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Meet Crystal Early of 3 Women in Long Beach

Today we’d like to introduce you to Crystal Early.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I’ve been selling vintage on the side (as Naked Cowgirl Vintage) for well over a decade while also working full-time at an office job, the whole time dreaming of running my own vintage shop. It wasn’t until the concept of 3 Women came about that things finally started to fall into place. It really felt like the universe had my back because signs, including the number “3”, and confirmations kept appearing and guiding the way. 3Women started in January 2018 as a collaboration between friends, selling vintage clothing together in our permanent spaces at the Rose Bowl Flea Market & Long Beach Antique Market. Just one month later, we opened up a brick and mortar, located in the Easts Arts District of downtown Long Beach.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Before 3 Women, I had already been self-employed for 3 years. I certainly enjoyed the freedom of self-employment but I couldn’t make a living and eventually resigned to going back to the office. Even though I had plenty of experience, I couldn’t find an office job (thank goodness!). Soon after, a little shop on the sunny side of the street became available, and with the encouragement of my dear friend, Stephanie, who owns Peacock & Company- a plant shop across the street, I pursued my dream. My retirement money from the aforementioned office job provided the funds, and I can think of no better way to use that money, though I know it’s considered downright crazy by many business minds.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the 3 Women story. Tell us more about the business.
3Women would not be possible without the help and energy of my friends who consign at the shop, and most notably my business partner Natalie Mumford of Mumzy Vintage, who handles with ease so many of the aspects of running of business of which I’m either indifferent or incapable. She’s our IT Department, for instance. Together, we source, style, photograph, model, and sell our vintage. We’re most fond of wearable antique clothing, but we also appreciate vintage from later eras, as long as it’s beautiful, special, and well-made.

3 Women isn’t just about selling vintage though. We’re about creative collaboration, connectivity, and community. Since, the beginning, we’ve worked with other women in small business. We hired our friend, Yahaira – a jewelry maker & artist, to create our logo based on our company’s ethos. We teamed up with another artist, our friend Ramona, who hand-chain-stitches the slogan “Working Class Women” onto vintage chore jackets that we source. Our logo tees + WCW chore jackets sell out consistently, and I think this is because the message of connectivity and hard work resonates with our customers. During the inception of 3 Women, a scripture was given to me, – “A threefold cord is not easily broken.” We know that our success depends on working with other women, creatively and within the community.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I don’t believe in luck because I want my life to hold more meaning than that. A seemingly “bad” or “unlucky” situation often paves the way for personal discovery, and knowledge of our purpose. When we accept the moment, our purpose shines through, and the universe supports our endeavors. Connecting with others and bringing the light is my purpose, and 3 Women gives me a platform to do this.

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