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Meet Sandy Friedman of Capezio Dance Shop in San Fernando Valley

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sandy Friedman.

Sandy, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
It was a time in my life when I knew I would have to leave the kitchen and support my family on my own. It was then I realized two things, one, the work I did at home, balancing checkbooks, scheduling, organizing, could all be translated into business skills, and two, my daughter had been a ballerina, at that time, for eight years, and there was nowhere in the Valley to get her dance supplies. That’s when her teacher, Sheila Rozann and my good friend Vinni Hutner encouraged me to go into business.

In the beginning, I worked practically for free, visiting studios, passing out business cards, doing whatever I could to get my new business off the ground. I, then partnered with Capezio (Ballet Makers) for 12 years until finally we set out on our own. This allowed us the freedom to carry product from various manufacturers and provide for local studio needs, while still remaining a small family owned business. Mine’s not a story of overnight success or striking it big, but a story of keeping food on the table for my family and helping fill a local need. It’s a story to say, that you can make your own experience. We’ve been in business now for 43 years and something I can be proud of.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s not always been a smooth road. I started from a place of inexperience and had to find my own path. Then there was fierce brick and mortar competition, followed by fierce online competition, but we believe in providing a service and I think our longevity hopefully speaks for itself.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Capezio Dance Shop – what should we know?
We’re a family owned business that has been serving dancers in the San Fernando Valley since 1973. We carry many name brand shoes and dancewear for all levels of dancers from beginner to professional, from toddler to adult. We also offer professional pointe shoe fittings and insist on spending quality time with each dancer to ensure they receive the absolute best fit, while making it an experience they can remember. Another thing I’ve always insisted on is treating my employees with respect, like I would want to be treated myself. This creates a good company moral, which results in employee longevity, and therefore more experienced, intelligent employees for quality customer service. One thing I’m most proud of, however, is our annual dance event called “Capezio Dance Day” where we invite local dance studios to perform on stage and have huge sales and refreshments back at the store! Admission and participation are both completely free. It is a tradition spanning three decades and our thank you to dancers and way of bringing the dance community closer together. This year’s dance day will be held Sunday, March 26th, with the store opening at 1p.m. and performances at the Madrid Theatre beginning at 2p.m. Over 230 dancers graced the stage last year and even more are expected this year! It’s truly a wonderful community celebration of dance that I’m very grateful to get to host.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
That’s a tough question, I can list 100 people that have been supportive of me over the years, from friends and employees, to, of course, my children. Too hard to single anyone out, but I thank them all.

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Image Credit:
(Personal Photo) Owner, Sandy Friedman caught hard at work loving on her other favorite thing, dogs
(Older photo) Dana Notario, Juliet Prowse, and Sandy Friedman for National Dance Week
(Group Dance Photo) “You Can’t Stop the Beat” Elite Performing Arts Center on stage for Capezio Dance Day!

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