By Christopher Gomez
This year, in celebration of Women’s History Month I would love to take the time to highlight some of the incredible women that help keep our urban community a unique and special place for all. To these women we say, grazie mille bellas!
Cecelia Sterling’s boutique, Vocabulary offers pieces for men and women, accessories and home décor, Cecelia has been a staple in the Little Italy community for over 11 years and continues to innovate with FaceTime shopping, a monthly earring subscription and by going live on social media once a week to give updates on what’s new in her store.
Katie McCarthy, owner of Stroll Boutique, has been part of the Little Italy community for over six years and has recently expanded her store to include Stroll Home. Stroll has beautiful accessories, including local artist Sarah Stieber’s new Superpower Jewelry Collection. A Little Italy honorary member, Sarah is also the talented artist behind the gorgeous mural at the Porto Vista Hotel.
Lisa Harrison opened Be Boutique in 2015 and has been offering a unique mix of jewelry, gifts, clothing, and accessories ever since. Marla Ivanna and Valentina Sicoli are the sister-duo behind Valmare Boutique, a unique lifestyle boutique with resort inspired brands including local and international designers. Additional female-owned shops include Rosamariposa, Bluza Boutique, Crema Boutique, Verde, and Often Wander.
In addition to one-of-a-kind boutiques, Little Italy is also home to some truly unique female-owned art galleries including Stefanie Bales Fine Art and Adelman Fine Art. Stefanie Bales first opened her own boutique artist studio and gallery, in the heart of Little Italy in 2019. While only being in the neighborhood for almost two years, this gallery has quickly turned into a must visit. Adelman Fine Art is another sister-duo owned business. A contemporary boutique gallery, Adelman Fine Art offers original paintings, limited edition signed prints, art glass, sculptures, artisan jewelry and unique gifts.
Female-owned businesses are all around our community and fitness and hair salons are no exception. Founder and creative director of Infinte Yoga, Dana Rae Paré, opened her studio in the Little Italy neighborhood back in 2014. Since then, Infinite Yoga has been teaching the powerful and classic form of yoga called Ashtanga Vinyasa Yoga to all levels. Theory Hair Studio, owned by Uyen Tran, is a L’Oreal Professional concept salon serving the Little Italy neighborhood, and visitors from different areas of San Diego, since 2011.
One of the first things people think about when they think of Little Italy is the Little Italy Mercato and it couldn’t happen without our fearless leader, Catt White. Founded in 2008, Catt, in partnership with the Little Italy Association, had a strong desire to provide people in her urban neighborhood with a great source of fresh food with a European flare. Now, members of our community can enjoy a selection of farm produce, artisan foods, meat and eggs, plus crafts and plants at an excellent value.
Last, but certainly not least, we’d like to thank the female board and staff members of the Little Italy Association – Olivia Connolly, Annette Casemero, Diana Strauss Casey, Sandi Cottrell, Melanie Dellas, Jeri Keiller, Jocelyn Marcus, Catt White, Rosie DeLuca, Dianne Serna De León, Laura Li Mandri, Shirley Zawadzki, Monica Montes, and to all of the women of Little Italy, we love you, we thank you and we wish you a Happy Women’s History Month!
For the latest updates on Little Italy, please visit us at www.LittleItalySD.com or follow us on Instagram @LittleItalySD, Twitter @LittleItalySD and Facebook @LittleItalySD.
— Christopher Gomez has been Little Italy’s district manager since 2000. Reach him at email@example.com.