Like most women, I love shopping – online, in-store, chain stores at high AND low end retailers; ain’t nothing wrong with mixing Old Navy sweaters with an Anthropologie skirt & paired with boots from Nordstroms or Bloomie’s, am I right?! However I do love to support local businesses because in times like this, mom & pop stores need our love! If you remember back in the day, Third Street Promenade in Santa Monica used to be a mix of unique shops & boutique with a little chain store action thrown in. Now it’s chain store after chain store, 24/7.
So when I first met Cynthia of Juniper & Lane Vintage, I thought it was so cool that her unique store is both online AND a brick & mortar store on Ventura Blvd in Woodland Hills. For folks reading this who are not from the Valley, Ventura Blvd is a looong stretch of a road that has funky & unique shops from Woodland Hills all the way down to Studio City. I even recapped it for MomAngeles! Folks, this is our version of Abbot Kinney, “818” style!
So when I heard that Cynthia has a boutique located in Woodland Hills on Ventura Blvd, I thought she would make the perfect Real Mom of the SFV to feature on my blog. I am happy to highlight the latest Valley business owner, Cynthia of Juniper & Lane Vintage!
How/why did you begin your business?
Cynthia: It has always been a dream of mine to have a business of my own. After raising my children and teaching elementary science for many years, the timing and resources enabled me to “take a leap of faith” and follow my dreams.
As a working mother, what is one tip or piece of advice that you would give to other female entrepreneurs?
Cynthia: Owning and running a business is very much like having, and raising, a child in that it becomes your priority; it takes up all of time, energy and resources; it’s exhausting and exhilarating; its challenging and rewarding; it keeps you up all night when its young and its keeps you up all night worrying about when it’s older. That being said, I would not trade having my children for anything in the world, and I feel similarly inspired by my work.
A young mother with a business needs a team of supporters to allow her the time and energy to enjoy, and be there 100% for her children. A partner in the venture is advisable, in fact, my eldest daughter, Christina, is my partner; her input and support are invaluable to me.
What do you like best about having a business in the San Fernando Valley?
Cynthia: Having raised my children here in the San Fernando Valley, it was important to me to start my business here. Historically, Ventura Blvd has been a hub for successful small business ventures and I am confident that the same will hold true as the economy continues to recover.
Many loyal Valley residents go out of their way to shop small businesses, especially along the boulevard. Located at the west end of Ventura Blvd, we belong to a cluster of small businesses aspiring to recreate the bustling retail environment that exists east of us in Tarzana through Sherman Oaks. Surrounded by fun restaurants and pubs like the Whiteharte, Local Peasant, Brandywine, and Adagio; and near great new businesses like the Beauty Bar and Jill Wolff Design; and anchored by long standing Valley stalwart Kennedy Surf Shop; we hope to become a local hub of retail activity.
If there was one thing you wish you knew before you began your business, what would that be?
Cynthia: If there were one thing I wish I knew before I began my business, it would be the value of establishing a viable webshop prior to opening my brick and mortar shop. We just recently celebrated our 2nd Anniversary this month with the launch of our new and improved webstore … finally!!!! If you are ever in the neighborhood please stop by and visit us!
Cynthia really breaks it down & “gets real” about the pros & cons of running your own business. The fact that she likens it to a “child” is so apropos because it truly is like one. Plus if you have children & a husband or partner, then you know it is just another added layer of responsibility.
As a child I remember that my goal was to own & run my own Sanrio store. Times (and goals) have changed, but I do know that if I had gone into retail, I’d have to live & breathe it. IF I was loaded like some of those Real Housewives on Bravo, then sure, I could own a store like it was a hobby & have someone else manage it & do all of the heavy lifting. However this is the real world & Cynthia is shining a bright light on the realities of being a retail AND web-boutique owner in 2015.
I am glad she mentioned the loyal Valley residents who “go out of their way to shop small businesses.” Hooray for the Valley people & loyal customers!
Disclosure: No monetary compensation was received for this post. The image shown in this post is used with permission. As always, my opinions are 100% my own.