Entrepreneurs Flock to Pasadena as Businesses Blossom During Summer

Published : Friday, August 25, 2017 | 4:56 AM

While summer typically sets a slow pace for most people, over the past two months frenetic local entrepreneurs kept pace with a famous national brand, Dunkin’ Donuts, in bringing new business concepts into reality across Pasadena at a surprising rate.

A variety of hopeful and passionate business tastemakers are bringing the fruits of their labor to Pasadena in the coming weeks across a range of industries and services ranging from acupuncture, to gourmet chef take-out meals, to Instagram-famous-turned-brick-and-mortar clothing stores, all of whom thoughtfully selected this city as the perfect place to launch.

“I immediately knew that the first place I wanted to make sure I locked down for a location was Pasadena … that decision was very strategic,” said Modern Acupuncture franchise owner and San Gabriel Valley native Yvette Beaulieu.

Modern Acupuncture says it is the first acupuncture franchise in the nation and the new Pasadena location marks the inaugural of about 30 locations that are expected to open in the Los Angeles area in the coming year, the company said in a statement.

Modern Acupuncture says it offers an enhanced acupuncture experience that uses needle therapy on nodes to increase blood flow — but unlike traditional acupuncture, does not require the removal of any clothing by the patient to access full-body health.

It’s no surprise that the acupuncture franchise would debut in a city which many consider the seat of health-consciousness in the San Gabriel Valley.

“This community’s appreciation for health and wellness and their willingness to be pioneers of new things makes Modern Acupuncture an excellent fit in Pasadena. I think it’s also important to note that Pasadena is a very diverse community,” Beaulieu said. “Modern Acupuncture will serve all types of individuals from young athletes, pregnant moms, hard working professionals, and retirees. I cannot wait to get the doors open.”

The company estimates that 150 locations will be opened and operating by 2020.

For now Beaulieu is locking down the perfect location for Modern Acupuncture. The grand opening date remains “tba.”

“We are actively seeking real estate as we speak. I would love to have a prime spot on Lake [Avenue], so finding that is my number one priority right now,” Beaulieu said.

Fitness buffs also have a reason to get excited. Active healthies who want to take their routine to a level inspired by military workouts will be happy to see F45, a functional high-intensity gym franchise, make itsr Pasadena debut in mid-October.

F45 is high-intensity interval training which consists of 45-minute classes and is catered to meet the physical needs of people aged 18 to 66.

According to franchise owner and former Australian military member Cameron Wilson, F45 is unique because participants have endless workout options thanks to its high-tech computerized system.

“You can do the same class every week for a year and you’ll never be in the same class twice,” Wilson said.

When asked what makes F45 different from other high-intensity gyms, Wilson said, “We’re the one with the most variety.”

Wilson said he chose to open his franchise in Pasadena after he heard such positive things about the City he decided it would be the best place in America not only for his business, but also the best in which to start a new life and settle down with his family.

“Pasadena is beautiful and clean, the people are friendly and nice, and it’s just more homely [which in Australian English means ‘cozy and comfortable’] than any other place I’ve been to in Southern California,” Wilson said.

F45 will open in mid-October and will be located on the first floor of the Hudson Apartments at 678 E Walnut St.

Pasadena also has something new when it comes to fashion. New store Lavish made the jump to a storefront last Saturday after its millennial entrepreneur established her client base online.
The once Instagram-only business was started about four years ago by the now 25-year-old Inam Fraihat after she acquired trendy necklaces from a trip to Morocco and quietly sold them to a small group of internet friends via social media simply for fun.

“It kept growing and people would ask me where I get my outfits, accessories, and this and that. I kind of just kept on growing with my customers,” explained Fraihat.

The store evolved naturally in a 21st century digital age way, making a name for itself since the website launched. The brand’s social media accounts have attracted over 10,000 followers online thanks to popular social media influencers who have happily sported the brand’s clothing on the internet.

“They’re wearing their outfits to awards shows, music videos, and all of that fun stuff,” said Fraihat.

Riding a burgeoning boost in popularity, Fraihat found herself quickly in need of a storefront where customers can come in and see for themselves.

Pasadena was Fraihat’s first choice.

“I love that it’s a really tight-knit community. It’s a very organic family feel,” said Fraihat. “We work with the community a lot.”

Fraihat plans to have book signings, exhibitions of Pasadena artists, and other events to get the community involved at her 746 E. Colorado Boulevard location.

Lavish’s customer base has tripled since opening its street location, she said.

“There’s always an art show or music festival down the street and we get to be a part of that,” said Fraihat, who mentioned her excitement about this year’s Rose Parade, which can expose her businesses to tens of thousands of individuals in a single day.

“It’s cool that it’s in Pasadena because now our customers can come in and then have a cute little lunch or grab coffee down the street,” said Fraihat.

Proximity is also a key factor in choosing Pasadena as the store’s headquarters.

“It’s in the middle to everywhere. It’s close to LA, but they don’t have to deal with the traffic and if they’re coming from further out areas. It’s kind of a mid point,” said Fraihat.

Other businesses that are expected to open in coming weeks include It’s Boba Time, Baja Cali Fish and Tacos, Granville Cafe, Fishwives, Movita Juice Bar and others

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