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Meet Sydney Gabel of The Village Cinema in Sherman Oaks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydney Gabel.

Sydney, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started The Village Cinema completely in quarantine. I was finishing my screenplay, Self Made, at the start of quarantine and the character in my screenplay, which is based on a true story, inspired me to take the leap into business. If she could do it, so could I. Something about the isolation made me literally pause and ask myself what I wanted out of my life. I always wanted to start my own business and I thought if not now, when? When am I ever going to have time to focus on something that was completely my own and not be distracted by social obligations or responsibilities. It seemed like the perfect time to try something new. I’m grateful for the opportunity to experiment and start my own business. The Village Cinema is an online boutique shop inspired by the movies.

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?
I don’t think any business is ever a completely smooth road. It’s so new, I’m sure there will be more struggles to come but right now the biggest struggle is whether or not I will be able to maintain the business financially. Managing the amount of money I am putting into the business while not being employed has been difficult. That is why I am taking it easy and starting out small. Spreading the word on social media has been no easy task, either. I try not to get bogged down by all the social media outlets a business owner “has to” be on at the start. It’s just me and my bedroom. I’m only one person I can’t spend five hours a day posting, it’s just not realistic. You never know what is going to stick or not with an audience. As a new business, I am still learning and experimenting with what the consumers want. I think that is a little bit of a struggle because if I think, oh people will love that and buy that item but then a different item is selling better than I thought, it’s paying attention to what they want without breaking down the business.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The Village Cinema is an online boutique shop inspired by movies and television. The items are curated around a certain movie or television show that inspired it. Not everything in the shop is movie and tv related but the collections all have a theme usually rooted in a movie or television show. For example, LA LA LAND is one of my favorite movies and the LA LA LAND collection is first up, I have a little golden star necklace called City of Stars after the hit song in LA LA LAND and a candle that smells like Los Angeles. That is what sets it apart from other online boutique shops. Ideally, the dream is that it becomes a place people go for supplies to for entertaining at home. Obviously, with the current state of society, no one is throwing any parties right now, but when we can do that again, I’m hoping to be a spot that people go for that. I’m most proud of my website design and how I adapted quickly to it. Five months ago, I had no idea how to run an online shop!

What were you like growing up?
Growing up, I was like how I am now, always wanting to play, always filming my little sister and directing her. Quarantine made me feel like a kid again in a magical way. It reminded me of the things I love. I had all this time to play and be creative. I couldn’t go outside to explore the world so I could create other worlds inside with my stories. As a little girl, I loved to entertain others and I still do to this day. That’s why I want to make movies and tell stories. I’m a filmmaker first and foremost, The Village Cinema is a new path on that road of filmmaking. Walt Disney was a filmmaker; then he made theme parks based on his films. I adored it as a child and that curiosity is still in me. My interests haven’t really changed growing up they’ve gotten stronger over the years. If anything getting older has taught me that there are so many more things to try and do than I could’ve ever imagined as a child.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sydney Gabel and Raquel Vasquez

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