Posted on 04 January 2013 by laha1016
By Ashlen Dominguez
La Habra Journal
Standing at the cash register counting change for another satisfied customer, 22-year-old Courtney Heinlein looks more like the college student that she is than an experienced shopkeeper. A young business owner as well as college senior, she fits in perfectly at the trendy boutique that has become her career. Vintage Vogue, located at 2220 W. Whittier Blvd., is just the type of store Heinlein has always dreamed about owning and Heinlein is proud to call it her own. “Business is good,” says Heinlein. “It’s surprisingly better than I thought it would ever be.”
For nearly five years Heinlein has been running the clothing store and business is starting to really take off. “Everything has pretty much changed except the prices,” Heinlein said as she reflected on the early years when the store was known mainly for bringing style to second-hand shopping. The racks were once packed with unique items from customers that came in looking to get rid of some old clothes in exchange for cash or store credit. Since the grand opening back in 2008, business has evolved and Heinlein has been able to expand on the selection of popular yet affordable new clothes. She no longer sells used items, but aims to keep all her prices low even as she offers much more.
Still very particular about what she sells, she chooses to personally select the items that she brings into the store. Heinlein has made it her job to give her customers popular fashion at an affordable cost. Clothes line the walls and scarves, shoes, jewelry, and polish cover most of the counter tops. Over the past year she has been able to provide her customers with a range of different styles and sizes-something she was never able to do before.
This year alone Vintage Vogue experienced a huge growth in traffic because of some of the holiday items and specials she advertised on the store’s social media sites. For a small business five years is a huge milestone and with the anniversary quickly approaching, Heinlein is confident the store will continue to thrive as sales boost and social media helps her to lengthen her reach when it comes to customers.
Shoppers Brianhyra Medellin and Jessica Oyarzabal both traveled from Baldwin Park because of items they saw on Vintage Vogues’ Instagram.
“We wait until we save enough so we can come and do all our shopping,” Medellin said. “You can’t just leave with one thing.” All items priced at under $20 and on an average day a whole outfit can be purchased for around $30. Over summer, popular swimsuits were selling for under $20, as were many costumes during Halloween.
Both Medellin and Oyarzabal say they make the drive to Vintage Vogue because everything is always so inexpensive and they can easily find what they are looking for and more.
The majority of traveling customers are enticed to make the long trip to Vintage Vogue after seeing a preview of items on various websites. Once Heinlein created a Facebook page and Instagram site, she has been able to reach people from all over the world that are interested in what her store offers. She now does telephone and Internet orders for domestic and international shipping in addition to her loyal local visitors.
Although she never imagined any of the sites would gain so much attention, she is pleased with the results and hopes to one day expand. “In the future…it’s definitely something I think about for after graduation,” said Heinlein.
As a business major at Cal State Fullerton and owner of Vintage Vogue, Heinlein has been busy at work, but with graduation close the senior is now looking to the future and other possibilities. So far, the vintage boutique has been a great experience for the young owner as she finishes school and perfects the art of running a successful business. Still, Heinlein isn’t ready to stop dreaming and fans of the store are cheering her on as she entertains the idea of growing as a business.
The store is located in Chantry Square Shopping Center and is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday. Many items can be previewed online at: