Spending her first several years in business at a storefront in the 1700 block of Main Street, Pencie and Ginger owner Adriana Pinasco Lewis recently made the move to The Merchant Yard, 1455 First.
She is in Suite 2 at the renovated Escalon Lumber and Hardware building, which now includes four separate business suites.
“I started with just newborn through size 6,” Lewis said of originally catering to young children through the items in her shop. “Eventually we added larger sizes and women’s so now it’s more of a ‘mommy and me’ – we have items for moms, grandma’s and aunts.”
Knowing that she was outgrowing her Main Street site, she learned that there was one more suite available at the renovated First Street building when two of the other tenants – Megan Webb and Kimberly Sha Caton – were shopping in her store and told her of the opening.
“It’s like it was meant to be,” Lewis explained, adding that while the new storefront is “only a couple of hundred square feet bigger” the layout is such that it allows for much more display room.
“There is tons of space, tons of light,” she said of having a large window looking out on First Street, a window where she can now display some new arrivals.
“The town has been super supportive,” she added of not only the move to First Street but also patronizing the store when it was on Main.
She is entering her eighth year in business and said the store was named after her great-grandmother Pencie and her grandmother Ginger.
“I always wanted to own my own business,” said the Cal Poly grad.
After she had her first daughter, it seemed like the time was right to fill a niche locally, that of unique children’s clothing, which wasn’t available in town. It also provided her with the opportunity to work and bring her newborn to work with her. After the birth of her second daughter, she knew being the business owner was definitely the right fit, able to juggle and balance motherhood and business.
“Ginger was really into fashion,” Lewis added of her grandmother. “She was flashy, she loved gold. She passed away when I was eight, but she made a huge impact on my life.”
Lewis said she started going to different markets and shows to create a product line focusing primarily on fancy dresses and then added to it as she leaned of the needs and wants of her customers.
Daughters Sofia, 8, and Giana, 5, now often accompany their mom to the store and enjoy helping out. And, Lewis said, if they see an item in the store they want, they have to earn the money to buy it.
“They love mommy’s store,” she confessed. “They want to have a store someday.”
Husband John Lewis has been a steady supporter of the small business throughout its multi-year run and all agree the new location should only help grow the clientele.
With three other employees – two girls and her mom – assisting Lewis at the store, hours are Tuesday, Wednesday and Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
“We are literally getting new items in every day, especially at this time of year,” said Lewis, who travels to markets in Los Angeles, Las Vegas and San Francisco to purchase items.
So whether you are looking for a special outfit, a book for a toddler, that perfect purse for a friend, a candle to warm the chilly autumn evenings or some skin-nourishing, aromatic lotions, you can find those – and more – at Pencie and Ginger.
This is the second in a four-part series of features on the businesses in The Merchant Yard; look for the next installment in the Nov. 17 issue of The Times.