Heatherbloom celebrates 31 years in business this August. Beginning in Old Pasadena 31 years ago, the local favorite clothing shop has spent the past 18 years in San Marino, the last 11 years in a sweet spot on the corner of Mission Street and Euclid Avenue. “I just loved that it sits on a corner and shaded under a beautiful ficus tree,” says owner Michelle Round. “It’s fun to see and hear the traffic go by. I love when I’m doing something in the window or outside and seeing friends and customers smile and wave. It really feels like a small town and almost a throwback to times past when neighborhoods were filled with local merchants.”
“Our focus has always been and continues to be the wardrobe essentials with timeless classics,” says Round. “Of course, we throw in some fun fashion, just not “fast fashion” (a reference to quick, low quality, mass produced clothing). We support smaller brands and, when possible, support local manufacturing. We hope that the fun experience shopping here translates every time customers wear our clothing,” she tells us.
Round had been working in retail and knew she wanted to stay in the industry but wasn’t sure where exactly. But on a trip to Montecito 32 years ago, she says she had an epiphany to open her shop while visiting a favorite boutique. “I knew then and there what I would do.”
She explains that what sets Heatherbloom apart is that it is more than a boutique. “It is the ‘third place’,” she explains, referring to a place where people spend time between home (first place) and work (second place). A place where people feel safe, stories are shared, have a good time and build relationships.
“AND we have a fantastic assortment of clothing, accessories, bath and body and some wonderful finds that make for unique gifts,” says Round. “We help women find items for their wardrobe or an occasion thoughtfully and honestly. We hope to provide an easy and joyful experience that is remembered each time the pieces are worn.”
Of surviving and thriving for 31 years, Round says, “it means everything. We still have customers who shopped with us in Pasadena. I have witnessed so much – marriages, children born then off to college, grandchildren – all aspects of their lives. It is truly a privilege to have built and maintained these meaningful connections and relationships.”
What she’s proudest of she says is that Heatherbloom continues to evolve and grow. “I have certainly weathered many storms beginning with opening during a troubled economy in 1992, the events of 2008 and recently Covid,” she says. “Without the support of our wonderful customers, I could not answer these questions, without a doubt. I am most proud of having a successful business and having a wonderful family. They have been around through it all. My husband was there helping me tag, unbox, fold, you name it, in its infancy. Our daughters, when old enough, always pitched in, which continues to this day.”
She goes on to say, “I was able to balance the business and the family, sometimes unevenly, but showed our daughters the meaning of hard work and loving what I do. For this, I am most proud.”
Going forward her wish is to continue to grow and evolve both for and with her customers – and be introduced to new customers. “I love to learn with each experience and hope that it translates into what I carefully and thoughtfully select to bring into the shop.”
Heatherbloom is located at 2491 Mission Street in San Marino, California 91108. 626-403-2144. Store Hours. M-F 10:00am-5:00pm. Sat 10:30am-4:00pm.