We had the good fortune of connecting with Jill Pearson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jill, what do you attribute your success to?
I think it’s hard to say what one factor is behind the success of Homage but a few things that come to mind are passion, tenacity and authenticity. I think passion is the all-important, organic motivator that drives an entrepreneur to do their absolute best to achieve success. If you love what you do, it’s only natural to want to do the best you can. It’s not something you can turn on and off. If you live your passion, you are always excited to do more and do better. Having tenacity is a good catch-all phrase to describe the willingness to overcome the everyday challenges of being a business owner. Every day is unique and being able to respond and be fluid with a situation vs playing by the same set of rules every day, allows for creative problem.solving. I think the end result of combining your passion and tenacity is a level of authenticity that people recognize and are drawn to.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I don’t remember when I learned the word entrepreneur. I only remember wanting to have my own business. Being a business owner and being able to call the shots and do what you want it always sounded like a great idea to me. I always thought that I would end up in the fashion business and I dreamed of going to FIDM after high school. Instead I ended up working full-time downtown in the fashion District Until I decided to go back to school. Luckily that is when I started working for a retailer that followed in his father’s footsteps. I started in sales and moved up from there with the most important experience being the ability to work side-by-side with the owner. This hands on opportunity made me more interested in owning my own business than ever before. After Seven years I moved on to a new experience working for a very large company which did not suit my style. My frustration led me to starting my first company, Wasabi Jewelry, Which was a wholesale business that I designed for and ran for over 25 years with great success. But I had already had the bag to open a store even before I started Wasabi. As things slowed down and I started losing interest and designing and producing jewelry my husband suggested that I open a store. Just as running Wasabi jewelry was fraught with the challenges of a fickle economy, the ongoing issues of hiring employees, financial ups and downs and the pressure of staying relevant, I knew being a shop owner would have many of the same issues but it was truly a dream that I had been holding onto for over 25 years. The difference this time was that my husband would beq we a more involved business partner. I didn’t realize before how important it was to have someone who managed the back end or business aspects that tend to take a backseat when you are a creative person. Having someone in that role has allowed my creativity and execution of ideas to blossom more than ever.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love living in California in the LA area has so much to offer. We would definitely visit areas of town that are NFT (not for tourists). We would start the shopping journey in Pasadena where we would go to all of the independent stores such as those on Holly Street in Old Pasadena, mission in South Pasadena and San Marino, Washington Avenue in Altadena and then move on to Eagle rock, Atwater Village, Highland Park and Silverlake. We would also hit Los Feliz and downtown LA especially the arts District and Little Tokyo. Since there is no shortage of places to eat in LA we would have to choose carefully but include everything from street tacos And fried chicken to trendy spots like Hippo or Bavel. One of my top favorite hidden gems is in Atwater called Momed. I love it when the train rushes by! We would definitely try to squeeze some Art in visiting the Broad and the Huntington Library and Garden. Hopefully bye then we could also go to see live music at smaller venues like the Echo or the Wiltern.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
On the window of my shop there’s a dedication to artists and my mother. She was my biggest creative influence as I was growing up. We were never without a craft to make or cookie to bake. The joy I learned from working with my hands and the pride of creating something myself has led me on a lifelong journey to crave these accomplishments on a regular basis. The work ethic I learned from both my parents is something that drives my success to this day. In addition my early days of being employed included a seven year position with an entrepreneur who was a second generation retailer. And finally my husband Bill, who has been a retailer for many decades, motivates me to always do better and to follow my heart.
Facebook: Homage Pasadena