Get Inspiration with Inspiration Boutique and Gallery in San Juan Capistrano

You will be truly inspired with Inspiration Boutique and gallery. I found this uber cute boutique by accident in San Juan Capistrano. In front of the boutique is a charming bike adorned with silk flowers which caught my aesthetic sense. As I walked in, I thought the store looks familiar. And yes, I was right, it was the Inspiration boutique where my friends and I went at the Outlets in San Clemente. One of my friends introduced me to the store and showed the intricate details from their paper bags to the tags. It just felt so personalized.

The shabby chic haven is now located in San Juan Capistrano. Inspiration Boutique and Gallery sells distinctive clothing. The clothes are well-designed and the store itself is the quintessential instagram-friendly. You will see murals that were painted by the owner, Julie Mazza as well as some of her work on hats and other merch.

Because I was impressed with the boutique, I decided to interview the owner.

Popbuff: Tell me how you started your business in retail.
Julie: I studied Fine Arts in Cal State Long Beach then worked in textile design and then moved to interior design. When I entered motherhood, I still wanted to pursue my passion in drawing and art but I wanted to have a flexible schedule. So I started my mural business. Years later, my husband Patrick started his own business which allowed us to work together. Patrick grew up with entrepreneurial parents and grandparents where they had their own business since 1895. So he had a lot of experience in that space. As a result, working with Patrick and collaborating with creative women, Inspiration Boutique & Gallery was born.

Popbuff: Why did you pick the name “Inspiration” for your boutique, why not your name or something else?
Julie: In 2017 my husband and I purchased Inspiration Boutique & Gallery. The name was kept, as Patrick and I quickly related to the name as “In Spirit,” of love and truth “in” keeping with our faith. I see each clothing piece as art, in keeping with the “Gallery” part of the name.

Popbuff: How would you describe your boutique and what makes it different among others?
Julie: No matter what you have in mind when you walk in, our staff of passionate professionals is dedicated to crafting the perfect look for you. You won’t experience assertive sales, just honest direction. Inspiration carries a fun mix of women’s clothing, shoes, jewelry, and accessory items. Much of the “look” is composed of relaxed, sometimes bold color, pattern, and texture to help create a Boho Chic appearance so indicative of our lovely coastal chic lifestyles. Suffice to say, “Sometimes Art hangs on the wall, sometimes you wear it.”

Inspiration Boutique and Gallery in San Juan Capistrano - Popbuff

Popbuff: Who is/are involved in picking the styles?
Julie: My team and I share the same passion for style. So we do constant researching and brainstorming.

Popbuff: Where do you get inspiration to decorate your store? The design is really impressive.
Julie: Decorating the store is one of my passions as an artist. I painted/distressed just about every piece of furniture in my store. I also painted the walls of the dressing rooms. There is a special piece on the wall – the angel wings which is the cut-out sheet rock from the original location, before the remodel. I didn’t have any particular inspiration, just that of wanting to create a “lightness” so that the clothing can stand out. For that reason I’ve chosen my fixtures to be predominantly white and then I colorize the clothing to be in a harmonious flow as much as possible.

Inspiration Boutique and Gallery  San Juan Capistrano- Popbuff
Julie’s art on the hat

Popbuff: What are the challenges you have encountered so far?
Julie: Inspiration Boutique has been presented with many challenges. The move to The Outlets at San Clemente provided an additional 700 square feet which needed to be filled, as well as decoration on a larger scale. It also meant more staffing and longer hours. Things were humming along and then March 16th, 2020 brought the COVID shutdown, which was also the same day that Patrick and I were presented the key to return to after the remodel! It was at this moment that we prayerfully decided to take advantage of the “down time” and return. We re-opened that October. The challenges are still present ever since Covid. People don’t seem to be dressing up as much, with many saying they still have their Covid pounds. So my mantra is “Prayerfully greet the day, get dressed, and do your best!” Staffing has been a difficulty and maintaining two locations led to stresses. So on December 31st, 2022, the San Clemente location was closed.

Popbuff: What’s the best part of owning a boutique?
Julie: The best part of owning a boutique is the creativity involved. The staff which becomes family, and the friendships created with return customers. The latter two are the most important; they are synonymous with what I call “success.”

Popbuff: What are your plans for the future?
Julie: Plans for Inspiration’s future include a new website, which should go live any day now. Also, create new graphic tee designs and paint on clothing, handbags, and hats. In addition to the new product will be unique vintage pieces. I also plan to have “Paint Shenanigans.” Stay posted!

Inspiration Boutique and Gallery in San Juan Capistrano - Popbuff

Popbuff: What advice can you give young entrepreneurs who’d like to own a fashion boutique
Julie: My advice to young entrepreneurs is to evaluate your priorities in life. You will work and work hard. It will sometimes be an almost 24/7 deal, where your mind won’t shut off rerunning events of the day and how to resolve things that pop up. Be prepared as much as you can be. Sometimes you will have to cover for someone that can’t come in and your plans will be altered, many times over. When it comes to the design of your boutique and what you carry, research and write down your favorites. Be original and make it your own. Stay loyal to your convictions because there’s only one you and that’s what makes your boutique special.

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Julie and her team at inspiration Boutique and Gallery - Popbuff
Julie and her team at inspiration Boutique and Gallery
The cute fitting room in Inspiration Boutique and Gallery-Popbuff.jpg
The cute fitting room in Inspiration Boutique and Gallery
Julie and husband

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