On any given day you might find a certain female stereotype doing her thing on Instagram. So many opportunities are created by those who get out there and differentiate themselves from the pack. But what makes us take notice of those who stand out? I think it starts with a mindset and asking for what you want, but also offering something valuable in return for the ask. The exchange of ideas is culminating with such a synergy. Your actions turn into reality – creating the ultimate success, the kind that grows with you.
Meet Meline Gasparyan, a superstar millennial boss babe. Boutique owner, fashion stylist, and all around make “SH_T happen kind of girl.” We sat down recently to chat about how she is building her empire one design, and dream at a time.
LAPALME – Mel, what inspires you about fashion?
MG – “Culture inspires me in fashion. Fashion is Art! Colors, textures, the entire art of fashion. It’s inspiring to see how each person can put together a look or style they outfit with personality & individuality. It amazes me how a piece of fabric can define a woman’s body!”
LAPALME – I love your boutique Jhenya! How do you go about picking fashion and styles for your shop?
MG – “Of course, I follow trends; what’s trending in colors, fabrics, etc. But ever since I was a little girl, I always had a forward vision where I may pick a very risky print or color, and it starts trending! So many times with my store I took the risk, and within four weeks it then would start trending in LA, last summer I bought in Lemon prints. We sold out, then weeks later it was all over LA. Another example last May. I picked snake print tops & dress & it was a huge hit towards the end of last year until now. As a designer & buyer, it’s a reward to see that being different at the moment is a great trait to have to take risks and be your brand.”
LAPALME – What can a customer expect when shopping at your boutique?
MG – “At JHENYA we do more than sell clothing, it’s like your very own huge closest at your fingertips. Try on clothes, swirl around and step out with style. We make a woman feel empowered and good about themselves with confidence and grace. Every customer gets the “personal stylist” experience to get them ready for whatever occasion they have going. Honesty and customer service is a priority for our brand.”
LAPALME – What defines you as a business owner and boss babe?
MG – “I would say I am a go-getter, a risk taker, and I network as much as I can. I didn’t have much advice or help to open my very first business, but I learned and soaked up knowledge like a sponge from prior experiences to where I was able to maintain my business. Also, I learned on the way to better myself as a business owner. I also try to be a great leader, a positive mentor, while remaining humble, working hard and very long hours (sometimes in my case humanly not possible hours), but it’s the name of the game! You have to stay consistent and keep pushing your limits.”
LAPALME – Who is your fashion idol?
MG – “I admire Blake Lively, her fashion is and has always been so glamorous in a unique way. I love the fashion risks she takes on red carpets. Of course, Kim K is a huge fashion icon in our century. Everything that girl wears is a hit, so definitely the industry loves her! JLO is another woman I admire, my god she’s just stunning in anything & everything! As far as designers I look up to Rachel Roy. Her clothing style is so much like my vision for streetwear or casuals. I admire Versace, also so chic, simple yet such a statement with the details such as necklines. The way the dresses define the woman’s body and how sexy it can be, yet so tasteful.”
LAPALME – You’re not only a boutique owner, but you are also designing your collection and styling clients. Of these three very distinct roles, which is your favorite?
MG – “I love all three, but between Boutique Owner, Stylist, and Designer, I would say my most favorite is being a Designer. That’s just my passion. It’s in my blood! It’s who I am since I was a little girl designing Barbie outfits. I love creating and dressing women. Fabrics, trims, buttons, etc. excite me on another level, I truly feel like a kid at a candy store when I step into sourcing departments. It feels like home and my happy place.”
LAPALME – What’s next for you? Where do you see your company growing in the next five years?
MG – My next move with the brand would have my designs in department stores such as Nordstrom, Bloomingdale’s, etc. Within the next five years, I plan on expanding JHENYA designs, even our boutiques inside other high-end shopping malls as we do have requests to open more storefronts. God willing that will happen, but designing my collection again is a priority because that is what will make Jhenya stand out and shine.
You can catch Meline at the Westfield Topanga Mall at Jhenya most days, smiling and chatting with the who’s who of West LA. Check out her styles @_jhenya or www.jhenya.com