This week’s guest is Jenny Livits, the founder of Pink Lagoon, a boutique located in Solana Beach, California, and Wardrobe Design and Styling by Jenny Livits, a holistic personal styling business that helps teach women that styling is a journey of self-exploration and learning to radiate beauty and confidence from the inside out. Michelle & Jenny discuss how the Pink Lagoon stylist program works, the principle behind the program and how by creating a solid foundation of basic pieces – from a great white tee to the perfect skinny jean to an essential black dress – Pink Lagoon helps clients create a well-edited wardrobe that allows your closet to constantly evolve.
Jenny is also the host of the Style & Soul podcast and when she isn't busy with her multiple business ventures, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two girls.
Website: Pink Lagoon
Website: Wardrobe Design & Styling Services
Michelle: Hey there. I'm Michelle Sherrier and this is the Retail Whore Podcast, The Stories and Lessons from a Life of Retail.
Michelle: Hello, guys. It's 20, 22. Praise God, we closed out 2021. You know, I'm not going to lie. I thought 2020 was kind of rough. 2021 seemed like it was actually more challenging, probably because we'd already gone through the total shock of the pandemic and now the new lifestyle changes and masks and restrictions and blah, blah, blah. 2021 became the reality of that. Those those things were becoming a reality. And they still, to be honest, sound like they're going to be a reality for a little while. But I am so happy to say goodbye to 2021 and hello, 2022. We have so many fun things coming up for the retail podcast, all brand new interviews. We are crossing the bridges of apparel and gift and home stores, starting with today's interview with Jenny Levitz. She and I figured out that we were together 20 plus years ago at Fred Segal at a place called Fred Segal, friend for Jackie and Christie. And she has gone on to open her own successful store in Solana Beach, which is in the San Diego area. And she developed a styling program for women to help build their wardrobes. And if you've never worked with a stylist, you you are missing out. They are your best friend. They are the reality check. They are your therapist, all kind of wrapped in one. Jenny goes into people's houses, she edits their wardrobes, and then she starts bringing in wardrobe staples that will carry you through. And they're not based on trend. They are staples that are fashion that are meant to for the long haul. Jenny successfully balances life with two girls at home and a husband, her Pink Lagoon store and her styling business. So without further ado, here's my interview with Jenny Levitz of Pink Lagoon. Hi, Jenny. Welcome to the Retail Horror Podcast.
Jenny: Hi, Michelle. Thanks for having me.
Michelle: I am so excited. I am so excited. So I have to tell everyone a little back story before you. We ask you about you and I work together, Fred SIEGEL. Please remind me the year, because I. I cannot remember which store you worked in or what year it was.
Jenny: So I worked in Fred Segal fun. Okay.
Michelle: And I want to say, you are also working at Fred Segal. I know you were merchandising for for Fred Segal fun.
Jenny: And it was at.
Michelle: Least. Gosh, okay, this is really going to age me. But it had to have been 20 years ago because I want maybe it was like.
Jenny: 18. Years ago because I know it was around when I got married and I was like 23 at the time and I'm 40, almost 43. So it's about 20 years, Michelle.
Michelle: Okay. Because I could not I could not put two together. And then when I ran into your store the first time, it was like, so great to see you. And then fast forward, I ran to you again ten years later and I didn't even remember. My husband remembers, like your friends down here. I'm like, what friend?
Michelle: So that's what happens when you get old. You can't remember shit.
Jenny: It's so funny. Yeah. Yeah.
Michelle: So tell everybody a little about yourself and your brand.
Jenny: Okay, well, my name is Jenny Lovitz and my brand my store is Pink.
Jenny: Lagoon. In Solana Beach, California. And I also have a styling agency, wardrobe design and styling by Jenny Lovitz. And really, the store is about. Teaching. Women how to build a wardrobe for their lifestyle. So we're really into having. Core pieces like we don't do really super trendy. It's really about like staples, wardrobe staples. And. Teaching women to have their wardrobes evolve season to season. We also have a lot of beautiful fine jewelry and in a lot of ways it's like a little mini Fred Seagull.
Michelle: I keep watching your stories and I'm dying on the diamonds and. Oh, so so tell me tell me this is this is what I'm really like. Super interesting is how did you make the jump from take me from Fred Segal tell were you a stylist before the store or do the styling follow after.
Jenny: So Fred Segal was such a. Great. It was such a great study. I was so young. I loved retail. I had worked in retail even before Fred Segal and loved it. And.
Jenny: Kind of always had that dream like I'm an open a store one day. I just like it really didn't feel like work. Like I loved going to work. I loved everything about it from.
Jenny: Like the people, the the team. The clientele, the merchandising, the buying. Like just how every day is so different when you own a store and you're always meeting people and it's just very dynamic. But yeah, I worked at Fred Segal. I had some other jobs after that. I worked at a high end timepiece store in Beverly Hills that I ran and. Where did I go after that? I worked for I ran a store. It was called Tallulah G.
Michelle: And I remember that, yeah.
Jenny: Did you ever see me there, too?
Jenny: Oh, you did.
Michelle: I totally forgot what I thought just now.
Jenny: Yeah, we kept running into each other. It's not funny. We just kind of stayed in touch or we just ran into each other. I don't even remember how it happened, but. Yeah, and then I got pregnant. I was there for a few years and I really did love that job also. But it was just getting to that point where I was like, I really need to be my own boss. Like, I want to do things my own way. It's not that I didn't like working for other people, but I had just such an idea of how I wanted to do things differently and needed to have that sort of creative freedom. And because I was pregnant, I was like kind of ready to move back to where I was from, which is San Diego. And after all the experience that I had, I was kind of like ready to bring that to San Diego, like a new vision. And that's what I did. So I opened my. Store when I was.
Michelle: 20. A baby already when been pregnant.
Jenny: When I was pregnant with my first daughter. Wow. And I opened the store at 20. I was 28 years old. I opened it a month. I opened it like two months before I gave birth.
Michelle: Oh, my God, Jenny.
I know. It was pretty crazy.
Michelle: I have so many questions about that. Like, how how do you open a store, brand new store, and how do you do this now with a brand new baby? I mean, like you must have had a great staff that you trusted because obviously you weren't coming in or.
Jenny: I did have I did. Have good people. I've always had some good people in and out. And I've also had some not so good people in and out. But but I yeah.
I don't know. That's part of the brilliant part about like.
Jenny: Being young.
And like naive and just kind of going for.
Jenny: It, you know what I.
Jenny: Mean? Like, I don't know. I would certainly not advise it or do it.
Jenny: Again, but I'm. Glad it happened that way. Because.
Jenny: It worked out.
Jenny: It just and I had yeah. And I was, I had someone that was like I trusted and that was running the store at the time. And I honestly didn't take much of a maternity leave. I mean, I was back. At things pretty quickly, like within. A month. Wow. Yeah, I know. So, I mean.
Michelle: It's so funny. Everyone says I mean, I've had so many women say I wouldn't advise it. I have no idea how I did it. Like I was Samantha, who used to work me at Anthropologie. I had her on and so she was Anthro still doing Anthro hours like five in the morning until whatever time driving from Riverside. And then she started a company on her own where she's picking up it's placenta encapsulation. So she's like in the middle of the night getting phone calls and driving to a hospital and picking up placenta and then driving. And I'm like, How do you do it? She goes, I have no idea how there's something about women's hustle that that drive to succeed and that drive to get it done. You just motor through it. And I think years later you sit back and go, I have no idea how I did that.
Jenny: Exactly. It's exactly Michelle. That's exactly what happened. And I also think there's a little bit of like becoming.
Jenny: A mom did.
Jenny: It to me, too. Like, I just was like, I've got to figure this out for my daughter.
Jenny: And for our.
Jenny: Family. And like that I wanted to have that independence. And while in the beginning it didn't really feel like I had independence because you are working so much, I knew I was building something that.
Jenny: Was going to give me that in the future.
Michelle: I love that you're in the same space and it's like to see you ten years later in the store is like that's like always a huge marker for me because a lot of people open stores and you never know. And it's like, I loved seeing you and seeing the stores there. And it's like, tell me a little bit about how the stylist program in your store kind of evolved.
Jenny: Yeah, I think that's an interesting story because.
Jenny: We opened the store in.
Jenny: I think it was it was 2007.
Jenny: Really like what was it a year later was that whole economic crash.
Jenny: Of like 2008. Yeah. And we were.
Jenny: So we weren't, we were just a new store, so we were not growing exponentially, but we were growing slowly. I was pleased. But we the way I bought for the store was very was very directed towards like having a wardrobe. So basics outerwear, good denim, great jewelry, loungewear, like all the sort of fundamentals to like a co wardrobe workwear for women. So just like all those kind of pieces. And so, you know, through doing that, I started to like really have this discussion with my clients about just like building a wardrobe. And it felt really timely because people didn't want to be so excessive. Like when you and I were at Fred Segal, that was like during.
Jenny: The crazy.
Jenny: Like the juicy era and it was like and the at Hardie era and it was like there was just so much excess and the way everyone was spending and like it was a great time for retailers. But I don't like I think we were, we were turning a corner and when I opened my store, it was like things started to slow down. A lot of people went out of business during that 2008 time. And I think. I think it was like because I was really focusing on being super mindful with the consuming clients, really loved it. And so I really built my styling agency because I was starting to go into people's closets, clean them out, really advise them on what the next pieces were for them to be acquiring. And it was almost like paid research for me to as a buyer for my store. And it really just grew from there. And and it's a big part of my business now is that is is my is my styling work. And I really do think it's like the core like the core of what why Pink Lagoon is so successful is because I'm really buying for like. My my main clientele.
Jenny: And then always.
Jenny: The new person can find, like a fresh wardrobe. It's not trend. It's not like fast fashion. It's really wardrobe driven so that people feel like they're mindfully consuming pieces.
Michelle: I love that you carry the farm. I bought the floor length Rainbow One with the big wide arms. I've yet to wear it yet like I love that line. Tell me about some of your favorite lines that are in the store right now and trends as well.
Jenny: Well, I love.
Jenny: I like the firm rail line that was new. The season is very colorful. So that's like a fun pop line of like fun color. But I'm really loving, like Maria Cornejo. I don't know if you remember that line out of New York. I just.
Jenny: It's just so classic some of those pieces. But then I love Ulla Johnson, which is like a total departure from that, which is more bohemian, and you can just get some really.
Jenny: Great pieces there.
Jenny: And that's the thing. As far as trends, I'm not like a big trend person. I like while I know there's always trends like that's not how I buy for the store. I'm much more like looks driven. So like we have great cashmere lines right now. I'm like this one designer, harden and jumper. One, two, three, four. I mean, we have so many great sweater lines. Autumn cashmere.
Jenny: You remember gosh.
Jenny: We have so many.
Michelle: Equipment. Equipment. Still one of my favorite stock lines.
Jenny: We don't have.
Jenny: Carried equipment before in the past. I don't carry equipment right now. But we have like Frank and Eileen, which I love, all of their beautiful button.
Jenny: Up citizen jeans.
Jenny: And then we have a really an amazing assortment of fine jewelry designers that are really unique and more artisan. So it's not like you can find them anywhere, everywhere. I kind of steer away from like department store brands for the most part.
Jenny: So that there's a little more.
Jenny: Unique specialness to the brands that we are carrying. But again, I'm I'm really focused on like the wardrobe thing so that we have it's really more pieces and how they're creating looks. That's really what I think sets Pink.
Jenny: Lagoon apart from other boutiques.
Michelle: How has the price points changed from you open during the crash? I mean, how have your price points changed as you've gone on now? Because obviously if you're selling diamonds, you're not like you know, you're not like it's not like so fourth quarter items aren't like so out there that you haven't.
Jenny: Yeah. I'm not like I've always mixed pricepoint because I always think that high and low makes such a great combination, like whether you're doing high in your jewelry and your accessories, but you're kind of keeping everything else pretty low or mid range. So honestly, Michelle, I have such a range like, you know, we're carrying anything being right now there could be like a couple of hundred dollars. I mean, we're high end boutique, but.
Jenny: Also have like a private label line that I'm doing in the store. So, I mean, you can find something for 100 to. You know, 15,000 in the jewellery department. But clothing, I really don't do more than like 1500.
Michelle: Tell me about your private label line. I had no idea you were doing a private label.
Jenny: Well, I just started to like I started that. So I'm just kind of shopping pieces that I think are like great additions. And it's called Love by Pink Lagoon. And it's just like, again, it's just wardrobe staple type of items that we're integrating into the store.
Michelle: So when you tell people, because most of I mean, we have some apparel people, but most of my retailers are gifts at home. So when you say wardrobe staples, for all the women who are listening to this, tell talk to me and talk to them about what is your frame of a wardrobe staple?
Jenny: So wardrobe staple would be sort of like like what are the say, 100 items every woman should have in their closet. So it's like, you know, a wardrobe staple. So like a great pair of jeans, a great maybe it's a leather jacket or a blazer or amazing like duster. And maybe it's like a novelty t shirt, an amazing white dress, black dress dresses like. Those are kind of basics like so many people don't have, like.
Jenny: Great t shirts.
Jenny: Or fashion basics is what I like to call them when people don't have like, even just like.
Jenny: Cool t.
Jenny: Shirts that have some shape that aren't just necessarily a tank top or a t shirt. So those are sort of like your wardrobe staples. So everyone, like all women sort of need that base wardrobe and then they can kind of find their own style and personality within that.
Jenny: And past that.
Michelle: So people hiring you, how does it work? I mean, it is when they come. I mean, how can I listen to your interview with your best friend today and how she met you? Tell me about how how most of your clients find you and how what is a day look like working with you?
Jenny: Well, right now I do programs so people can hire me. They can go to work by Jenny Levitsky and just like send in interest. And I usually start by doing a consultation and I like look at their closet and then I have a long questionnaire that I go through to just really get to know the person and like what they're needing help and what their, what they're really like looking for style wise and.
Jenny: Of really honestly. Michelle Like what they're wanting to happen in their lives because that's what I ultimately love helping women do is like figure out how to dress in a way that's giving them more confidence, making them feel.
Jenny: Authentically themselves, and.
Jenny: Dressing like their neighbor or, you know, the celebrity or the person that they aren't even living their life for. It's like really being like living their life like you are someone who's so active.
Jenny: Running around like you're always doing stuff. So you're not going to be wearing like a, like a full on like work, dress, work, right? Like you're in jeans and t shirts and comfy stuff that you can move in. So, you know, so just really getting to know people so that like we're buying things that make sense for their lifestyle. And so yeah, that's what I do, that's the consultation and just getting to know them. And then from there I start by we set dates for editing.
Jenny: We edit every single item and it's really through that editing process that I discover what someone's really missing and like the holes and the gaps in their wardrobe. And then from.
Jenny: I start shopping and like piecing it together. But the reason I do like these longer programs.
Jenny: Because people, it's, it's a transformation. And there's people need time to kind of step in. And it's not a one time. It's like not a quick fix. You know, I don't want people.
Jenny: To shop.
Jenny: Within one season and not the entire wardrobe. I usually want them to hit like spring, summer, fall, winter, like, and.
Jenny: Have the.
Jenny: Pieces that make it a little more fleshed out of a wardrobe so it has some.
Michelle: Have you had because I can already picture myself going through this process and you nailed it on the head. Literally. All I wear, Jenny, is leggings and sweatshirts and tennis shoes, unfortunately, because yeah, I'm standing on my feet all day and I'm on a ladder. And when I do get dressed up, it's more I guess it changes, but it feels more bohemian. It's like it is where my comfort level is. But I mean, I look at my wardrobe and it's like, holy. Like, I often wonder if people get in there and like, you start editing and I'm guessing kind of like somebody that loves things even though you never wear it. Do you have people like, do you actually throw it out and like, okay, this is going into a Salvation Army bag and this is going to. What do you have? No, no, no. Please. Please don't take that. Do you have those moments?
Jenny: Yeah. I mean, yeah, we do.
Jenny: Like, I mean, I'm super direct and honest. If I don't think something's right for the person, I'm going to tell them. But if they love it and they like really, really love it, then they can keep it, you know? I don't want it to be like a negative experience. I want them to feel comfortable. But most people who hire me are usually ready for, like, a change in some way, so. Yeah, but I'm happy to have, like, a little bit of healthy disagreements about what people should keep and not keep.
Michelle: Yeah, I have those discussions with people in stores, and I want to keep you, like.
Jenny: The same thing. It's just. It's just like an editing and getting down to like what's really what really is like a curated wardrobe for them. Just like you're creating these beautiful merchandising vignettes and experiences like the closet can be such an overwhelming place for women and shopping can be so overwhelming for women and intimidating, too, and they don't know where to store. And so it's it's wonderful.
Jenny: That Pink.
Jenny: Lagoon has become such a place where women can really go and feel like it's a one stop shop. They can go at their own pace, and they know that when they're buying pieces there, that they're really curating a wardrobe season to season. Because I also buy, in a way, season to season that things are kind of working back to each other, just like a designer would do within like a collection. That's kind of how I envision the.
Speaker2: Store being.
Jenny: All the time is just like this element. And the thing is, is.
Jenny: There's people have been shopping with me for the 14 years we've been open and we continue to evolve. And they're now maybe not as buying quite as much, but maybe they're buying those more special pieces season after season. So it just it takes time. And women need to, like, allow themselves.
Jenny: Invest in themselves a little bit here and go slow with it and do what feels good and and allow themselves to change. Like, there's no like I'm not trusting how I did when I was working at Fred Segal. And, you know, things change. We change and like being a little more gentle about like what that looks like for all of us as we get older, as our bodies.
Michelle: I bet.
Jenny: That's changed.
Michelle: It seems like you are part therapist and part personal shopper and part D hoarding.
Jenny: You nailed it. All of it. Yeah. And you know what's so funny, Michel, is both my parents are psychologists, so.
Michelle: Oh, my God, really? That's phenomenal. So, I mean, I think any I mean, I know with my clients, like, I'm I'm friends with them. Like, I know, but they're part of their families and it's it's it's definitely and when you have those hard conversations of, like, my, my thing, I step on a soapbox is like, get rid of the plastic risers. Like I can't even and I've had to have several conversations like, look, I'm not going to lie like I hate these things. And if you want to use them, you're going to have to bring them out after I leave. And I love using that.
Jenny: And I mean, to be honest with you, like I just worked with an organizer at my house and it's just super refreshing sometimes to have a fresh set of eyes go into your space and see.
Jenny: Differently than you would have, or to like bring some fresh ideas. Like, I'm not a professional organizer, I'm very good in closets and I know the style piece and I know fashion and I.
Jenny: Like what people are missing. And I'm extremely intuitive with people about that. And I can kind of read into their lives and what they want and then see things for them that they wouldn't see. But it's like so amazing when someone else does that for you. So you're doing the same thing for people in their stores merchandising wise. Like it feels so good to be helped in these areas of our lives. And you know, as long as you're attracting clients and customers who really value it, then it's just wonderful.
Jenny: I think.
Michelle: What is the biggest challenge that you find when you work with people.
Jenny: In the store.
Jenny: Or one like one on one in my styling business?
Michelle: Well, let's start with the store.
Jenny: Her biggest.
Jenny: Challenge in the.
Jenny: Store with.
Jenny: With like just being a shop.
Michelle: Well I guess to talk about so with the store because you're balancing two different two different jobs and wearing two different hats. So I guess the question would be is what is the biggest challenge you have in in on a day to day running both of them and wearing both hats? Because I'm assuming that you're not always based out of the store.
Jenny: Yeah, no, I'm not. I mean, I'm really not in the store so much. I think that you just said exactly what the challenge is. The challenge is doing all of the things. So I'm really reliant on having.
Jenny: People. So. Reporting me. So when that's not happening, my life looks a lot different when I don't have the right people supporting me. But when I do, it's it's wonderful. Like, I.
Jenny: Feel like.
Jenny: I can manage it all. And right now we have I have a really good people supporting me, so that's really good. But I think it's just taken me a long time to figure out what, what support I need. And I think that's what other store owners really have to figure out for themselves is like, what is it.
Jenny: That like you're.
Jenny: Really good at and like you can't replace yourself doing and then fill those gaps.
Jenny: With the support you.
Jenny: Around that?
Jenny: And I didn't always do that in running my business like I allowed other people to sort of do the job that I was doing, even though I was the one who should have been doing it. And then I was wearing other hats within the business. So I think the hardest part is just really figuring out.
Jenny: Like where you are most.
Jenny: Valuable in your business and then getting the support you need around.
Michelle: That. That's amazing advice because I think a lot of owners try to do it all.
Michelle: I think there's a lot of ego involved and they don't want to give up control. And you know, I've had several people on here and their advice is always so good. Is it train them to not go anywhere, but also train them and give them the tools. So if they do go somewhere else, they have the tools. But that that will actually keep them longer.
Michelle: And investing in the employee and all that does is I think has helped the owner. But I think it's I think a lot of owners really have a hard time giving up that control.
Jenny: And I think, you know, I think I always had right hand people from the beginning and maybe I didn't make as much money because I always did that, but I always wanted the support so that I could.
Jenny: You know.
Jenny: Continue to grow in other areas of the business. I wouldn't be able to have the styling business if I was. So.
Jenny: You know.
Jenny: I have to do everything at the store, too. There's just no way. It's not possible. It's not possible for me to be 100 places at the same time.
Michelle: Because you have two daughters and a husband as.
Jenny: Yeah, exactly. It's not. Yeah. So really hiring up and hiring the right people to support you in the right areas.
Michelle: So where with everything that you're doing, where do you and how do you find balance? Oh, because I saw you were at that amazing yoga retreat.
Jenny: And I know I'm a huge.
Jenny: Like I.
Jenny: Just I.
Jenny: I think so. I don't remember how many years ago, but I did have like, like a burnout point in my business at one point.
Jenny: And through that.
Jenny: Experience, I.
Jenny: Really learned that I have to take care of myself.
Michelle: The the burnout, I think, is, is the number one thing that people owners go through. And I know I mean, I'll be honest, like right now, I'm this is the closest to burnout I've been in. And I think that's the reason why I'll ask people all the time is like, how do you find balance? And like I said when I was following your Instagram and I'm watching this beautiful yoga retreat that's at this point right now where I am, because I've been going at this pace since I want to say March. October is usually slow for me and it's somehow during COVID, it became the busiest month. So now where I would have that October two kind of lesson, we got married, there's like that little bit of dip and it's right before holiday set up start and like kind of I didn't have that this year and it's literally been balls to the wall for months. And now I'm like, I've two or three more big jobs and it's like, it'll take me to the end of the beginning of like the middle of March. And I just keep watching, like people like the yoga places and, you know, my algorithm all sudden is like throwing up every single yoga.
Jenny: Yoga was doing you. It's calling you. You know, I host a retreat also in May. It's like the weekend before Mother's Day. I do a lifestyle retreat where I teach a little bit more of the like like I teach a lot about like it's personal style, but it's more like the things we need to do to feel good from within. It's not just about. So yeah, I don't know. I think it's my whole business journey. Michelle The whole entrepreneurial, entrepreneurial journey. You know, you hit so many walls and ups and downs and it's not all like all looks so pretty. And I get that. But it takes a lot of self.
Jenny: Work to like be.
Jenny: Happy and to keep, you know, to keep.
Jenny: It. And so when I hit that burnout point, it was over.
Jenny: It was probably in.
Jenny: My fourth or fifth year in business. Like I shifted, I started to like dedicate myself to like annual retreat. And I started doing a lot of like reading like Gaby Bernstein and other like great reading. And I just started to like, just take better care of myself and prioritize that and to be honest with you, like, and then really just like attracting the right types of people into my life and that were really supporting me and that weren't like an additional burden or a responsibility. And, but it's taken so long. I mean, I'm still on it. I've come so far, but I prioritize like.
Jenny: My, my.
Jenny: Mental, spiritual.
Michelle: Health. I think that's so the the book, the reading is like every morning I'll get up and I do a gratitude list and I've got to get back on it because I was reading ten pages a day of whatever book and I'm sitting here looking at this giant stack of books that I've collected, and it I find between meditation, the gratitude list and that reading it grounds me in the morning and it like it, it gives me such a good platform to be able to step off and let go and deal with whatever is going to come up in the day. But it's so bad because it falls aside soon as my hour, I mean, once overnight start, everything falls aside because it's, you know, there's no getting up an hour earlier before that because it's already I'm getting up at midnight. I'm like, so I'm so looking forward to like now I'm kind of local. I'm so looking forward to putting that practice. So it's like, you know, I always look at yourself and some other people and kind of follow what I love asking that question because I love to hear like how women in business that are just hustlers and are grinding 24 seven like and you have kids and a husband and it doesn't just end when you get home. I mean, there's a whole other.
Jenny: Side of work.
Michelle: When you get there.
Jenny: It's like I.
Michelle: Always I love to hear everyone's answer so that tell me about the retreat, because I didn't realize you host your own retreat.
Jenny: Yeah, it's it's an amazing retreat. It's been cancelled for two years because of COVID. So I'm so excited. We have two spots left. It's in Saint George, Utah, at the Red Mountain Resort and Spa. And we hike every morning. We you can do those exercise classes, yoga, delicious food, like three meals a day. And then I teach like lifestyle wellness classes during it. And I'm going to be leading meditation daily.
Jenny: Teaching meditation.
Jenny: And yeah, I just.
Jenny: I mean, retreating is so like near and dear to my heart because when, when that burnout situation happened, I made that commitment to going on retreat once a year. And, and it really changed my life, like, like going on retreat once a year and just carving that time because it's so different than going on a vacation with your husband or your family because it's like it's your time. It's like self reflection time. It's sort of like this touch base with yourself, like of what happened that.
Jenny: This year, what have you, what's changed? Like, what are you?
Jenny: What are some new goals? What are some new intentions? What what do you want to let go of? What do you want to bring in? Like there's so much that you can kind of reconnect with yourself and that stillness and that quiet time and just being with other like minded women is so empowering.
Jenny: And being.
Jenny: In nature. It's just it's such an important thing for I think women to do is to just like have their time because because like you said, it's so busy. Retail alone is just a busy industry. I mean, COVID has been somewhat of a blessing for a lot of US retailers because it's.
Jenny: Now and it got us off the hamster wheel in a.
Jenny: Is the travel and then the shows and the like. I haven't gone to a market in over two years. I've gone up to LA a few times and that's fine, but I'm doing much more of this Zoom stuff. I just it changed the game and it's like in so in so many ways it's so much healthier. I'm not saying I won't ever go to New York again, but right now I don't need to. And it's just nice to.
Jenny: Some of that breathing space again.
Jenny: To really.
Jenny: Design the business and the life and the work a little more tailored to myself and like what.
Jenny: I need. And, and.
Jenny: You know, we kind of just keep doing the same thing over and over again and.
Jenny: And even.
Jenny: Even when it doesn't feel good.
Michelle: I. You brought up COVID and I hate asking the question, but tell me a little bit about just because you brought it up how? I mean, for COVID, for me, I'm not going to lie like it's the first time that I've had that much time off ever. It was amazing and it was horrifying at the same time, but mostly amazing. How with your store. San Diego, like everywhere else, shut down completely. Like how were you still having? Because I know a lot of like stores here that I'm friends with. Like, they were, like, going live right away. I mean, they pivoted so fast that there was not a lot of skip and business. And I see you go live a lot or I don't know if it's live, but I see you on Instagram all the time showing like new receipts and whatnot. Did you did that start during COVID or is it you always done it? And how did you kind of pivot?
Jenny: I'm like, no, I did not have to get on.
Michelle: If you're great at it. And I think it's like honestly, like I think so many businesses that has changed the way. I mean, you haven't been to market. Yeah. I mean have you been you don't do magic because it's like it's fast. So magic. I've been I've still been going so magic. The part of the industry that has changed, which is so crazy to me to watch, is that there's a whole group of Instagram web sales, whatever, live sales. They're in the booth, light ring on filming, like they're going through the rack and they're talking about it. Retail pricing, you know, this is blah, blah, blah. And they're like, okay, we'll take ten packs of that. I mean, they're they're literally writing the order as they're standing in the booth. It's crazy. Jenny, I've never. It's it is totally changed, totally way people are doing business now.
Jenny: So and how people are consuming, how people are shopping, it's wild.
Michelle: I mean, I was like, I can't even imagine being able to keep up with that that talk about hamster wheel but but how did you when everything shut down, how were you able to pivot? Like how quickly?
Jenny: The first thing that happened was we all went remote.
Jenny: Which was.
Jenny: Kind of major and we launched our online store. That was the first step. So I spent those first.
Jenny: Weeks like.
Jenny: Literally I was the model I tried on every single item in the store. Lindsay, who's my right hand girl, was at home and we were getting everything online.
Jenny: It was like it was intense, it was crazy. But like, we were like we I'm like I have a I have hundreds of thousands of dollars in the store that need.
Jenny: Be sold. So we got to get the stuff online. And then we actually really just got creative. And I'm so lucky for the loyal clientele that we have. We started doing this dressing room to door concept, which is something we sort of always did for like more of.
Jenny: Our like.
Jenny: Main clients. But it was.
Jenny: Like we would.
Jenny: Drop off like curated dressing rooms. So we called it dressing room to door. So we would just like leave stuff, let them try it on, pick it up and then ring them up at the store. We were doing that a lot. I had one of my employees was helping me through that, and so we were just kind of like hustling and just kind of getting it where we could. And yes, our business definitely wasn't like what it was, but we were, you know.
Jenny: We were.
Jenny: Getting by. We definitely we had to downsize, we had to trim.
Jenny: You know, like.
Jenny: You, like you, COVID was a really.
Jenny: Sort of eye opening for me. Like, it really like taught me a lot about like what I really wanted for my business in this next stage of my life. And I think that that's what COVID has taught a lot of us, just like it slowed us all down enough to sort of reassess things.
Jenny: And so.
Jenny: That, like, I'm super grateful.
Jenny: Like, it's, it's more.
Jenny: My business is more manageable the way it is now with like a smaller team. Like I'm back to my original footprint. I had a bigger square footage. So it's just, you know, there's just been a lot of in the 14 years of owning this business, there's been, you know.
Jenny: And then, you know, I don't.
Jenny: Want what's opposite word of expansion.
Jenny: Like in Plano.
Michelle: And I'm.
Jenny: Like, so I mean.
Jenny: Downsizing. So you've been downsizing.
Speaker3: And, you know, and all the while, you know, you're you're growing in different areas. So I think that's something that I've always really been good at, is just pivoting and figuring out what's next and where I want to focus my energy next. And and now it's really just making sure that that all. Feels in alignment with what's happening for me in my personal life too. Like what's happening with my family, my kids, my life, not me doing these things to please everyone that I'm supporting like on my team or, you know, because that is sort of my natural.
Speaker2: Sort of characters to.
Speaker3: Like people please and do everything for everyone else.
Speaker2: And like it's a.
Speaker3: Really hard thing to break free of and.
Speaker3: And, you know, it's it's tough, you know, it's tough to be someone who, like, is like, naturally like that. But I'm also think that like, this business has been such an amazing like teacher for me because it's helped me like really come into myself and figure out who I am, what I want. And, and because of that, I've been able to, like, really help a lot of other women.
Speaker1: I love that it's you really are kind of a therapist.
Speaker2: I know.
Speaker1: Where do you find inspiration?
Speaker3: I really do. I really love to travel. I think traveling and getting.
Speaker3: Is just being out, like even at a restaurant or anywhere. But I love going to like a new city or a new place, nature. I love to be outside. I think that's where I get most of my inspiration and just people.
Speaker2: Like like.
Speaker3: Just interacting and.
Speaker2: Seeing people.
Speaker3: But fashion wise and like what's going on. I'm just really I'm just a very observant person. I was out to dinner with friends the other day and it was like, I've always been this way. My mom would say the same thing, like I would just like notice so many details. And that's even like when I'm in a really great hotel or someone's home, it's just like I'm just very connected to, like.
Speaker2: My, my surroundings and.
Speaker3: Aesthetics and like how things make me.
Speaker3: So I think I get a lot of inspiration.
Speaker2: From just.
Speaker2: Around me.
Speaker1: I love that. This is one of the last questions. Where do you see yourself in ten years?
Speaker2: The. I.
Speaker3: Gosh. How old will I be in ten years?
Speaker1: You'll be my age.
Speaker2: No, I don't know that.
Speaker3: I see myself, like, so much different than where.
Speaker2: I'm where I am. Like, I.
Speaker3: I am working on, like, a little secret project right now, so hopefully that is.
Speaker2: You know.
Speaker3: Really blowing up. But I just can see myself like. Continuing to.
Speaker2: And to still be.
Speaker3: In balance in my.
Speaker2: Life. And. Yeah.
Speaker3: Like, and just as long as I'm happy and enjoying my life, I don't, like, see that things need to be too different. I mean, yeah, in ten years, I don't know. Like, do I still own Pink Lagoon?
Speaker2: Have I moved.
Speaker3: On? It's really hard to even think about that because I love it so much. It's like my.
Speaker2: Baby. But yeah, I.
Speaker3: I think I'll still.
Speaker3: Here. My kids will be a lot older, so I'm.
Speaker2: Sure I'll be.
Speaker3: Visiting them wherever they.
Speaker1: How old are your daughters now?
Speaker3: Eight and 14.
Speaker1: So it's so hard.
Speaker2: To me for.
Speaker3: An 18.
Speaker3: I've got like I still got about ten years with my little one, so I'm still kind of locked in here.
Speaker2: For a little bit longer. But you know.
Speaker3: What? Who freaking knows Michelle? Like we could have never predicted the last two years.
Speaker2: Yeah. So to.
Speaker3: Really think about where I would be in ten years is.
Speaker2: Like, really hard.
Speaker1: Where I know the show seasons are coming up. Do you have what shows are you going to attend.
Speaker1: Because do you do which shows what shows did you do before and.
Speaker3: I would sometimes I would go to coterie and in New York twice a year and I would go to like appointments in the city when I was there. And then I go to L.A. Market. Mostly, and that's pretty much it. And then honestly, I have a lot of road appointments.
Speaker3: Vendors that I work with now remotely.
Speaker2: So we've, you know.
Speaker3: When there's like a new brand I want, I kind of go after that one specifically.
Speaker2: And so yeah, I.
Speaker3: Think, you know, when I was younger and running the store, it was like I couldn't miss a market, I could not miss a market and I couldn't miss an aisle.
Speaker2: Like Rotary.
Speaker3: Like, I was just like OCD about it.
Speaker2: But now it's just it's a little, a little more mellow about it.
Speaker1: You know? So this is a like, I don't even think about this. So I know from me buying because I one of my services is a retail consultant is is buying. So I buy for a couple people and we we buy polar opposite. We buy fast fashion. But I cannot do the Zoom appointments and I cannot buy online because as you know fast fashion it's like it's it's either fits great or it's for a ten year old and the hand the hand on things is like how do you buy high end and not built? I mean, the sizing, you know, the sizing already. But how do you buy high end when it's with the fabrication in the hand?
Speaker3: Well, I don't really buy I wouldn't do a zoom per se. First of all, some of our designers are unbelievable. Like they send us beautiful packages where you actually they have samples of the fabrications and they have amazing presentation. So you really can see the fabric and so you can you can figure it out. But but also I don't usually buy brands that I haven't like carried. So I, I do know what the fabrication for the most part is like.
Speaker1: Self consistent.
Speaker3: Yeah. So it's consistent. So yeah, in the past I would have been like, oh my God, I could never in a million years do that. And sure, there's been a few times where like we just got in a pair of jeans that had like stripes on it that we thought was like solid denim or obviously couldn't tell that from.
Speaker2: Like lined sheets or from a visual.
Speaker3: Picture. And, you.
Speaker2: Know, but, but, you know.
Speaker3: 85% has been pretty good, like it's.
Speaker2: Worked. So yeah.
Speaker3: I never thought that we would be that kind of.
Speaker2: Buying team, but.
Speaker3: It's worked and the vendors have pivoted a lot too. And, you know.
Speaker2: Jaws helped, you know.
Speaker3: As a tool and.
Speaker2: You know.
Speaker3: Great photo shoots on the vendor side showing us the images and stuff like that. There's been some.
Michelle: My last question is, what are some of your favorite lines right now?
Jenny: What am I.
Jenny: Liking? Well, I really like Chaffey. I think it's a beautiful line. In what category? I mean, gosh, I haven't.
Michelle: Heard of Kewpie.
Jenny: She's just a beautiful. We just got a shipment in. That's why it's fresh in my brain. It's just like a beautiful textile line. I love I love Natalie Martin right now for spring going resort spring.
Jenny: She she does she works out.
Jenny: Of bought her stuff from Bali and it's so beautiful and so easy. My favorite denim is citizens of humanity. So good. I love Goldstein also. They also Citizens owns gold sign and they make it it's.
Jenny: Great quality denim.
Michelle: Cut and so.
Michelle: Which is your favorite? So, shirting lines. What's the one you were showing the other day? Really sweet little cap sleeves, button down. Small repeat print.
Jenny: And then.
Speaker2: Being. No. Was it.
Michelle: Basically what you were showing with denim and then you were showing it also with a pair of like I think they were like acid green pull on easy.
Jenny: Pants. Oh, Zarina.
Michelle: So beautiful.
Jenny: Oh, I love Czarina. That's such a great line.
Jenny: Yeah, Zoran is great.
Jenny: I love Czarina. You're right. It's so hard. There's so many great lines. We have so many great lines now.
Jenny: It's like it's own lifestyle. Like, I could just wear Roundup for the rest of my life, and.
Jenny: I'd be perfectly happy to.
Michelle: So beautiful. So every is everything now. Everyone listening to this is this is all this available online now?
Jenny: Yes, you can go to Pink Lagoon.
Jenny: And most I would say like 85% of the store is online. And then if you happen to be in San.
Jenny: Diego, you can come more along the beach and.
Jenny: Visit us.
Michelle: There. Your store is so sweet. We will have all the links in the show notes for your styling services as well as for the store. Do you want to link your wellness retreats in there? I know you only have two spots left, but.
Jenny: You might as well.
Speaker3: Yeah, let's do it.
Jenny: I'll send you that info too.
Michelle: Yeah. Alyssa will send out. I'll send you an email and ask for all the, all your hashtags and your Instagram. And anybody who does want to follow you on Instagram is Pink Lagoon.
Jenny: Yes, Pink Lagoon and W Yes by Jenny Levitz.
Michelle: Thank you so much for your time.
Jenny: I Oh, that was so fun.
Michelle: So appreciative and that is a wrap. Thank you all so much for joining me on today's episode. I really appreciate it. And be sure to tune in every Wednesday for more stories and lessons from a life in retail. And don't forget to follow us on Instagram at the retail whore podcast, and you can find us online at the retailwhorepodcast.com