Compiled by Jim Shilander
San Clemente’s Asana FIT is celebrating its fifth anniversary this year. Jessilynn and Bruce Gilbank have operated the studio since just after Jessilynn took a job working for the previous owner.
“When I moved here to California from Michigan, I was a figure competitor,” Jessilynn explained. “I was getting sick from all of the dieting. When I saw the sign for ‘health, healing and wholeness,’ I went in, and it was exactly what I needed.” She said that after that, she knew she wanted to be involved with it for the rest of her life. Soon after, she saw an advertisement for front desk help at the location, and started working there. Shortly thereafter, she overheard the previous owner saying she was preparing to sell.
“I went to my husband and asked if we could buy it,” Jessilynn said. “I knew they wouldn’t keep it the same, and I felt like I wouldn’t be able to live without it.”
Two years later, the studio expanded, taking on an additional storefront from another tenant, which created a lobby to join the two sides of the studio. “It’s beautiful now,” Jessilynn said.
Gary Coleman of Douglas Printing is taking the opportunity to savor a particularly sweet anniversary. Coleman started Douglas Printing in his garage 15 years ago, while he was working as a press operator for another printing company.
“While I was working there, I decided to branch out on my own,” Coleman said. “I wanted to start the business because I wanted to start a family, to have something to provide for my wife and children. And I needed to do something on my own.”
While he didn’t do many print jobs in the garage, Coleman said he was able to find a spot for his business in a couple of months, in the old City Plaza, before moving five years ago to the Los Molinos business district.
Douglas often does work for the city of San Clemente, and prints brochures, business cards and invitations, as well as providing graphic design. Being an owner operator, Coleman said, helps him respond to the needs of his clients.
“A lot of what we do now is design, as opposed to where we started,” Coleman noted.
Coleman said he was grateful for the success the business has enjoyed, which essentially started from the beginning.
“For the first year, things were a little bit sketchy,” he admitted. “But we were able to turn a profit right away. We were never in the red. We’ve always been in the black.”
Dawn Mednick, owner of The Cellar in San Clemente, was named one of Farmers & Merchants Bank’s “Women of Courage,” for Orange County earlier this month. The award is presented by the bank’s Orange County branch managers.
Debbie Ferrari of The Mantelli Group, a San Juan Capistrano/San Clemente real estate agency, was elected to the board of directors of the National Council of Exchangors at the organization’s October conference in Las Vegas.
Ferrari is also chairperson of the group’s Internet committee and was 2009 NCE President. She has been a member for 33 years.
Bijou Boutique, located at 132 Avenida Del Mar, has changed ownership. The new owners are David Docherty and Tracy White. White said she purchased the store from a friend because she wanted to get back into the fashion business, which she’d been a part of for 16 years before taking a corporate job.
“I also wanted to be self-employed,” White said. “That was always my goal.”
The women’s clothing boutique offers a number of clothing lines, as well as accessories such as monogram and trendy necklaces, earrings, shoes and boots.
To celebrate the transition The store is offering a free manicure at the shop next door, Mingee’s Nails, to customers who purchase $150 or more until Christmas Day.