We had the good fortune of connecting with Danica Ramirez, veteran and small business owner, and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Danica, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born and raised in California’s Central Coast and although I was unaware of it as a child, the desire to start my own business was strong in my heart from an early age. I was very creative and loved making things, which I would end up trying to sell. I worked retail out of high school and at the age of 20 decided to join the Navy, serving an enlistment in San Diego. Retail stuck with me as I ended up working in supply aboard the USS Peleliu; assisting in bringing supplies on board for the ship’s store and creating window displays. Following two Western Pacific deployments and my honorable discharge, I settled into civilian life in Temecula and earned my Bachelor’s in Business Management. I knew I wanted to start a business that would provide a creative outlet for myself while supporting fellow local small businesses.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
There are so many online women’s boutiques out there, and for that reason it’s important to differentiate my boutique from the masses. My goal has always been to carry American made merchandise and to support my fellow local small businesses. I spent a lot of time researching suppliers and manufacturers in Los Angeles and San Diego and although challenging, it’s worth the time and effort finding those American made wholesale brands and carrying American made in my boutique. I have a wonderful relationship with a fellow small business in San Diego, which supply the earrings I carry in my boutique. The earrings are made from either wood or bamboo, both sustainably sourced, and are designed and laser cut by an amazing husband and wife team. So when someone purchases earrings from my boutique, they’re actually supporting two small businesses at once.
Equally important to me is catering to a variety of women, which is why I carry sizes small thru 3XL. We’re finally coming to a point where body acceptance is more prevalent and I believe all women should have access to beautiful and affordable clothing options, regardless of their size.
There are so many lessons learned when you’re a small business owner; it’s constantly learning how to navigate new waters. Everything from the legalities of owning a business to learning how to work social media in your favor and both gaining and retaining customers – it’s all a new learning experience!

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I adore Temecula Wine Country and consider it the perfect area for entertaining guests! An early morning hot air balloon ride over the vineyards would definitely be on the itinerary, along with wine tasting at Wien’s and Wilson Creek. Following our tastings I’d suggest a lovely lunch at the Creekside Grill, where local ingredients are always at the forefront of the menu. South Coast winery has a fabulous spa where I’d recommend a massage followed by an afternoon dip in the pool. When it’s time to rest our heads and recover after an amazing day in wine country, I’d recommend an overnight stay at the Ponte Inn.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’m very fortunate to have a husband who wholeheartedly supports my dreams and ambitions. Sometimes I feel like he believes in me even more than I believe in myself! Starting a business takes a lot of guts, in addition to time and money, and from the very beginning my husband has been nothing but supportive and encouraging. My mom has been equally supportive; offering words of encouragement, sharing my business whenever she possibly can, and even accompanying me during my first vendor market event in Temecula.

Website: www.thriveandthreadboutique.com

Instagram: www.instagram.com/thriveandthreadboutique

Facebook: www.facebook.com/thriveandthreadboutique

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.