The first time I interacted with Laura was at the Solana Beach Boys and Girls Club, months before I had opened the doors to junebug. I was desperately looking for places that would allow me to post my (un)professionally made flyers soliciting inventory for the shop. I had mixed luck at the local libraries, no hopes for the coffee shops where I knew my flyer would soon be displaced and pretty much hit a brick wall with some local schools. But when I walked into the Boys and Girls Club somewhat defeated and cynical, I was greeted by a cheery and helpful person behind the front desk, who actually posted my flyers for me enthusiastically and with no questions asked. Later, I would come to know this delightful person as Laura. Once the shop was open, Laura would occasionally pop in to browse, and she became one of our very first instagram followers. In the Spring, I was having a difficult time finding an employee and voila, Laura magically inquired about the job - again when I was just about to lose hope. I had a hunch that she was the perfect person for the job, but little did I know she would literally become my right-hand person. Below, get to know her a little better as she reminisces about her childhood in North County, talks about the "chain of following" she has observed in her 3 kids and admits how she would LOVE to hold your baby if you'd let her...
Having grown up in North County, I imagine you get to share many of your favorite childhood spots with your kids. What are some of your go-to places?
As I kid I LOVED going to the beach all the time, and Glen Park in Cardiff was another favorite place. We used to live right behind the park, so after spending the whole day at the beach, we would walk home and squeeze in as much more play time as we could at the park before having to get home for dinner. Recently, my mom showed some old home videos from a birthday party at Glen Park (laughs as she remembers) - my dad had put up a rope for a pinata and all of us kids would use it as a rope swing! I love taking my kids to that park and to Cardiff beach where the bypass goes under the bridge. I wish I could have done that more often this summer!!! I also enjoy San Dieguito Park a lot - they have really upgraded the trails and playgrounds since I was a kid. I love the outdoors and exposing my kids to the outdoors, but my husband is not the outdoorsy type. We practically have to force him to go on hikes at Torrey Pines, but afterwards, he's always glad he went.
And of course you must go to the Boys and Girls Club a lot too. Your kids are really lucky that you work there! Tell me more about your involvement there.
I've been working at the Boys and Girls Club for 5 years now. My kids have participated in so many programs there - swimming, cooking, STEM club, rec club, and the after school and homework help programs. In addition to working the front desk and summer camps, I am in charge of the La Colonia gardening club, which I love so much. It is so calming to work with the soil and the plants.
Your kids are also lucky that you work at junebug! But you were a customer first... What initially drew you to the shop and what do you like about working at junebug?
To be honest, I was soooo excited to have a kids resale shop so close to where I live! Having 3 kids, we have to be economically conservative so I look for places like junebug to shop at, but aside from that, I love the idea of supporting local businesses. To know that the taxes stay in our city and the money supports a local family is really important to me.
The best part about working at junebug is helping people, especially new moms - It can be scary to be a first time mom, or a second time mom, or a third time mom... you just don't know what to expect. And of course, when I get to hold one of the babies that comes in, that is a special bonus. (Note to moms: Laura will gladly hold your babies while you are shopping!)
As an employee at junebug, you get first dibs on all the cute items that come in. What have been some of your favorite finds at junebug?
I'm OBSESSED with Tea (Collection) right now. (It's true. I often hear Laura gasping and sometimes squealing with delight when she sees a new Tea Collection outfit.) I had never even heard of the brand until I started working at junebug, but I love the styles they create and the colors they use. Sometimes I like to find matching outfits for my girls, and Tea's colors and patterns tend to match even if they are not exact. I have also found some great books at junebug - I've gotten a lot of the I Can Read! books for Chris and Mia, but I'm trying not to deplete the inventory!
Tea Collection and "I Can Read!" books may be your idea of a find, but what do you think your kids would consider a "find"?
Christian (7) is super sporty and athletic, but also very imaginative. He wears Nike and Adidas all the time, and does NOT like to wear nice clothes. I bought him some Tommy Hilfiger top-siders from junebug thinking they would look nice for church, but I had to bring them back because he refused to wear them! As far as toys go, he would pick out a puzzle or a matching game - though he does really like The Boys Doodle Book I got for him last week!
Mia (5) likes to be the boss. She is always telling people who's right and who's wrong - and she's a little tattle tale! She loves to play family with Eva and of course has to be the mom. She's a typical girl and loves to wear dresses and skirts - if she could pick out anything it would probably something in the dress-up section. If there was a Moana costume, that would be it.
Today (cracks up), Eva (3) dressed herself in an Aurora princess nightgown with checkered leggings and cowgirl boots - all in pink! Cowgirl boots are her thing right now - we got hers at Target because junebug didn't have any in stock at the time. Believe it or not, Eva is more of a tomboy than Mia and tries to play soccer like her older brother, but for the most part she just does everything both of her siblings do. Eva follows Mia and Mia follows Chris - it's just a chain of following in our house...They all really look up to each other and are very close.
At junebug, Laura wears many different hats - I often tell her she is my Quality Assurance Officer - she ALWAYS spots the flaws I miss and holds the store to a very high standard. She also has a special knack for display and keeps the store looking extra tidy and cute. But most of all, Laura is just a joy to be around. She'll greet you with a smile and help you with anything that you need, and she'll even hold your baby if you'll let her. Thank you for being you, Laura!