Lesson #1: Don't Give Up

OK, so about those pesky locations. I was originally (around December 2004) looking for a location in Beverly Hills. I found a 2,500-sq.-ft. site I loved, but the rent was too high ($14,000 a month!), the timing was wrong, and it was just an all-around tough sale to convince anyone to finance me at that point. Needless to say, I didn’t get the funding on that one.


Then, there was location #2, otherwise known as the False Hope of 2005. I signed a lease on June 1, for a great location between two popular cafes in Studio City and was promised delivery of the space on Nov. 1, 2005 (the landlord needed to do a lot of remodeling before I would get the space). The delivery date kept being pushed back and pushed back (it was by now the middle of 2006) until finally, after two 30-day notices we sent, we released ourselves from the lease. This was truly devastating for me. Being the enthusiastic person that I am, I’d told everyone and their brother about the location and how great it was going to be. I was crushed. It’d been almost two years, and I had nothing to show for it.


The third time was the charm, though the transaction was far from charming. We found our final location — 12246 Ventura Blvd. in Studio City — a 1,500-sq.-ft. space that formerly housed a nail salon. Due to complicated buyer/seller issues, the deal initially imploded, and it looked like I was going to have to find location #4. A few months later, my real estate broker recommended giving the site another go. There was a lot of arguing between lawyers, but in October 2006, the deal went through for real. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

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