Located in the heart of Midtown, Sacramento, California, stationed amidst the buzz and construction of the new Golden 1 Center arena, anchored between Jack’s, Chipotle, and various state offices, people shop Heart Clothing Boutique. “Will travel for stylish fashion” is the mindset of these loyal patrons from as far away as Roseville, Elk Grove, Folsom, El Dorado Hills, Rocklin, and Granite Bay.
“Location is so important—do or die, specifically with retail, to be very visible to as many people as possible,” Vanessa Lopez, Heart’s owner, said.
“I grew up in Midtown. Most people migrate here. After scouting many locations, none had the vibe to match my vision like this one.” Lopez was groomed for fashion from a young age. After high school, she ventured into merchandise marketing in San Francisco, and even before she graduated, she was picked up as a buyer and trained as a manager of Ikon, where she clocked in 6 years of experience. “They believed and saw something in me that allowed me to help take their unknown name and brand it.”
Always with the ultimate goal to have a store and style of her own, Lopez decided to open Heart Clothing Boutique in 2010. “The idea was always there. Since I couldn’t imagine working for anyone else, I put my ideas out there to the universe and manifested it. Sometimes I can’t believe it. I said I would, and I did. Now it’s like an addiction. What else can I throw out there?”
Driving down the street, you might blink and miss it. The tiny shoe-box boutique hardly matches the benevolent name and person behind the vision, who consistently gives of her time, mentoring, and resources. Teaming up with Glenda LaMarr with the local chapter Mission I’m Possible—a collision of fashion, sport, culture, and community running group—Vanessa uses Heart’s location as a hub before runs to feed the homeless in the community.
In addition to helping others, Heart’s sponsorship of 15-year-old Marina Becerra led her to win the Miss Cover Girl competition for Northern California as she modeled Heart’s casual attire during the show. Marina now graces the cover of their magazine, as well as print ad campaigns for Heart. Vanessa’s heart doesn’t stop there. Maria Luna, an up-and-coming model, moved to Los Angeles after modeling for Heart. She later went on to advocate in Washington for The Dream Act, as she had immigrated here at a young age, obtained her citizenship and has since blossomed in her career.
Vanessa is very proud of them. “It is important to stress that anyone who has a passion for the fashion industry should find people who inspire you. School is awesome, of course, but you have to throw yourself into what you really want to do. I love mentoring.”
What else can this entrepreneur diva “throw out there”? Summer 2017, be on the lookout for a second shop (name to be revealed) that combines her passion for fashion with fitness. “[The new shop] matches my active lifestyle.” With more than seven thousand organic
followers on Instagram for this local shop, it is sure to be successful. “I plan to continue community outreach, mentoring youth, and fun events.”
Vanessa Lopez, thank you for inspiring us!
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