Anandi Heinrich and Ramá Zoe Heinrich

Downtown: How do you nurture Community Downtown?

Anandi: My sister and I were born in Santa Cruz and we grew up coming downtown and familiar with all parts of this wonderful county. And when my mom bought the business, we both started working in the business pretty much as soon as we could and became a part of the downtown community, and our teenage years and really, really enjoyed meeting all the different people from all over the county and all over the world. And so now to be continuing this business, after over 30 years with our mom, it’s a wonderful opportunity to be a part of it and create it and by being here and welcoming people from all over the county and the world.

Downtown: What are your favorite things you do everyday in your business?

Ramá Zoe: Really my favorite part is coming to work everyday because I love the community of people that we have here and working together and I’m proud of what we’ve built and all the people who we support here and to grow and I think really investing in our employees and seeing them thrive. It’s a great community of people. So I love coming to work. I feel really lucky.

Anandi: Yeah, it seems like any day coming to work is an opportunity to be able to learn more about Santa Cruz and to represent Santa Cruz more. So that kind of ties back into the community building for me that we have this really strong sense of community amongst our staff and we really support one another and we have all different types of people working here and there is a really strong comradery. So when we open the doors and we welcome people in, we like to bring that to them and have them be a part of our experience and make this a place where they feel happy and we can help them have a good day. And hopefully find something that makes them feel beautiful. And if you feel beautiful, you feel feel good. So that’s one of our goals.

Anandi on the Formation of AWE : 

 Last year, at the beginning of July I was thinking about all the businesses downtown that are owned by or managed by women. I sent an email out to a handful of these women that I knew personally, and asked if they would like to come together, to build a greater sense of our Downtown community.  Since our first meeting one morning at Soif, we have continued to grow, bringing more and more women together who are integral in the fabric of downtown. Not only women business owners, but women who are leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors.
When Casey approached me about Bookshop’s Women’s Voices campaign, and suggested we officially launch AWE, I was thrilled!  With help from Economic Development, the Downtown Association, and especially Bookshop Santa Cruz, we have our first official campaign.  We all came together.  Finding new ways to celebrate and support each other is at the core of AWE, and this is just the beginning!  By getting to know one another, and appreciate one another, the strength and positivity of that keeps emanating out into the community, and that is the best feeling.

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