We had the good fortune of connecting with Annette Gladstone and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Annette, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We opened Segray Eagle Rock to create a unique learning experience for every child that comes to our preschool. It was important for us to have the families feel a sense of community as well. Parenting is a complex puzzle and a preschool can be a main source of support to a family. We were so excited to find this incredible space in Eagle Rock, and wanted to be that support to the community.
What should our readers know about your business?
What differentiates Segray from other preschools is that teachers take the children’s lead on their interests, abilities and needs and integrate those ideas into daily play and learning. I always say we have a plate of offerings daily, we let the children decide how much they take off that plate daily. We hope to excite every learner so they will want to take all that we offer daily, but if there is a day that they decide to only take one or two we are okay with that. At Segray we want the children to love being at school. I have always felt if we could create a love for being at school, every child will learn. I want the world to know that children come to the world clearly the person they are, our job as educators is to help them shine, be self-confident, and to do so in a kind caring way. We want to be the first school experience that helps each child feel a connection to the community they are, and to be clear all are welcome and all are treated with respect.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If my best friend was visiting I would go to Laguna Beach for the weekend. I spend most weekends there, and they have some of the most beautiful beaches I have seen. It is a small town feel, with an artist touch. Many of the finishing touches we brought to the preschool came from the Sawdust Festival, so that would be a definite stop. Some of my favorite places to eat are Urth Cafe, Kitchen In The Canyon, Harley’s and Broadway. 1000 Steps Beach is a must as well. I was fortunate enough to meet my life partner Steve Heller in the OC as well, and we opened Segray Eagle Rock together.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Being a single mom, my two sons are the ones that inspired me to go after my dreams. I started dreaming of creating a unique learning environment for children in 2006. My children were my cheerleaders, and always kept me going when I wanted to give up.
Image credits to janabeephoto, and Sebastian Gladstone