So if you missed the memo on my FB and IG, I have started a new series on my blog to tell stories of fellow female entrepreneurs that I hope will help motivate and inspire other woman out there like me, like you, who eat, sleep and breathe owning our own businesses. Once a month I will feature a new #girlboss that I think is amazing and whom y’all should meet :) So without further adieu…
Meet Camryn Park. Vintage camera enthusiast, future step-mum to three and a Girl Boss. A fierce one at that.
Camryn has a special ‘something’ about her. Her spirit is warm, inviting and peaceful. With all the natural light shining through her brick and mortar, you would think a simple smile couldn’t light it up anymore, but hers sure does!
Henry and June is a fabulous coffee and clothing gallery located in Atlanta, GA. More specifically, in my very own neighborhood of Virginia Highlands. A perfect new addition might I add. When I arrived for our interview/shoot and saw this redhead in an awesome polka dot jumpsuit and a huge smile, I knew this would be epic. Her real hair color btw. Don’t be jealous now.
When I first walked through the logo-stamped glass door, Camryn and her beau Jim Chambers were happily assisting some customers. They are a couple, they are co-owners, and they are amazing together. You can tell that they genuinely love to be around people. As one woman shopped, I overheard her telling her friend that she just wanted everything. The same thing I said my first time there, sister. Henry and June has that affect on you. Camryn and Jim have curated some of the most amazing designer pieces and coffee that you can’t find anywhere else in Atlanta. And oh the accessories. Camryn chirped that some sunglasses I had pointed out, just one of the items I have been coveting, are only $55. Kelley Bradshaw had work to do, so I made a mental note to come back for those.
It seems Camryn has always had an entrepreneurial spirit. Before Henry and June, she used to post up like the rest of us at Octane, however she would meet with people who wanted to buy precious pieces from her vintage camera collection. I love that cameras were her hustle. That just makes the story even better. She still has over 200 cameras she says. I asked her how did she go from vintage camera seller to the owner of her own boutique. She dived into a fantastic story about how she met Jim, how he had always wanted a coffee shop and she had always wanted to do something with fashion. Eventually they took a trip across the country, their destination: Big Sur, California, home to the Henry Miller Memorial Library. Henry Miller is Jim’s favorite author. The plot thickens. They stopped at tons of coffee shops along the way and were pointed in the direction of a cool men’s clothing store that actually had a little coffee bar inside. They sat and talked with the owner for hours, and realized the concept would be an amazing addition to Atlanta. So with well wishes from the owner, they headed back to Atlanta and Henry and June was born; named after Henry Miller and his wife June.
Camryn inspires me in so many ways. First of all, her style is equal parts effortless and fab. The fact that she never finished school. The fact that on the day I contacted her, she had closed the gallery early; she was out marching in honor of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. The fact that she and Jim call their store a gallery, because they feel that everything in some way can be considered art, like pieces created by a clothing designer. Outfits hang from the ceiling like art installations; a huge framed x-ray taken of a woman wearing a corset is positioned on the back wall. The doctor who originally took it just wanted to show the effects of corset wearing. The x-ray is now an art print. Tis’ true, everything in some way can be considered art. I asked Camryn how long did it take for their idea of a coffee and clothing gallery to turn into a grand opening of over 300 guests last July, and she said about 5 months. 5 months! Now if that’s not motivation to get up and do something I don’t know what is.
Happiness is what one feels floating through the gallery. Several of Camryn’s vintage cameras hang out all over the shop. The camera wall in the very front of the store makes for the perfect Instagram photo op, which guests take full advantage of. The shop even has its own Bean Curator. They take coffee seriously if you didn’t know. Jim is excited about the new bagels they just added to the menu. He says one of the learning curves of being a new business owner is learning their customers and what they want; they like to take this into consideration and provide when they can.
As I got to know Camryn and Jim and their gallery, Camryn walked me around and pointed out some very cool personal touches. To keep her father close, who has passed away, Camryn framed a grade school report card that belonged to him, and it sits proudly near the coffee counter and adds some fab vintage flair. The very cool ‘of course’ white neon light sign hanging on the wall is actually a replica of her mother’s handwriting. Near the dressing room, there is a door; the numbers above, 1220, are the day Camryn and Jim met. The quote below, “where nothing happens” is an ode to Henry Miller and Big Sur, California, naturally.
What I learned from Camryn: that foxes are fierce. Honestly. I asked Camryn what would she consider her spirit animal. She quickly replied “The Fox. They’re fierce.” I also learned that if one has a dream, fear can be in no parts of that equation. She claims she hides hers well, but I believe she is truly fearless. She never let society tell her how or when she could succeed. She did it her own way. She did it a great way. And this makes her amazing. I asked Camryn what would be one piece of advice she would give any woman thinking of starting her own business, she said confidently and proudly “Go for it. Just go for it.” She did. I am. You should.
A great big thank you to Camryn (and Jim!) for sharing your story with me. I hope I captured it well.