By Mary-Justine Lanyon
The middle of a pandemic hardly seems like the time to make your dream come true.
But’s that what has happened for Sonia Rios. The recent Lake Arrowhead resident began formulating her business plan three years ago. She had worked in retail for years and always wanted to open her own shop.
The result is Honey Habits, the newest store to open in Lake Arrowhead Village.
Rios spent all last year looking for the perfect location for her shop. “This location is everything I envisioned,” she said.
“Everyone has been very helpful and supportive. I don’t think I would have gotten that support elsewhere.”
At the store’s grand opening and ribbon cutting on Aug. 15, Rios said more than one person has told her how brave she was to open a store at this time. But she feels that folks are hungry for something new to do, a new place to go.
“Lots of people have told me this will be a real boost to the Village and to the community,” Rios said.
Erin Wiley, the manager of Lake Arrowhead Village, announced the store’s opening at the August Lake Arrowhead Municipal Advisory Council meeting. “That’s an extraordinarily brave thing to do, to open now,” she said.
Robin Bull, the executive director of the Lake Arrowhead Communities Chamber of Commerce, introduced Rios at the ribbon cutting as she handed her the large pair of scissors.
Rios thanked her family and friends, “who have been with me since day one.”
With that, her supporters shot off confetti guns, sprinkling brightly colored stars over the onlookers and the sidewalk.
The shop – which is laid out very tastefully – carries women’s clothing in a style Rios describes as bohemian chic. “It’s trendy,” she added, noting that her target audience is women from 20 to 45. But, she was quick to add, “we have something for every woman.”
Honey Habits will be getting new inventory every week.
Rios attended Magic, the fashion trade show, in Las Vegas last February. The August show was canceled due to COVID-19 but Rios said the vendors are all available online.
She hopes to have her website up soon. Shoppers will be able to make purchases online, something she sees visitors taking advantage of. “When they come to Lake Arrowhead and visit the shop,” she said, “they can take those memories home and shop from there as well.”
Honey Habits will be open seven days a week. Its summer hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. It is located at the end of the peninsula, between Coach and the ice cream shop.