SANTA YNEZ, Calif. - Mary Beth Larkin has big dreams.
"I feel so lucky to be doing what I love … I do my passion ... and how many people can come to work and say I'm doing my passion," said Larkin.
Larkin’s passion led her to becoming a fashion designer for Armani in New York where she learned how to survive the unexpected.
“Armani did prepare me in the sense that you know in New York and working as a designer there … it’s really this pace that you just have to like really move pretty fast … and you have to learn how to pivot," said Larkin.
When the Santa Barbara resident tried to launch a clothing store in Santa Ynez before the pandemic, her plans took a turn.
So I had to do the whole online thing and really focus on that. But I also took my time to focus on that and focus on designing … instead of focusing on the negativity of COVID," said Larkin.
The doors to her namesake boutique, 'Larkin' are now open in Santa Ynez.
"I’m very excited about it … I’ve been following her line … it’s very nice to see it come to fruition," said artist Masha Keating of Masha Keating Gallery in Santa Ynez.
While Larkin is glad to finally open her new store, she believes it wouldn’t have been possible without the support from other local businesses.
“We all go up together or we go down together ... and if we create a positive experience for the community ... the more people will come ... more people shop ... and it’s just good for everybody," said Keating.
Larkin hopes to one day go global.
But for now, she’s just grateful to be part of a community that helped build her dream as a fashion designer right here in Santa Ynez.
"Everybody is so supported and all the businesses have been so supportive … it’s very excited," said Larkin.
Her store’s upcoming ribbon cutting event is set for Saturday, September 24 at the new flagship location.