Celebrating the strong, successful, philanthropic women from the businesses at The Collection
“I’ve come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that’s as unique as a fingerprint – and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you.” — Oprah Winfrey. It takes a lot of time, energy, and commitment to run a business. Meet a few of the influential female business leaders in the community from The Collection at RiverPark.
Elvia Sanchez- owner of Evangelina Boutique
“Having a business and being your own boss is not always as fun as it seems, there is definitely a lot pf hard work that goes into it. I have faced many obstacles and continue to do so, which makes quitting sometimes seem like the best option. But at the end of the day I remind myself of my resilience, and the happiness my accomplishments bring, plus buying for my lovely clients is tons of fun!”
Since she was a little girl, Elvia had a deep love for fashion. Growing up she would admire her mom, Evangelina, who had such elegant and impeccable style in addition to running her own business and raising a family. Her mother’s independence and outstanding work ethic motivated Sanchez to focus on her dream of owning a boutique, despite facing difficult hardships.
Evangelina Boutique, named and inspired after Sanchez’s mother, is a bright, open store filled with classy, affordable styles for women. The Collection location is Sanchez’s second store, opening the first Evangelina Boutique in Santa Barbara in 2016. Her advice to budding female entrepreneurs is to believe in yourself and make sure your desire comes from the heart.
Elizabeth Marino- owner of Barefoot Boutique
Elizabeth Marino has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. She got her start owning a gymnastics studio where she sold leotards, leggings, graphic tees, and swim suits for the children who attended the gym classes. She received a great response and even got requests from their parents asking for an adult-friendly line. Marino had a strict “no shoes policy,” at this studio, and the idea of the “Barefoot Boutique” was born.
Marino opened the first Barefoot Boutique at the Ventura Harbor and then expanded to The Collection, which she says is the perfect outdoor shopping environment and brings a sense of community among both shoppers and shop-owners.
“It is challenging to constantly be searching for the newest trends & business ideas – which is part of what I love so much about this field. With all the talented designers and being so close to the largest fashion district in the world, I am constantly surprised at what the ‘next big thing’ will be.”
Jackie Aldridge- Co-Owner of The Barber Shop
To be a female business owner is one thing, being a female business owner in a male- dominated industry is another. A barber, a teacher, and a mentor, Jackie Aldridge is the co-owner of The Collection’s newest addition, The Barber Shop.
After working in multiple corporations teaching and mentoring in the barber industry, Aldridge realized early on she wanted to be in business for herself. She began to build her business at The Barber Shop’s original location in Santa Barbara, where her friend turned co-owner reached out about a partnership and opening their second location, bringing over 20 years of barber experience to The Collection.
Her advice to female entrepreneurs is to find good mentors. “The woman that I previously worked for in Santa Barbara really set the bar for me and showed what it takes to be a successful woman business owner.”
Jen Muller- Franchise owner of European Wax Center
“Trust in yourself and your vision, have a team of trustworthy advisors, hire great people and do what you can to make them happy.” Jen Muller, owner of European Wax Center at The Collection, started out in a career in high-tech where she was eventually laid off. A blessing in disguise, because she met a regional developer in a business program that encouraged her to take the leap into opening a franchise.
Despite the challenges that business owners face every day, European Wax Center participates in many philanthropic efforts. In Muller’s corporation, they are very active in community events and organizations such as Surfrider Foundation and other smaller local non-profits, believing that participation in our community helps to keep us grounded and connected to the people we see every day.
Muller had her eye on joining the team at The Collection since it was in construction. She knew it would be a great place for her business in a prime location, admitting she has never been disappointed with that choice.
“I had, and still have, confidence in my vision and direction.”
A Few More Faces
Other remarkable female entrepreneurs at The Collection include Bobbi Ramirez, owner of Amazing Lash; Lahna Truong, owner of Polish Nail Bar; Bee, owner of Love Pho Café; and Sarah Pritchett, owner of Ragamuffin Coffee Roasters.
About the Collection (TheCollectionRP.com)
The Collection at RiverPark is a 750,000 square foot, open-air specialty retail center located in the heart of West Ventura County. Inspired by the beauty of the California coast, The Collection reflects the unique atmosphere of the surrounding seaside communities. The Collection is built around a town grid of retail streets, each of which has its own personality-a carefully crafted assortment of established and contemporary designer shops, distinctive dining, and signature entertainment venues. Anchors include Target, Century RiverPark 16, REI, Whole Foods Market, H&M, 24-Hour SuperSport and The Container Store. Restaurants include Yard House, Larsen’s Grill, Gen Korean BBQ, Lazy Dog Restaurant & Bar, Maria’s Italian Kitchen and more. Follow us on the web, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram at TheCollectionRP.