you for believing in a movement when there were few followers and a lot of haters.  Thank you for helping shape the woman I have become.  You are the shining light in my life and I frickin love you.


Your Baby Girl

Frances and Ariela opening the crowd for their Female Empowerment Conference

And from the entire Boutique Community…

We thank you, Frances.