19 Oct Jamara Ghalayini | Pumpkinheads
Jamara Ghalayini makes it her business to help children. Literally. She founded the childrens clothes shop Pumpkinheads, as a means to fund the many causes she supports.
Why a children’s clothes store?
I became painfully aware that even in perceived affluent areas there are third world conditions. With Pumpkinheads I could create a continuous revenue stream for local children’s charities which would exceed the contributions I could make individually. And clothing – because even in economic downturns children continue to be born and grow…and that results in new clothes! Additionally, there is a synergy due to the fact that we are a child focused industry. It allows us to operate as a profitable business with the added benefit of making a difference to the people we serve and the charities we partner with.
What labels do you carry?
A lot of hard to find European brands like IKKS, Lili Gaufrette, and Mayoral. Also the uber cool Dutch brand Scotch Shrunk. We focus at least 30% of our inventory on ‘Made in the USA’ brands, and our biggest seller is the celeb favorite Daily Threads.
No brainer. Down to earth, loyal people that make us feel as much a part of their lives as they are ours. It is one of the most community centered neighborhoods in the entire LA area. It has the wonderful familiarity of a small town in the midst of the madness of the Westside! Additionally, we have similar taste in fashion. Brentwood is full of savvy, classy consumers that are not overly concerned with trends.
How long have you been here and do you support the community?
Since September 2005. We support our community in every way possible. From word of mouth about other merchants in the area (we believe that there is room for everyone, and the best way to stay in business is to help others do the same!). We feel very strongly that part of doing business in Brentwood means supporting the families that patronize our store. We readily donate to schools and causes that our customers feel are important and are always looking for new ways to be involved.
What charities do you support and what difference have you made?
Our current charity partners are: Baby2Baby (www.baby2baby.org) for which we serve as a collection center of gently used and new items for babies and children up to 12. They do pick ups every Friday because our clients are so supportive and giving. We have an entire fitting room closet that collects anything and everything a baby or child in need can use!
Children’s Action Network founded by a Brentwood mom, Jennifer Perry. As an adopted child myself I find the work that CAN does to find permanent loving homes for kids of the utmost importance. We yearly donate brand new full wardrobes from our inventory (usually 3-4 outfits, pj’s, underwear and accessories) to children during the holiday time as well as gift outfits for children to wear during their video interviews.
The Help Group also with its roots in Brentwood via founder Barbara Firestone. This group has several campuses which educate children with learning and social challenges. We have donated thousands in clothing to their Silverlining Boutique (a designer reseller shop that they opened to provide vocational training to their students as well as raise money for their schools) as wells as organizing donations from our vendors and clients.
My partnership with No Limits is one of my longest charity commitments. No Limits serves an unmet need in the community by teaching deaf children to confidently speak, achieve, dream, and inspire through its national theatrical program and after-school educational center. Michelle Christie takes children who cannot speak and are not learning due to hearing loss and the inability of the public school system to be able to accommodate their special needs, and opens up a world of possibility. For a No Limits child it is this simple. They come to the center with literally no speaking ability, functioning at a lever FAR below their age and it is as clear as if someone flicks a switch “ON”. Life changes from the first day. I cant tell you how profound the change is. 100% of the students from Michelle’s program have gone on to college.
Lastly, but not least, I serve on the committee for the March of Dimes Signature Chef Event that is held October 6. They are largely responsible for the lifesaving measures that are employed to save the lives of premature infants as well as many of the screenings that are done to rule out and catch treatable disease in newborns.
Proudest achievement Without a doubt overcoming the challenge of pregnancy and the delivery of my daughter, Ofelia, 3 years ago. Hands down my greatest achievement. The one I am most grateful for as well. Something unusual we don’t know about – We have a large assortment of magic tricks. I am a huge fan of magic! We also carry real gardening tools for kids. Strangest thing that happened in the store – a bird attacked me in the store and I dove under the counter, and wouldn’t come out until the deli owner next door chased it out. Oh, and the ceiling collapsed over the register one day…that was crazy too! Celebrities who shop here Jennifer Garner, Halle Berry, Rachel Zoe, Jill Dempsey, Alessandra Ambrosio, Adam Sandler, Alanis Morrisette, Alyson Hannigan…the list goes on. We are very fortunate in this regard. Favorite place in Brentwood Hmm….Pumpkinheads of course! But…if I have to pick outside of that…ugh…I am just going to say it…SUSIECAKES!!!!
Pumpkinheads 11640 San Vicente Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90049
Phone:(310) 207-6760 www.pumpkinheadkids.com