What’s your background?
I grew up in McLean, VA, and my family moved to Laguna Beach in the fall of my senior year of high school. That first taste of ocean air outside my window made me want to be a beach rat forever! I stayed in California for college, then moved to NYC and worked for the CEO of Morgans Hotel Group. I lived in Montauk for my last summer on the East Coast to get spend some more time at the beach before making my way to Austin to open Sunroom.
How would you describe Sunroom in 3 words?
Effortless, Light, Natural
What inspired you to open your own boutique?
The summer after I graduated high school I got a job working at a little clothing boutique right in Laguna on Pacific Coast Highway. On the weekends, when the storeowner was out of town, the store was all mine. I loved it! I was constantly inspired. People came to visit me at the shop and we became friends. I loved being a part of the community in that way. I had never been happier! I knew that I wanted to open my own store one day. It was thirteen years before I was able to open Sunroom, but I never doubted it.
What are some of the lessons you’ve learned in starting your own business?
You have to work your ass off to get a business off the ground and it doesn’t happen overnight. Just in the past few months I’ve built up a pretty solid team, and being surrounded by people who have a lot of energy and are positive & inspiring has been a game-changer. Also, owning a brick-and-mortar shop means so much more than just pushing goods out the door. Creating a physical space for people in the community to visit and gain inspiration is just as important as the items you’re selling. Whatever we are doing in the store, it’s directly related to the people who walk through our door. We always want it to feel like a warm and fun place to stop in and say hi, to shop, or just to peak through the windows.
What are your favorite items of clothing?
Brother Vellies Springboks. I love the how cute these shoes are, but I also love the back story for this line. The designer uses leathers that are a byproduct of the edible food industry in Africa and the shoes are made by hand by artisans earning fair wages. When I wear them I feel like I’m walking on clouds!
My collection of white v-necks. I’ve never met a white v-neck that I didn’t like. Some of my favorites are the Hanes tees that come in three packs… I can’t even imagine not having a stack of them on hand any time.
The soon-to-be-mine blue tiger eye & polki diamond ring from Dezso! I’ve been lusting after this ring since I met the designer, Sara Beltran, in 2011. I finally decided that I needed one of my very own. I know that it’s going to be a piece I love forever.
Who are your style icons?
Lou Doillon, Margaux Lonnberg, and Jerry Hall
What are some of your favorite spots in Austin?
Honestly, I’m at Sunroom or at home a lot of the time. But! If you force me to go out it, I’ll never pass up an invite to hang at Saint Cecilia, Justine’s is my go-to for dinner, and I always like sitting outside at Yellow Jacket Social Club.
What the best piece of advice you have ever received?
Stay true to you. Don’t compromise your own vision for anything.
Photography by Alysha Rainwaters