One of the most common questions I get asked is, “Has it always been your dream to open your own boutique?” The crazy thing is, it wasn’t even on my radar until I moved to San Diego.
I was living in LA trying to build to my fashion career in corporate retail planning, and things were pretty OK. (minus the commuting and very expensive old tiny apartments…..) I was working as a store planner, which meant I was planning inventory levels, sales plans, breaking futures buys down, supporting retail stores, managing a team of allocators… the list goes on and so did the hours. Corporate fashion isn’t as glamorous, as most people think…. retail is truly a creative science. So naturally, there was something missing and I was a little burnt out.
My boyfriend at the time (we’re married now, so thankfully that worked out! Phew.) finally convinced me to move to San Diego after way too many horrible weekend commutes. Anyone who has continuously made that drive from LA to SD on Friday… my heart & thoughts go out to you…. at least Podcasts are a thing now!
Fast forward a couple of months.... learned there are not a ton of retail companies based in San Diego….Great! And honestly the idea of doing planning for a non-retail company, meh not my thing. We had recently moved to Downtown and immediately my brain needed to find all the cute clothing stores and coffee shops.. typical girl. Upon my findings, I felt like there was a void in this ‘big city’ and room for one more shop….
Wild Dove evolved from me wanting to do something that inspired and motivated me every day. I’m a Nordys girl all the way (even interned with them at corporate) and never understood the whole very separate department thing… granted the idea used to be your sales person would do everything for you, butttt that kind of service is hard to find nowadays especially in Socal. There are so many amazing brands that people would miss because of which department they were in and loyal to. Talk about limiting.
What if there was a more modern feminine curated version of Nordstrom, Revolve, ShopBop but mixed with other amazing unknown brands and paired with superb customer service? My brain literally did not stop. How do I make this work? I worked at a couple of local boutiques some big and some very small to learn. And the rest is history….. and probably another blog post ;)
When Wild Dove opened, it hit me. I forgot how much I loved being with customers & thrived off of that energy. Don’t get me wrong, it is definitely blood, sweat & tears….but that’s how we grow as people. It felt really full circle that everything I’ve done in my career has lead me to be successful in owning a brick & mortar store.
But now, no doubt my dream is to grow Wild Dove. I want to create opportunities for other women to be able to work in fashion, but still live in beautiful sunny San Diego.
To anyone my best advice is just go for it. If you work hard and sincerely put forth your best effort, passion and energy, everything will work out. Sleep will come. Money will come. Just be patient and kind to yourself. Everything is a learning curve!