Locals say women are leading the way as small business owners in Orcutt

ORCUTT, Calif. – People in Orcutt gathered for the grand opening of Sapphire Shoes, a new business owned by a local female entrepreneur. Locals say many new businesses in Orcut are being opened by women.

Crystal Suarez says she was inspired to open Sapphire Shoes to bring her favorite urban styles to her hometown on the Central Coast. Suarez says it was important to her to open a store that could help women feel confident and for her daughters to see her hard work. She is not new to the business, having been a fitness trainer and nutrition coach for over a decade on social media with almost two hundred thousand followers.

“I love Orcutt and Orcutt needs a little bit of that fashion forwardness that LA style has to offer. So I’m glad to be able to bring that to Orcutt. — Orcutt is growing. This is a community that needs some youth to come in and be able to offer them some variety,” Suarez said.

Most recently, Suarez was forced to reinvent her influencer path and get her followers back after her Instagram page was taken down. She was afraid that her social media influence would affect the opening of her store, but Suarez didn’t give up.

“Life is hard and we have to get up every single day and we still have to go out there and do what we have to do. And with a good pair of shoes, I feel like we’ll walk through doors that God will open for us,” Suarez said.

The business owner was supported by family and friends who traveled from Southern California to join her on her special day. Her father flew in from out of state to support the opening of her first store. Suarez says she learned her entrepreneurial skills from her father, who opened his first business in Santa Maria when she was a child.

She says she’s proud to be a first-generation Latina, to break down barriers in the community and to be a single mother of three. Her daughters also have their own businesses in the store. Caylee’s Candles is her oldest daughter’s business – she sells her scented homemade candles. Kaylee took a business class at the Santa Maria Chamber of Commerce where she learned the ins and outs of being a business owner.

Jaylan’s Jewels is her daughters’ jewelry corner where guests have the opportunity to receive permanent gold plated jewelry. Her daughter Gianna’s Gumballs is her youngest, where she will sell gumballs in a vintage gumball machine. Suarez said she not only wants to involve her daughters in her business venture, but also wants to teach them the importance of entrepreneurial skills.

“I was looking to start a business that I could manage and do while being a full-time mom, guiding my daughters. I can do that and have them be part of the store and also share my passion for Shoes is something I love my shoes and you can’t go wrong with a good pair of shoes, they make the whole outfit,” Suarez said.

But Suarez sends the women off with more than a pair of shoes. With each purchase, she writes a Bible verse to motivate her customers to keep their faith and continue to persevere through life’s challenges.

“I think it’s very important, not only because it’s a shoe store, but because of the message that Crystal brings with the shoe store, empowering women, getting closer to God, just the meaning behind it. It’s so amazing that it makes you feel like more than just a shoe store. At Orcutt, we really don’t have that type of fashion or shoes that are available to us,” said Nancy Morales of Orcutt.

The line was full of excited shoppers to see the latest trends and styles handpicked by Suarez. Many shoppers said the shoes and accessories they saw in the store were items that had to be ordered online or sold only in Los Angeles.

“I always feel like it’s something you order online, so it’s really nice to go into the store and just try the shoe on, put them on, see how it looks. Love it. I’m in love. I knew she worked on it behind the camera and today I saw it for the first time, I’m so proud of her,” Morales said.

The store will be open from 11am to 6pm Monday to Saturday, to find out more or shop visit the link below.

https://shopsapphireshoes.com/ Sapphire Shoes, 1140 East Clark Ave, Santa Maria CA 93455.

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