Sometimes you meet a soul and you instantly notice that there is something that draws you in… something special… something rare…I first met Dayna Mance many years ago when we worked for the same fashion company. Our paths only crossed here and there, but every time we’d see each other, I would be drawn to her friendly, charismatic, and positive personality. Now, even after not seeing her for over two years, she is that same upbeat and captivating soul.
Dayna is a person who, quite simply, had a dream and took a leap of faith. She left a comfortable job to pursue an undying itch to open up her own fashion boutique. Now, she’s is the owner of Prism Boutique in Long Beach, California. Back in April 2013 when the shop first opened, she was the sole person behind the store. She was the manager, buyer, stylist, PR team… Dayna was Prism Boutique. But with undying dedication and hard work, and the support of her husband and friends, she began to grow. She now has a team of five and will soon be renovating and growing the shop to take over the space next door. The boutique is a true reflection of Dayna’s dreams — a warm, inviting home for her collection of unique apparel and accessories.
Upon arriving to the shop, one of the first things I noticed was the bright natural light that filled the space. Beautiful, locally made macramé wall decor hung brilliantly from the walls. Succulents and cacti, large and tiny, are displayed perfectly throughout the shop, sometimes even seeming to pop up from out of nowhere to surprise me. The jewelry collection of modern and vintage turquoise, silver, and gold pieces are eye-catchers as I meander throughout the shop; Dayna scours local estate sales and vintage markets to curate her collection. Then I notice the gorgeous fitting room. Handsome white canvas hangs from locally sourced driftwood, the curtains cascading down to the floor like a dreamy teepee, with little brown and white pompoms adorning the inside of the curtain. It sits next to the triangular display ladder that her husband handcrafted from wood and copper. One thing is for sure: you can feel how Dayna has poured what was once just a dream out into her boutique.
I was lucky enough to chat with Dayna today about her shop, pursuing dreams, and what she’s doing for Valentine’s Day:
How did you first get into fashion?
It’s always been ingrained in me. When I was young, dress-up was my favorite game and I had an extensive collection to play with. I really got into it in my early twenties though… it was a way to express myself. And I’ve always loved helping other people dress too.
Who are your fashion icons?
Mara Hoffman, Mary-Kate Olsen, Dree Hemingway, and Kate Moss to name a few.
Starting your own business is an incredible challenge. What gave you the push to open up your own boutique?
It came from inside of me somewhere! I had this burning desire to do it. I didn’t know if I would succeed, but I knew I had to chance it. I knew I would be ok if I failed, but would regret it if I didn’t take the leap from my comfort zone and just go for it. I also had the support of my amazing husband, Vince, and family and friends cheering me on.
What does a typical day look like for you?
Waking up to my beautiful 10 month old baby girl, Indigo. Spending the morning with her and then the rest of the day focusing on Prism. Being a small business owner means you wear many hats and work a lot. Planning, buying, service, social media, Ecommerce… the list goes on! Working with my lovely team to get the job done and keeping the customers happy — I couldn’t love it more. Then wrapping up the day by going home to my husband, baby, and our beagle, Pony, for dinner and family time.
Valentine’s Day is this weekend! Any plans?
Just hubby and baby. We recently moved into a cool new Cliff May home and are pretty obsessed with it, so we’re going to be homebodies for awhile.
How do you balance a family and owning your own business?
I’ve learned to manage my time wisely and make sure I’m giving enough to my business and family but also protecting a little time for myself. It’s important to refocus and breathe. It’s a daily challenge though.
What advice would you give people who are pursuing their dreams?
Absorb every piece of knowledge that you can while working in the field that you’re passionate about. Then, when you take the leap to go out on your own, you have all of the tools and skills you need to be successful. Stay focused and work hard to get where you want to be. It can be done!
What does free mean to you?
Waking up every morning and getting to do what makes you happy.
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