Santa Clarita business owners stepped out in crisp white clothing on Sunday evening to mingle, network and dance.
The Hyatt Regency Valencia played host to the first All White Summer Cooldown mixer. Event organizer Juwana Myles said she created the event so adults could have a fun night out and socialize without leaving town.
“I always hear people say they have to drive to L.A. to have a good time, so I wanted to bring that kind of fun to the Santa Clarita Valley so people could feel grown and sexy and establish more of a sense of community,” said Myles, who owns J Myles Salon Suites. “I love seeing people of different cultures come together because that makes us and all of the Santa Clarita Valley stronger.”
Though the event was not limited to people of color, Myles and her business partner and co-organizer Frederick Marion Jr. geared the event more toward business owners of color to raise awareness for their shops.
“I run into people who tell me they didn’t know there is a black-owned salon out here, so I want to network with people of all cultures and provide a place for that to start,” she said. “There’s a stereotype in Santa Clarita sometimes that this isn’t our neighborhood, and I beg to differ. I’ve been in this area for over 20 years and it’s a beautiful, friendly place to live and I want people of color to know that this is our community.”
The event featured champagne, hors d’oeuvres, dancing and a raffle for a free weekend getaway to the Hyatt.
“We grew up with the idea that you’re not supposed to wear white after Labor Day, and since it’s Labor Day weekend we thought we’d just have a fun, cool way to celebrate the end of summer,” Marion said. “We’ll have the DJ read out five different business cards per hour so that people who may know each other by name or the internet can finally match that to a face.”
Myles said that, as the first time she has run the event, she considers this a test run and depending on how the community receives it she’d like to make it an annual or even a monthly event that can be held at different businesses across Santa Clarita.
Jeffery Piper, party attendee and owner of the Cali Sports T-shirt company said he has attended other business mixers in Santa Clarita, but appreciated the relaxed atmosphere of the Summer Cooldown.
“Other mixers I have been to tend to be more strict, so I like how this one feels more social and there’s the freedom to talk and text and interaction,” Piper said. “I’ve been in Santa Clarita for years, and this is a time of year where I see a lot of businesses incubating, so it’s important to bring awareness to them and bring business owners together. Santa Clarita is on the north side of Los Angeles County and a lot of people here travel to work, so they aren’t as familiar with the businesses at home so that awareness is key.”