We had the good fortune of connecting with Suzanne Colucci and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Suzanne, what habits do you feel helped you succeed?
Success is defined so variably from person to person, but in the traditional sense of success, I feel like my consistency, persistence, and mindset have been the main 3 factors in making my business thrive. I’ve literally had to deal with every possible scenario of uncertainty and push back throughout the last 3 years and always looked at each situation as an opportunity to pivot, grow, learn, and do Better. The first habit I’ve implemented in order to maintain progress is consistency in action. I keep a routine, very much as if I worked for someone else. I go to be bed each night, jotting down the top priorities for the next day so I can get them out of my thoughts while winding down to sleep. I go to bed at a “decent” hour each night and focus on getting good, restorative sleep. I honor myself each morning with what I like to refer to as a “slow” morning. I give myself the time to wake up, not at a scurried pace, but rather at a natural pace. I make my morning smoothie, watch the news, enjoy the new day and a little time with my significant other, all before I head off to start the day at my shop. Another habit I must make mention of is the habit of persistence. What’s the adage? If at first you don’t succeed, try and try again! That is a phrase that I hold near and dear to my heart and use to encourage me to never give up, if I want something. And, as a final mention, Mindset. It’s really such an important and key factor in my life. I encourage and utilize positive mindset in my interactions with my associates at work and I feel as if the shift in mindset to focus on the positive is the #1 reason for me accomplishing goal after goal. I would encourage others to use a positive and limitless mindset to pursue the far-reaching possibilities out there for you. Believe you can do it and you WILL.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My career path is far from traditional, although it started in a very traditional sense. I originally decided that I wanted to be a doctor, prior to college, and worked towards that goal. I got a full ride scholarship to UNLV and, in addition, sold real estate to earn money while attending college. Only problem was that when I got to college, I realized quickly that that career path wouldn’t be the best way for me to help others and so I made a change. I enrolled in Art school at the Art Institute and there I found the authenticity of my true self through honing my creative skills and honoring what I Needed in my higher education. I always knew that, in some capacity, I would help others, but simply didn’t see the vision at that time. It was just a feeling inside me. As is the case for many, I was in a career at that time in Real Estate and Asset Management that didn’t inspire me. I had a traditionally good job but Needed to honor a bigger purpose. It took close to 20 years for me to find that purpose- my Soul Purpose. It also took a series of unfortunate events for me to land at the doorstep of the Universe, to start creating the life I wanted. I am a Certified Jewelry Professional by trade and had used that skillset to create a balance in my life between traditional work and my need for creative expression. I took a leap of faith while I was finishing up college, quit my traditional 9 to 5 routine, and started a jewelry business. I had been casually selling my designs to friends and students at college and wanted to try my hand at being a working artist. I established an e commerce business that kept me well enough busy and truly inspired for almost 20 years. Fast forward to 2017. I lost everything. I lost my business through unforeseen factors involving a popular selling platform creating adversities for my business that I was not prepared for. I lost my fiancé through his sudden passing at age 37, and I had lost every sense of established stability I had worked so hard for. It was devastating, painful, and beyond anything I’d experienced. But, through it all, I learned a lot about myself. How I deal with adversity; how to be more mindful; how to show Gratitude; how to ask for Help; How to get back up and try again. And that is exactly what I did. I had figured out my soul purpose. It was to help others become empowered and heal through self-care. This journey had to be lived through, in order to establish that connection to my calling. I had to go through a much-needed empowerment and self-care process myself, in order to help others, do the same. With a newfound inspiration, me along with key partners, opened the Zen Den San Pedro. Although my partners have each moved on to other facets of their lives, I have utilized this shop as a catalyst for creating opportunities to connect with my community, in order to teach the importance of self-care. We do this through education, tools and resources (such as gemstones, books, an apothecary, etc), and through guidance and genuine interaction to encourage others to explore the positive facets of self-care. We have taken it a step further and have also established an artisan collective in our shop with over 2 dozen local and West coast artists, in order to empower them with an avenue of sharing their creations with their community and adding value to their own journeys to thrive. It is a symbiotic and positive energy exchange that I love and draw inspiration from daily. I am truly thankful for the opportunity to have this business, in order to help my creative community and in order to help the community by being a positive resource and touchstone for self-care and wellness.
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.
Oh the possibilities! This is one of the main reasons why living in Southern California is such a pleasure! So, my best friend Does visit me here on occasion and usually, the first item on the checklist is a visit to the water. My favorite places include the well-established Point Fermin Park in San Pedro, for its picturesque views of the Pacific Ocean and mature greenery. Another favorite is the South Coast Botanical Gardens. It’s a perfect spot for a bit of the Sunshine and outdoors. I also Love to visit various piers, including the Manhattan Beach Pier and the Redondo Beach pier. All of them have a bustling life of their own, filled with boutique small businesses, amazing food, and the breathtaking views of the water! I also love the diverse cuisine offered in the South Bay area where we are and can’t wait to get back to the San Pedro Fish Market for crab and fish boils waterside (the waterfront is getting a much-needed facelift, but I will be one of the first in line to enjoy the new and improved area, once it’s available!) In the meantime, we love to visit the family-owned traditional spots for traditional fare. Some of our favorites in the area are The Whale and Ale for a proper pint and the best fish and chips around, La Siciliana for traditional Arancine and handmade pasta, The Chori Man for his Beyond delicious Green Chorizo, and Think Steakhouse, for a night of live music and great drinks , alongside surf and turf. My mouth starts watering when I start thinking of all the good stuff in this area to nosh on. Breakfast is a Staple and San Pedro does it Big. You can try Happy Diner for some good old fashioned traditional breakfast, Conrad’s Mexican grill for Amazing Breakfast burritos, and Pacific Diner for some hearty morning goodness, within walking distance to the view of the water from Point Fermin park. When we feel the need to take in a bit more nature and slow things down, I’m a sucker for strollable gardens, such as the South Coast Botanic Garden. You can let your cares fall by the wayside and stroll through at your own pace. A fun visit to Retro Row in Long Beach is another great retail therapy option too, with kitschy wares and uniquely appointed retail establishments lining the street, for the quintessential So Cal experience. And i must mention, we can’t forget the Art. LACMA, Museum of Modern Art, the Huntington Library, and the Museum of Latin American Art are definite must see destinations. I could go one about all the stuff to do, but I’ll spare you the ramblings. No matter what you may like, there’s something for everyone!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d love to dedicate this shoutout to the amazing members of my team at The Zen Den, especially those who have been there through the turbulent and uncertain times. I could Never have come this far without their willingness to work through the adversity we have faced through our development. I’m dedicating this to two people in particular, for each of their stellar contributions. One would be my store manager and right-hand gal Jackie Teeple. Also, a fellow business owner (She’s a remarkable Photographer), Jackie is a consistent presence and advocate for our mission and what we are trying to provide in our community. She’s been a source of inspiration for many different aspects of my business growth, and, for that, I thank her. The second team member that I’m truly thankful for is Helayna. She is one of our customer service associates, who reminds me daily of the extreme importance of compassion and empathy. She shows both in her consistently patient and hands on approach to helping each person she interacts with daily. She is soft spoken, with a bevy of knowledge and enlightens me with said knowledge often. I look to her for encouragement and she’s always willing to give it. These two fabulous women are the embodiment of women doing the work-by that I mean inner work. They are always learning, trying, doing, and applying their newly gained knowledge to their everyday interactions with others. They are truly special.
Other: Photo taken by Jackie Teeple of Two Eight Photography
Photographs by Jackie Teeple of Two-Eight Photography