This past weekend I met up with a friend of mine for lunch and shopping. He’s starting a new business venture so we got together to talk shop. Besides launching new projects myself, I also love talking about entrepreneurism with other business mavericks. This country is full of risk takers with dreams of all sizes, and with the right amount of hard work and luck, their efforts put food on our tables. We don’t always see the endless hours of struggle and agony that go into building a competitive business out of ideas. We hear about success stories and failures after the fact. And until you sign your name on someone’s paycheck, it is impossible to imagine the enormous responsibility that weighs on every business owner’s shoulders. So it’s always quite telling to look these people in the eyes and ask them if, especially in hindsight, they would do it all over again. Particularly after they have failed. From these conversations I would like to start a monthly series called “A Day in My Shoes” (yes, you know I have to work that fashion angle in there somehow). If anything, my hope is that this series will inspire someone who’s on the cusp of following that inner voice to realize their dreams, to take the leap. Or at the very least, it will be more interesting to hear another point of view than just mine. More on that later.
So anyway, my friend and I meet up at Saks on Wilshire then stroll down to Barneys then Chanel and Gucci. Sales are everywhere but business is dismal according to the sales associates. Even in Beverly Hills. After lunch we loiter at the newest Chanel boutique on Robertson and stop by the MAC store and a few other boutiques. There’s a bit of a commotion in front of the Ivy but it turns out to be just some valet parking issues instead of a celebrity/paparazzi showdown. Then we finally make it to the Alexander McQueen store in West Hollywood. We’re both McQueen freaks excited to make our pilgrimage to the store, but we’re curbing our enthusiasm because we’ve heard the staff there is quite snooty. We walk in with our armors on and are pleasantly surprised by their welcome. With my guard down, I fall for a chocolate brown ostrich clutch with a matte gold skull clasp. God save McQueen and my checkbook! We walk out emptyhanded because we know his scarves are 70% off back at Saks.
So that’s basically our day together, nothing exciting from a spectator’s perpective. But I’m blogging about it because it sets up the backdrop for these pictures below. Where we are is on a lovely block on Melrose Place. Here is where you find Oscar de la Renta, Carolina Herrera, Marni, DVF, to name a few. Across the way there’s also the cool Me+Ro space with a very friendly staff. The sidewalks are treelined with uniform white wooden signs bearing the names of the stores:
Beyond the gates are narrow alleys and courtyard entrances:
The large glass windows reveal dark wooden floors and unbelievable crown moldings inside the stores. There is space available for rent. My heart skips a beat. I’d just told my sister last week that I fancied a small boutique cum office space for my next venture in some whimsical location where I could be inspired to bring back wonderful treasures from my travels. Or just a place for me to sketch designs and run some kind of creative business.
In front of this empty office is where my inner voice whispers to me to take the leap. Even if not in this dimension of space then at least of time. This is how sweet dreams begin, with just a glimpse of what could become. The rest is to make them happen while wide awake.