Business: Break for Temptations
Address: Rancho Buena Vista Courtyard, 2330 30th Street, San Diego Ca 92104
Interview and Writing: Fellow Business Owner Melanie Michaud of Graffiti Beach Boutique
Photography: Bonnie Nicholls of South Park Scribe and Managing Editor of South Park's blog
I had the opportunity to chat with Brenda Colleen Leavy of Break for Temptations to get some insider information about her new boutique and to learn more about her background as a business owner and vision for Break for Temptations.
Melanie Michaud: How would you best describe your business and product mix?
Brenda Leavy: Break for Temptations is a gift store, with gifts for yourself or someone else. We're located in a home, and the business is kind of like most homes, with both old and new items for every room. We have antiques, vintage, some hand crafted, and some new giftables and edibles. We plan to have more giftables for the holiday season and are working on designing our own retro pajama line.
MM: How did you come up with your company name?
BL: Life is stressful. It seems we spend most of our time denying or neglecting ourselves. You can't eat this, you can't drink that, consuming/buying is selfish or evil etc. And I just wanted the world to STOP... to take a break from all the noise.
We all work hard, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with buying something pretty, or having a piece of chocolate. We tend to forget that there are actual people who created all those things. And to take a minute and appreciate and enjoy the artistry and talent that goes into making hand-blown glass, or the perfect truffle, can be like a mini-vacation and restore your soul in a lot of ways. So there you are...Break for Temptations, whatever your temptation might be.
BL: Break for Temptations first opened in a small town north of Los Angeles in 1996. At the time it was an antique mall, a crafters’ mall and bakery/pastry shop, and I was the head baker. I had that store for a few years before I decided to go back to Los Angeles and the corporate world, but the desire to re-open a store never left me. January 1st of this year I woke up and decided that this was it, this was the year to do it. I resigned from my job the next day and began the process of identifying what it was I wanted to do. I still liked the idea of the original Break for Temptations but with a few tweaks. The product mix is primarily my own now. I don't rent booths, but I do take some things on consignment, primarily hand-crafted items, and I'm always on the hunt for cool, upcycled furniture.
MM: Why did you choose South Park for your business location?
BL: I love the walkability of South Park. I love that the neighborhood embraces independent shops. I love the historic homes. It feels like a real community. I would not be here if it weren’t for Sally at Rancho Buena Vista. There weren’t any vacancies in South Park, but she consolidated her offices to open up this bungalow for us. I'm thrilled with the interior of the space. Built in 1918, it retains the original built-ins and floorplan and is the perfect place to showcase the product.
MM: When a customer walks into your store, what are your hopes of how they would describe it?
BL: I hope that they feel like they've walked into a good friend's home. A good friend with a LOT of stuff, obviously! But, I truly want everyone to feel happy when they come in the store. I want them to be surprised and delighted when they explore the cupboards and drawers and find all the places we've stashed things. We have price points from $4 to $1,000, from antique tool boxes to a Mickey beanie. I want people to feel like they are welcome and can find something special, no matter their age or income.
MM: What is your long-term vision for Break for Temptations?
BL: I would like to become the go-to spot for unique gifts as well as a great place to stop for that last-minute hostess gift. Hopefully in the next few months we'll start hosting monthly events as well. Our store carries a variety of things, and I'd like the events to be just as varied: DIY, motivational, educational and delicious!