Lori Binkly, owner, has been working in the dancewear business since 1971, when her mom, Joyce Stevens, bought Karabel Dancewear from the original owner: Ella Karabel. At age 13, Lori started working after school and on Saturdays. It was then that she started taking Jazz dance classes.
In 1975, Lori began working for Gilda Marx teaching aerobics. A few years later, she became the Regional Franchise Manager, opening Body Design By Gilda franchise exercise studios with boutiques across the country. She was responsible for opening orders of merchandise and fixtures, helping new franchise owners with the complete running of the business, merchandising, hiring and training of staff. Additionally with Flexatard designed by Gilda Marx, Lori styled photo shoots for dance and swim wear catalogs. She also was the director, choreographer and stylist for company fashion shows. She brainstormed with Gilda to create new items not yet produced in the marketplace. Lori fashioned displays for their showroom in the fashion mart and for trade shows, and handled public relations with magazines for Gilda Marx product.
In 1989, Lori opened her own Karabel Dancewear in Burbank, upstairs at the corner Burbank and Victory. Eight years later, she moved downstairs to a larger space. Then, in 2005, moved the business to Magnolia Park, into a spacious building with numerous parking spaces. She designed a stylish interior to better suit the needs of the business. The store has 4 dressing rooms, a large shoe area with generous seating, mirrored columns and ballet barres with a faux wood floor to fit shoes. The store is easy to shop, displays above for visibility of styles and is well organized for accessibility. With the closing of Capezio Hollywood in Sept. 2010, Karabel has brought in a much more extensive bodywear and Shoe collection by Capezio to it’s already substantial inventory.
Karabel Dancewear is well known by costumers and dance studios for stocking required basics and updated styles of dancewear. The staff brings a variety of knowledge from various backgrounds and training in different genres of dance to better assist customers. Dance professionals send their students in with confidence they will be fitted properly. Group shoe fittings can be arranged after hours at dance studios or at the shop. Karabel supplies over 200 local dance studios, schools and special effects studios in Burbank and neighboring cities.
Lori has earned the respect of sales representatives in addition to the designers and CEO’s of major manufacturers who call upon her for advice about items needed in the industry. Through the years, she has designed many successful items that companies subsequently added to their line. Lori goes to many dance concerts and productions during the year to stay current. She is a hands on owner and buyer that works in the store with first hand knowlege of what is needed. Recently, lower priced basics have been added to meet the economic demands.