We had the good fortune of connecting with Riley Herington and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Riley, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Most people tend to stray away from risks, but I prefer to take them every chance I get because risks, when taken seriously, supply an abundance of growth opportunities regardless if the outcome is negative or positive. You see, if you take a risk and end up succeeding, you walk away with a much higher reward than what you would have received if you acted conservatively. The lesson here is that, yes, you might fall when taking risks, but you also might end up even better off than you were before. You are shown the value in making an investment into something with a worthwhile payoff. On the other hand, taking risks can result in failure, which, in my eyes, leads to greater confidence and resilience to try again. This goes hand in hand with the idea that failure teaches you why your current approach to achieving a goal doesn’t work and how to adjust your approach to elicit a more effective result. Yes, risks are uncomfortable and scary, but they hold value far beyond reward or embarrassment. Risks define where we end up in life, and I am thankful I chose (and continue to choose) to take them because I am so happy with where I am at now. With little experience in both business and retail, the initial idea to open my own store was a risk in itself. I was an HR personnel working 9-5 at a huge company with thousands of employees- how scary it was to leave that for a job in which I am the only employee fulfilling all the duties necessary to run a business. And every day since I made that decision, I am faced with the choice of taking a risk, and each time my answer is always the same: yes! Whether it be making the choice to scrape up 8 layers of linoleum during renovations or renting a U-Haul and driving to the other side of the country to buy inventory, I have always been satisfied with the outcome and proud I made the choice to say yes.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
re·find off main was established in March of 2019 and is a retail space made up of collected pieces for your home and wardrobe, which makes for a truly unique shopping experience! We have spent years curating our collection and continue to search for goods from the most unique places to ensure that our customers are getting something truly special. The traveling that comes with this search has to be my favorite part of the job. My parents and I fly to different states around the country, we rent a U-Haul, fill it up and then we drive everything back to the store front. Of course, we always make stops along the way, so our truck is overflowing by the time we get home. I have found that each state offers something completely different from the next and the goods we find reflect the individuality demonstrated in each place. This appreciation of distinctiveness and eye for peculiarity is what I believe sets us apart. What also sets re·find apart from other stores alike, is its backyard space, which is filled with oddities. The space is also utilized for our Second Saturday Markets. Our Markets are from 11-3 in the yard and showcase local venders and their curated and handmade items. This is the best way for us to be able to give back to the community and help other local artists and businesses promote themselves. I would not describe the journey to get here and the journey that lies ahead as easy. There were many times where I wanted to give up, throw in the towel, and just be done. After graduating with my Master’s degree in December of 2018, I was still unsure of my career path. Owning my own business had always been a thought in the back of my head, but nothing I had the confidence to actually pursue. It is through my parents’ belief in me and my work ethic that I eventually decided to push the excuses away and take the next step in making my dreams reality. Nevertheless, in January of 2019, less than a month after graduating, I signed a lease on my building. I’ll admit my heart sank a bit when I realized how much love the place needed. It was built back in the 50’s as Vista’s original Greyhound Bus station. But the adventure in renovating the space and making it my own has grown to one of my greatest professional accomplishments. In school I was not taught how to obtain a business license, how to grow a brand, how to start something from scratch. All of that is learned by doing and asking questions. Luckily Kevin Ham, the Economic Development Director of Vista, took time out of his busy schedule to act as mentor for me and lead me down a path of success. I also had an amazing support system, which consists of my family and friends. This list of friends and family has grown to include my customers, most of whom I have established very rich relationships with. It is because of this support system that no obstacle is too big and no victory is too little. I would also like to credit my support system for teaching me that it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to feel like you’re failing, it’s okay to want to give up, but the most important thing is that you keep going. As for me, I think that what sets me apart from others is that I am grew up in Vista, went away for college and returned to invest in myself and my community. I graduated from Vista High School in 2013 and while I did go away to UC Davis for my Bachelors, I came home to get my Masters from CSU Fullerton. My family is and always has been deeply rooted in this community, with tremendous involvement in Vista schools and community. In fact, my mom was a VUSD employee for nearly 20 years before retiring last year and my dad served in the Marine Corps for 25 years out of Camp Pendleton. In addition to being a hometown girl, I also think what sets me apart from others is the fact that I am a young, female business owner. People are always shocked when they find out I am the owner of re·find – how could someone so young run a business? Well, it’s possible, and I am proud I proved that to myself. I have learned more than I ever thought I could, and I am happy to have a career in which I continue to learn something new every day. But the best part to me is what’s yet to come. This is just the beginning of my entrepreneurial journey! As a young business owner, I have to credit my success to continually taking risks. Every single day, I learn something new about myself, my business, my community. My focus right now is how to be a better business woman and build my network – everything else comes secondary. And I know I won’t achieve these goals without taking risks.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Ohhh, this is a fun one! There is so much that comes to mind. To start off the day, we would start with coffee because “but first… coffee!” Some of my favorite local coffee spots are Captain’s Helm in Oceanside, Revolution Roasters right next door, obviously Better Buzz, and, last but most certainly not least, Pannikin in Encinitas. Next on the agenda would probably be thrifting, which is one of my favorite things to do. My friends and I would definitely be thrifting all the local spots, from Goodwill, DAV, Buffalo Exchange, Rancho Coastal Humane Society Thrift Shop… there’s too many to name!!! Of course you can’t forget about the great shopping in the historic Downtown Vista. After all this shopping I am sure we will have worked up an appetite, so we would go grab a bite to eat. I am a huge fan of supporting local, and one of my favorite places for food is Frazier Farms. They are a family run local grocery store in Vista and Oceanside. They have some of the best produce, sandwiches, pre-made meals, and much more. This is a great option when wanting to take food to go. For a more sit-down experience, I would recommend Downtown Vista Mikko Sushi or Urbn pizza (their salad is to die for, their pizza mouth-watering). We’d probably end the day by watching the sunset at the beach. My beach of choice is a toss up between The Point in Carlsbad or the Oceanside Pier, but either way, you can’t really go wrong. On the way home from the sunset, there’s a strong chance we will stop at Peppertree Frosty in Downtown Vista for ice cream. Fitting that all in would definitely call for a very successful day!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Where I am at in life today would not be possible without the support of my friends, family, the City of Vista, and, most importantly, my parents. I am backed by an amazing support system that has taught me the value of community and shows me what unconditional support looks like. To my friends, thank you for happily cleaning the windows, showing up to all of my events, buying goods, and consistently being there. To my family, thank you for working at the store when I am unable to, coming to every event and repping your re·find apparel everywhere you go. To the community of Vista, thank you for your loyalty to my store and my brand. It’s not your purchases that make me feel supported, it’s your comments and likes on my social media posts, your attendance at my markets, your referral of my store to your own friends and families, but most special to me is the conversations I get to have with you all when you come in and visit. Lastly, a special thank you to my parents for everything. There is no good place to start when trying to express my gratitude for all they have done for me. Instead of telling them how much their support means to me, I hope, instead, I show it to them each and every day. I could never have done any of this alone- like they say, it takes a village!
Other: Google Maps https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-117.2432299,17z/data=!3m1!4b1!4m5!3m4!1s0x80dc770a015f791f:0x71dc1f586cccff88!8m2!3d33.1999307!4d-117.2410412