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Here are 6 of Your Favorite Leading Ladies of San Diego

You Voted! Now Get To Know The Women Who Run SD

Written By: Karli Karandos Female Influencers in San Diego

Who run the world? Girls. And according to you, these are the top girls running San Diego! Here are the winners of the Favorite Leading Lady in San Diego poll presented by Wells Fargo. Entrepreneurs, business owners, chefs, designers, fashionistas, mothers, sisters, wives, and more. These wonderful women wear many hats, which made it particularly interesting to pick their brains. Keep reading to find out more about how they achieved success and overcame setbacks, as well as some very crucial fashion advice!

Allison Andrews, Founder and Director of Fashion Week San Diego

Question: What has been the most challenging aspect of your career?

Allison Andrews: The most challenging aspect of my career was just starting it. Creating Fashion Week San Diego from nothing, with no assistance or major backing, was quite a challenge and continued to be for the first couple years.

Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration?

AA: Myself, and who I wanted to be. Not just for me, but for my family, my mom, my husband, and now my daughter. I’m motivated by women in general and to use my lifetime to its full potential. What I mean by this is being able to be an entrepreneur, mother, and wife while still maintaining my individuality.

Q: What do you do in your spare time?

AA: I love spending time with my family. My husband is my best friend and I truly enjoy our time together. I also love to garden at my home and volunteer at Rancho Coastal Humane Society.

Q: What advice can you give to other female entrepreneurs and business owners?

AA: Be stubborn, loud, determined and strong—even when you are told no. Also, don’t settle for anything! Even within your personal life. Sometimes you need to know when to walk away! Never let your ego be your leader. Ego can be the death of many entrepreneurs.

Q: What is the one fashion rule you always follow?

AA: Have one really excellent and fantastic pair of black closed toe high heels—with a pointed toe, not rounded. I live by this rule: spend your money on designer accessories, not clothing. Also, whenever you can, buy from local designers.


Kristen Tebbetts, Owner of Bloomers La Jolla

Question: Where does your passion for flowers and floral design “stem” from?

Kristen Tebbetts: I have always had a tendency toward art and love the creativity and beauty that I can create with flowers.

Q: What is your favorite flower? Why?

KT: My favorite flower is a magnolia. I love everything about them, from the stunning and smooth ivory petals, the slow and graceful way they open, their glossy on one side, brown velvet on the other foliage, their intoxicating fragrance, and the way they attract bees.

Q: How has Bloomers of La Jolla evolved over the years?

KT: Bloomers was started in 1981 as a small flower cart in the heart of La Jolla. When I purchased the shop in 2009, it was a small outdoor stand. In 2011, we moved into a large retail location with a 200 sf cooler, and this year we were voted the number one best florist in La Jolla according to the local Reader’s Choice poll.

Q: What makes Bloomers of La Jolla different from other florists?

KT: Bloomers of La Jolla is different because of the personal customer service you receive as a client of our shop. We value everyone that visits our shop and form a personal relationship with the great majority of our neighbors and patrons.

Q: What advice would you give to other female entrepreneurs?

KT: Trust your intuition.


Minet and Natalie Taylor, Dolcetti Boutique

Question: What are the benefits of shopping local brands?

Minet and Natalie Taylor: We believe in small business and supporting the other small businesses in your community. We also think it’s a wonderful thing to offer items that customers can only get here in San Diego and will remind them of their time spent here.

Q: What is your go-to outfit?

NT: I am a dress girl all the way! Throw it on with sandals in the summer, or tights, booties and a leather jacket in the fall and you always have a cute outfit!

MT: I am a dress girl too! A dress is an easy way to be comfortable and look put together at the same time. I love maxis and shift dresses.

Q: Where is your favorite place to travel?

NT: My two favorite European cities are Paris and Florence. Recently, I just went to Thailand on my honeymoon and that climbed the charts for being one of my favorite places!

MT: I love to travel anywhere tropical. Bora-Bora is among the most beautiful tropical destinations I’ve been to. I’ve been to Paris several times, and it is my favorite city on earth.

Q: What are some difficult aspects of being business partners with your sister?

NT: Normally, you wouldn’t have your feelings hurt or feel sensitive about things in business the way you do in some situations being in business with family.

MT: Taking business out of the relationship. Natalie and I see each other every day at work, but occasionally it feels like we haven’t spent any time together. It’s important for us to do “sister” things separate from our business, to maintain a real and true relationship.

Q: What are the perks of being business partners with your sister?

NT: We are on the same page. We love the same things, wear the same things, and think the same things!

MT: Natalie and I have different strengths, but our core values and ideas for the business are the same. There is no one I would trust more than Natalie to run this business with me.

Christina Pancheri, Executive Chef at Miss B’s Coconut Club

Question: What challenges do female chefs face in the culinary world?

Christina Pancheri: It is a difficult field to get into when you are a female due to the culinary world being very male driven. Being with the guys on the line can be intimidating when you first begin your journey as a cook. Sometimes they might undermine you for being female or try to outshine you, but I chose to put my head down, work twice as hard, worked extra hours, pushed myself every time I felt defeated, and kept going.

Q: Where does your passion for cooking come from?

CP: My passion for food has been instilled in me since I was a little girl cooking with my parents for holiday family dinners. Food makes everyone happy, and I think bringing that happiness to others is one of the things that drives me every day.

Q: What food or dish best represents you?

CP: I would say pan seared scallops. I love playing with spirits in my food, so I would do a bourbon maple bacon glaze on top of them for some sweet and savory deliciousness. Underneath the scallops I would do a roasted butternut squash puree. Then I would finish the dish with some fresh pomegranate seeds, chopped apple-wood smoked bacon, a pomegranate balsamic reduction, and some fresh peppery wild arugula.

Q: What is your favorite ingredient to cook with?

CP: Garlic. If not garlic, then WHISKEY! It brings another layer to dishes and flavor that you can’t achieve from other spirits; the smokey, sweet, malty, and oaky flavor is just delectable!

Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration?

CP: Julia Child has been a joy to watch since I was a little girl, and I still love looking back and watching her episodes. Cat Cora has been a huge inspiration for me. She is the first female Iron Chef in America and has grown an empire around her that is truly amazing.


Allison Campbell, Pure Barre East Village

Question: What advice can you give to other female business owners?

Allison Campbell: Trust your gut and your abilities! There will always be setbacks and challenges but those are just learning opportunities that make you and your business stronger.  Be assertive, be unapologetic, and be intentional in everything you are doing.

Q: How is your studio Pure Barre East Village different from other barre fitness studios?

AC: Pure Barre East Village is all about community.  My aim was to create a space that’s more than just where you show up to workout—it’s like hanging out with friends (and cute leggings!).  We have such amazing clients and being surrounded by strong women is the greatest feeling.

Q: What is your favorite thing to do after working out?

AC: After a class, I love to walk around downtown and stop in at one of the awesome local businesses. Whether it’s grabbing a coffee, a smoothie, a glass of wine, or shopping for something to wear away from the barre, it feels like a nice reward and maximizes that post-workout endorphin high.

Q: Where does your passion for fitness come from?

AC: My personal experience has shown me the transformative power of fitness. The combination of technique, music, and the support and energy from the teacher and other clients in class allowed me to leave all my to-do lists and problems aside for an hour and push myself to find out what I’m capable of–it’s like therapy!

Q: Who has been your biggest inspiration?

AC: I always look to my mom on both a fitness and a personal level. Growing up, she always made time to get her workout in. When I feel like giving up, I think about how much she is able to accomplish in a day and let that reinvigorate me to tackle the next thing on my list.


Rachel Hunt, Owner of Wild Dove Boutique

Question: What makes Wild Dove unique?

Rachel Hunt: Wild Dove is the perfect complement to the urban woman. Wild’s

laidback, downtown edge embraces Dove’s effortless and feminine detail. It’s Wild Dove’s intention to bring elevated, sensible fashion to San Diego women without compromising quality or price.

Q: How would you describe your own personal style?

RH: Parisian meets California. I love clean & minimalistic, but I typically will mix something edgy in there. I’m a sucker for a good blazer, striped tee, cutoff shorts with some moto booties.

Q: Who or what has been your biggest inspiration?

RH: The idea that Wild Dove is bringing more fashion to San Diego. When my clients are so excited and thankful for what Wild Dove offers them, it makes everything worth it!  I am very humbled by it.

Q: What advice can you give to other female business owners?

RH: It’s going to be a rollercoaster, but everyday is an opportunity to learn something new, make a mistake, be productive, or make a great connection. It’s a matter of showing up and being present.

Q: What is your best fashion advice?

RH: Good basic tees are always an essential.

Q&A With San Diego’s Leading Ladies

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