I was scrolling through photos on my iPhone the other day and it’s amazing how much has happened in the past 12 months! It has been a roller coaster of ups and downs, but mostly ups as today we celebrate our 1 YEAR ANNIVERSARY of Morning Lavender Cafe & Boutique in Orange County! It’s hard to believe we went through our IVF journey during this first year of running Morning Lavender OC. Life isn’t always perfect but I’d like to think our story of hard work and determination will inspire others going through tough times whether it’s personal or business related.
I often get asked how I came up with the concept of the cafe & boutique in one spot. Jason and I love to travel and we came across many multi-concept spaces in Asia and Europe. I loved spending hours at these places and admired all of the details that went into each space. I came home from a trip in 2017 and said to Jason “lets open one” and so I pursued a concept that would combine my experience in retail and weddings and my passion for fashion and food. I started our online boutique Morning Lavender almost 5 years ago and wanted to continue to open more retail locations after the success of our first brick-and-mortar in San Francisco. As for weddings, I use to be a wedding photographer and saw a need for a charming spot in Orange County where people could host bridal showers and other celebratory events. So came about the idea of Morning Lavender Cafe & Boutique and in this past year, we have served over 25,000 lavender lattes and over 12,000 Afternoon Lavender Tea experiences! Plus we have built a growing community inspired by fashion, food and supporting small businesses!
Doing food & beverage was a totally new experience for us and you know the shrugging shoulders emoji, that happened a lot this first year. Honestly, we weren’t always sure about what we were doing, but we knew we only wanted to offer items we were truly passionate about and give our customers the best service possible. We were met with many trials during this process but we learned from each mistake and continue to grow and improve.
One of my favorite parts about creating Morning Lavender OC was the design process. We hired a contractor and architect but I got the opportunity to make all the design decisions and really bring my feminine vision to life. When we found this building in my hometown of Tustin, CA, it really needed a lot of love and care, not to mention new roofing, plumbing, and just about everything! We saw so much potential in the space and our vendors and the City of Tustin really put faith in our vision and allowed us to build our amazing patio which now hosts so many private parties!
Just like our clothing, everything you see at Morning Lavender OC has been hand curated by myself! I spent months looking for the chairs, plates and every little detail! It was so much fun to come up with our wallpaper design with Samantha Santana and then see this same design on our fun floral cups!
Another process we loved is building our amazing team!!! We are really proud of our young staff and feel blessed that everyone has felt invested in the growth of the business. Our Morning Lavender family has grown so much and we wouldn’t have gotten this far without each member!
And finally what I love most about our spot is everyone who comes in and enjoys our space! We have our regulars who come and spend mornings here, mommies who come in and take photos with their adorable kids, groups of women who come in to meet and get inspired by each other and large groups who come in to celebrate special memories here in our space. It’s such a treat to see people really love our space and our drinks and clothing!!! It’s everything I wanted it to be and more. I can’t fully put into words how blessed I feel to be sitting here, 31 weeks pregnant, writing this post and watching customers come in and enjoy themselves! These past 12 months have been absolutely crazy but I wouldn’t have it any other way! I can’t wait for what’s next! We will be focusing on our lil’ miracle but I’d love to bring this concept to more cities once we get a handle on parenthood! Thankfully I have the most supportive husband and baby daddy!