We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Gordon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, how has your perspective on work-life balance evolved over time?
I think a balanced life has always been a priority especially as a small business owner. I purchased my business in 2008 while the country was going through a recession. I was a single mother. I knew that if I just focused only on business my family and self quality of life would decline and vice versa. I made sure to really be honest with myself on what was achievable and possible giving any time constraints. I really wanted to be a role model for my kids so they can see what a balanced life looks like. There is a give and take. An ebb and flow to everything really. One day you could be putting a lot of hours in at work and the next day you have to take your kids to a hockey tournament. And the next day after that, you could be taking a much needed self care day. We try the best we can, put in the necessary work, and remember to take a step back when needed.
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?
Chantal Accessories Showroom is an independent multi line showroom located in the fashion district in DTLA. We have built and maintained great relationships with some of the best retailers in the industry. We concentrate on the west coast but that doesn’t limit us to servicing the rest of the United States and other countries like Australia, Japan, and Canada. We are located in the New Mart Building in downtown Los Angeles which is the premier wholesale fashion building in the fashion district. When I bought the business we were in the beginnings of the 2008 recession. I am not going to lie, it was really hard. It was my first venture into small business and then I had to navigate my way through it all. During that time, I really wanted to focus on how to make money, implement smarter business practices, and also just focusing on daily goals. What can I do today to make it to the next day. Daily goals turned into weekly goals, which turned into monthly goals. We are now in a time again where our retail partners are struggling. I think having already gone through something similar, I definitely feel more equipped to handle a crisis like this in 2020. I hope that when brands or retailers come into the showroom to work with us, they can feel comfortable in knowing that we are providing them information and services that best fit their businesses. I love working with brands who have a voice. Those who are passionate about their brands, that passion is infectious. When working with retailers, I really want to provide a wide array of options that best suits their merchandise needs. And if we don’t have it on hand, we can find it or produce it and there’s follow through. I believe by working together and being able to pivot on the fly will help us navigate these times.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Living in Southern California means having so many adventures at your fingertips. I live in South Pasadena. We have some really cute shops like Retreat Lifestyle and yummy cafes like Fiore. I would then give them a tour of DTLA. Grand Central Market, The Fashion District, and Little Tokyo are all must sees. We would also have to swing by the beaches. My favorites are Laguna Beach and Malibu. Laguna has amazing stops like Le Serena for tacos and tequila. Couple of my favorite stops in Malibu are The Reel Inn and Paradise Cove.
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?
I would like to recognize and thank Janna Martin Designs. Janna worked for me for 7 years. She was an amazing employee and has become a lifelong friend. Janna really helped with retailer relations and showroom management. She was outgoing and bright. Clients loved her. She has gone on to be an amazing designer working for companies focused on kids fashion.
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