Since opening InsideOut Yoga in 2010, I've come more and more to admire and respect the business owners and organizations who breathe life into our community by delivering the services and products they're so passionate about. To that end, I'd like to connect our yoga community each month with a local business or organization, starting with the The Dandelion in Irvington.
I went to The Dandelion for the first time in the mid-80's while visiting my boyfriend (now husband), Burke, and his parents in West Point. It's my go-to shop for smart but fun clothing, all kinds of gifts, accessories and more. The employees are extraordinary. Here's my conversation with co-owners, Jeannie Smith and Sheila Brown:
Tell me about The Dandelion.
The Dandelion is a boutique that specializes in fine ladies clothing, accessories, gifts and personal service.
How long has it been in business and when did you first become a part of it?
The Dandelion has been in business since 1975. Jeannie joined in 1981 and Sheila became a part of it in 2000. (Please see their latest newsletter for more history.)
What ignited your passion for this particular line of work?
Jeannie: I have always loved beautiful clothes and been intrigued by all facets of the fashion industry... design, production and sales.
Sheila: I have always been interested and involved in various forms of art and design, especially in textiles, graphics and styling. I owned an interior decorating business for many years and I've found that dressing one's body is very similar to dressing one's home!
How many employees do you have?
We have 8 employees, excluding the two partners.
What do you like most about your work?
Jeannie: I enjoy working with wonderful women and more importantly helping women look great and feel good about themselves!
Sheila: I enjoy the buying, advertising, and "dressing" my customers for every day or a special event. I also enjoy working with such a talented group of women.
Excluding yours, what local business/organization do you admire most and why?
Jeannie: I would have to say the library. I have admired all the volunteers and staff who have served our community in the thirty-four years that we have been here. They have persevered and will soon be moving into their new facility. They are to be congratulated.
Sheila: My husband and brother-in-law's business, Earth Resources, Inc. They worked for a similar local business during high school and college and joined forces in 1984 to create their own company. They literally started with a truck, a phone, and a few piles of dirt and gravel. They have grown exponentially and are admired for their beautiful work and customer service.
What advice would you give to someone who would like to start a business?
Jeannie: Do your research! Talk to others in that particular field. Owning a business is a 24/7 proposition. Be prepared to give 110% and then give more. Homework is a constant! Always keep an open mind and learn about what is new to stay fresh!
Sheila: Be PASSIONATE and start SMALL. Do what you do best and let others handle the rest.
What do you do in your non-work time?
Jeannie: I enjoy gardening when time permits. I also love spending time with friends and family.
Sheila: I like to travel, exercise, read, decorate, and spend time with my family and friends.
How do you manage stress?
Jeannie: Meditation and yoga.
Sheila: A nice, long run outdoors - regardless of weather!
Is there anything else you'd like to add?
We are very thankful for our customers! We truly would not be a success without them.