Girl of the week – Susie (Black Eyed Susie)

Tell us about Black Eyed Susie.
Black-Eyed Susie is a consignment boutique for men and women. It’s mainly contemporary clothing and accessories but I also offer a small vintage section. The feel of the store is very important to me. I want it to feel like you are stopping by a friend’s house to borrow something. No hard sells. I have a rule to always be honest about how something looks. It makes for a great environment for everyone.

Where can we find you online?!/BlackEyedSusieDC

Why a clothing store?
If you saw my closet you would understand why a clothing store… I love clothing. I love the way the right outfit makes you feel your best. I am excited by one-of-a-kind finds that come into my store and I am even more excited when someone comes in and falls in love with that item. That is what makes it worth it.

Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
No. I actually always said that I wanted to have a regular 9-to-5 and that would be it. Then I had a 9-to-5 and it was horrible. I only lasted one year! Black-Eyed Susie was always a pipe dream of mine. I was very lucky in early 2009 when the company I was working for laid me off. It was the swift kick in the behind that I needed to follow my dreams.

You wake up at 4:45AM in the morning?
Yes. I wake up at 4:45am three or four days out of the week depending on my clients’ schedules. I work part-time as a personal trainer and group exercise instructor with the Washington Sports Clubs. I have been working in gyms since I was still in college at Virginia Commonwealth University. It’s something that I love doing and don’t intend to give up anytime soon.

What is it like being the daughter of Iranian Jew?
It’s tough. There are a lot of cultural differences that are hard to overcome at times. My father came here in the 1970’s. He went to school full time while working full time. The best thing that I learned from him was a strong work ethic.

What was it like working at the JCC?
I worked at the JCC in Richmond, VA for three years while I was in college and a little after. I worked in their fitness center. It was one of the best working environments that I have experienced, secondary to my store, of course. The JCC is like a strong knit family, everybody is very welcoming and willing to give a hand.

Have you been to Israel yet?
Yes. I have been twice. The first time I went with Israel Outdoors on their hiking trip in the winter of 2008. I went for the second time in the fall of 2009. I went to visit a great friend from college who moved to Jerusalem. We went backpacking through Israel, Jordan, Sinai, and Egypt. Both trips were amazing.

What do you want to be when you grow up?
I am glad that you don’t consider me grown up. I love the store and hope to have the store for the next 10 years. I also have dreams of going to pastry school and eventually opening up a bakery and coffee shops. Other times I dream about opening a bar with some friends. Who knows? Maybe I can do it all!

What is your favorite Jewish holiday?
My favorite Jewish holiday when I was little was always Sukkot, because I always received a Hershey’s candy bar after services. Oh how easily I am swayed. Now, I am just happy for any occasion to get together with my family.

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