We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathryn Galvin and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kathryn, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
Since I was a young girl I have always loved fashion, especially those unique pieces you can find in boutique stores. It’s not just the items in boutiques that make them special but the tailored experience and customer service you receive when shopping them. Growing up I really admired the fashionable women that owned the boutiques I would frequent. Something I noticed about them was that they really loved their everyday lives and truly enjoyed creating real relationships with their customers. I wanted to have a life that reflected that joy and connection to others as well.
However, I also noticed that boutique items can be quite expensive, leaving those on a budget unable to shop these boutiques regularly or possibly not at all. So as a teenager I put it in my mind that I would make boutique fashion more accessible. This was important to me then and even more now because I believe when we look good, we feel good and are empowered to take chances and go after what we want. I set out to create that boutique experience while keeping prices reasonable and introducing quality brands that would make customers feel their absolute best.
My dream to do this led me to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising to study Merchandise Marketing and Business Management. I then joined the corporate fashion environment working in Merchandise Planning. As I worked in planning, my itch to start my own business grew as I saw the need for a trendy, contemporary women’s boutique in the Magnolia Park area of Burbank, California; I knew I needed to make the jump. And so, GRAU Women’s Boutique was born.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
GRAU is a trendy, contemporary women’s boutique that sells women’s clothing, shoes and accessories from Burbank, California. You might be wondering where the name comes from, GRAU is German for Gray. It was inspired by a trip my husband and I took to Germany and perfectly represents the mix of styles we carry. Whether your style is rock&roll, girly or somewhere in between, you can feel connected, build or add to your personal style and most importantly feel your best in pieces that you love.
You can find everything from lounge to glam at GRAU and we have a not-so-secret, secret; everything always retails under $100. We focus on quality brands from around the country and we receive new arrivals weekly. It has been a joy to see customers enjoying their experience, loving our pieces and looking forward to what we have coming next. We have cultivated such a great community at GRAU and are so excited to grow it further, build more relationships with our customers and most importantly make them feel confident and beautiful.
Nothing worth having comes easy and so it took a lot of blood, sweat, tears, time and effort for GRAU to open, but it was really all worth it. Setbacks happen when going after your dream or goal and I’ve had to push through many. However, I’ve learned that every difficulty we face allows us to gain knowledge and strengthens us moving forward. Challenges will always pop up but know that there is always a solution to be found.
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?
Here are some of my favorites!
Castaway – Burbank – Great food/drinks and the view cannot be beat!
El Compadre – Echo Park or Hollywood – Great Mexican food, decor and mariachi!
Home Restaurant – Los Feliz – Perfect for outdoor dining, preferably brunch!
Tiki Ti – Los Feliz – The tiniest bar with delicious tropical drinks and all the tiki pizzazz you can handle!
The Snug – Burbank – Irish themed and just your cozy neighborhood bar, perfect place to catch up.
Malibu Wine Safari – Malibu – This one is an activity with drinks, a winery with exotic animals, what more could you want?!
Magnolia Park – Burbank – Such cute stores, vintage, spooky, contemporary, very fun to explore!
Melrose Trading Post – West Hollywood – Shop antique furniture, vintage clothing and tchotchkes galore!
The Grove – Beverly Grove – Beautiful environment for mall shopping outdoors.
Concert – LA – See a cool band/artist at one of our great music venues, The Greek, Troubadour, Hollywood Bowl, etc.
Movie in the park – LA – Find an old favorite or a classic you haven’t seen and fill up your picnic basket.
Laker Game – DTLA – There’s nothing more exciting than being at the Staple Center cheering on your favorite team!
Hike to the Griffith Observatory – LA – Great views of the city and a fun way to sneak in a workout!
Day at the beach – LA – Venice, Malibu, Santa Monica, find the one that fits your vibe.
Horse trail ride – Glendale – See a part of the city that doesn’t feel like the city at all on a group trail ride.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My family, friends and teachers who shaped me and supported my interests.
My mom, Dawna MacGilivray for instilling the confidence in me to chase my dreams and providing the education that would get me to them.
Another to Erin Lucas for helping to grow our social media presence and to Erin and Melanie Ramos both for being the first GRAU Girls to work the store.
Most of all, I wouldn’t have been able to start GRAU without the encouragement and love of my husband, Ryan Galvin. I am incredibly grateful he put his all into seeing GRAU come to life and is unwavering in his continued support.
Yelp: GRAU Women’s Boutique
Eric Lucas Ryan Galvin Dawna MacGillivray