Today we’d like to introduce you to Claire Sheridan.
Claire, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
After spending 20 years in retail marketing and research in New York, my husband and I relocated to Los Angeles in July 2014. I had no interest in returning to the corporate world, so I went as far the other way as I could and became a nanny for the most wonderful family with three kids. During that time, I noticed that there was very little eco-friendly shopping in the Valley. To find any depth of selection, I would have to travel to a number of different areas. I began finding brands for myself on my own through research. As the children I was in charge of began to grow, the needs lessened. With the support of the family, it was then that I started to consider possibly opening my own boutique. I began investigating locations and establishing relationships with the brands. After extensive independent research, I found a number of brands I thought might do well here in Los Angeles. Everything, including my plans, came to a screeching halt in March 2020 when COVID arrived. In August 2020, I began to notice that as a result of COVID, many more brands were willing to think outside the box and take a risk on an unestablished entity. Despite the lockdowns and mask mandates, we went ahead and pulled the trigger, moving ahead with Ashling Boutique.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
When we first opened in December 2020, Studio City was a ghost town. We had no grand opening. We quietly opened the door on December 18 and haven’t looked back. There were no vaccinations yet and people had not yet emerged from their safe began cocoons. Additionally, we were unprepared for the onslaught of social media expectations.
Appreciate you sharing that. What else should we know about what you do?
Throughout my entire career as a media marketing specialist, I was a leader in strategic planning and was always called upon for solutions. To that end, my primary focus is customer satisfaction. I am all about relevancy. I am proud of my solutions-oriented approach. I adapt to my customers and consider their specific needs when I am exploring new inventory. I enjoy forming relationships and supporting local artisans. I accommodate my customers ever-changing needs, be it zoom calls, off-hour access to the store, tailoring, or deliveries. Having grown up in a family of restaurant owners, I do not underestimate the significance and importance of excellent customer service.
Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Obviously, I love taking risks! I opened a new retail establishment during a global pandemic. I embrace risk-taking!
- Email: email@example.com
- Website: ashlingboutique.com
- Instagram: @ashling_boutique