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Craig Smith

Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association.

Becky Anderson owns Miyamo, a clothing store for women, located at 1128 First St. The first time I met her was weeks before the business was to open.

Although her enthusiasm was high, she said she’d never been in retail and her first born was due at any minute. New to retail? New mom? This is a recipe for disaster, I remember thinking.

Man, was I wrong.

Miyamo has been in business for 12 years, and is doing great. The store features fashionable clothing and accessories at reasonable prices, a much overused description that is actually on the money here.

The majority of customers range from 16 to the mid-40s. Inventory changes all the time. If you were in yesterday, there’s new merchandise to see today.

And that soon-to-be-born baby? Her son Riley is now 12 years old.

Anderson and her husband Tyler met when they were 13 and started dating as soon as they were old enough. Anderson got a degree in managerial economics from UC Davis. She and Tyler sold advertising at competing television network stations in Sacramento.

Although retail had been a childhood dream of Anderson’s, it didn’t seem as practical as sales at an established company. At least, not until she got pregnant.

“We wanted to move to Napa, where our families are,” she said. “I no longer wanted an all-consuming corporate job, especially starting a family, and thought about retail again.”

Anderson’s aunt, who had been in retail for 20 years, encouraged her. They decided to each open a Miyamo – one in Southern California, where her aunt lives, and one in Napa.

“The timing was great, too. Tyler and I were newly married, didn’t own a house, and had nothing to lose.”

It turned out to be a great decision for both women.

“I love retail,” said Anderson. “It’s great to be able to talk to customers face-to-face, find out what interests them.”

As both a business owner and consumer, Anderson is not a big fan of on-line clothes shopping.

“I like to see, feel and try on clothes, put different jewelry together with outfits and mix it up. Shopping is an experience, an adventure.”

Anderson has carried “give-back products,” brands that donate part of their sales to charities, since she opened Miyamo, and continues to seek lines with a strong philanthropic commitment. The store currently carries Good Human, Lokai and I Sanctuary.

As her business grows, so does the Anderson family. Riley has a brother, Hudson who is 9 years old, and a sister, Peyton, age 7. The newest member of the Anderson clan is Preston, born a week ago today.

Miyamo is open six-days-a-week until 9 p.m., Sundays until 6 p.m.

Catch a good flick…

The Academy Award for best Foreign Film nominee “The Salesman” plays at the Jarvis Conservatory at 4 and 7 p.m. today.

See you downtown!

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Craig Smith is the executive director of the Downtown Napa Association. Reach him at 257-0322 or craig@donapa.com.

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