Thread & Thrum Boutique and Salon | Women in Business Feature | Winter Garden FL

The Details: Jennifer Tran-Frias, Owner/Stylist | Thread & Thrum Boutique and Salon | In Business: Since 2013 | Hours: Tues-Sat 10:00 AM-6:30 PM | Location: 13381 W Colonial Dr, Winter Garden 34787 | Phone: (407) 614-8367 | Website:

From the street Thread & Thrum Boutique and Salon appears to be just another store in another strip mall along Colonial Drive. But once you step inside, you are transported to an oasis of fashion and a quiet hair salon in the back. Jennifer is celebrating the boutique and salon's 5 year anniversary this Saturday, June 16 from 12:00pm-5:00pm with a special sale, local vendors, and dessert (of course!) Stop on in to discover the treasure that is Thread & Thrum. I'll also be there to show off some new products and work from my Proud to Be Me series.

What makes your business unique/special?

Being a 2 in 1 business. Having my two passions combined under one roof. Not only do I get to help my clients feel beautiful, but I also have the ability to give them a full wardrobe or even just an added accessory to their new do if they want it.

In what way have you gone above and beyond in the past for a customer?

I had a client that got very ill, she couldn't walk far without her oxygen machine and got to the point where she couldn't leave her house without assistance. I offered to come to her home to cut her hair. She wanted it short so it didn't get tangled in the nasal cannula. I gave her a haircut, swept the hair up for her, and sat at her kitchen table afterwards while we chatted. I think it gave her a sense of feeling like herself again. I continued the hair visits until she moved back to her hometown of Ocala where she passed.

What is the coolest thing you’ve ever had a client do for you?

When I first opened my business, I was terrified. I was afraid of so many things, but was so excited at the same time. One of my clients went to the Orange Observer and purchased a spread for me. One of the employees came to my store and told me that I could have the spread say anything, coupons or a write up. They told me my client was so proud of me and wanted me to succeed. She never gave her name and would not allow the newspaper to release her info. Till this day, I still have no idea who got me my first ad in the local newspaper.

What tool/equipment/or other vendor could you not imagine doing business without? Why?

My black carbon cutting comb. I have had this specific comb for more than 7 years. I have purchased similar combs that look exactly like it, but it does not comb or grab the hairs like my original one. It's ashy, missing a tooth, but I felt like I have created so many beautiful cuts with this comb. I pray it never breaks on me.

Tell us about YOU:

I am a serious foodie that loves the mountains and the ocean. I love all things beautiful, art, ambiance, nature, and the fashion that goes alongside it all. People's happiness fuels me.

What are you passionate about outside of your business?

It's so tough to say - because what I am passionate about, I have created into my business. If I am not working, I am thrifting for my business or doing something that pertains to my business. If not that, then I am cooking or baking.

Describe your PERFECT day:

Waking up early, attending an awesome high intensity workout class. Going home to shower and change into an appropriate outfit for the weather. Going to brunch with my husband/friends, then to an awesome sale and finding that perfect dress to add to my collection of perfect pieces that I have been searching high and low for. All while cruising in my Jeep with the roof and doors off in 80 degree weather with zero humidity.

What or who has been your greatest influence in business and why?

My parents. They came to this country with nothing. A family in Savannah, GA sponsored my parents and helped them get on their feet. They worked very hard for other employers. Some nights my mother came home late and I wouldn't see her until the AM. They decided to open their own business when I was 14. My father quit his sign printing job to become a cook/delivery driver. My family (Dad, Mom, brother, sister) all worked together at a fast food Chinese restaurant for 15 years. They taught me the value of working hard for yourself. To provide a good/service without cheating people. To be kind and do everything with love. They said the rest will follow.

What one thing have you learned as a small business owner that has served you well over the years?

Kindness goes further than talent!

What advice do you have for other women entrepreneurs?

Don't ever let anyone tell you it won't work or dumb your ideas down. If you are passionate about anything, then find a way to make it a career. Women can handle pretty much anything really. Being a businesswoman only reminds you of how powerful you really are. Remember, women are the ones that create human beings.

What struggles have you faced as a woman running her own business?

I see the struggle more as a person rather than as a woman. It could also be because what I do is predominately dealing with women. I struggle with my own mind. I can't shut it off even after hours. I think that's the mentality of a business owner. It becomes your life. I am still learning to balance that out. Women actually get more recognition. There is a lot of help for women entrepreneurs. The world wants more of it.

What would you say is your biggest accomplishment as a female entrepreneur?

The power and strength that I get knowing I did this on my own. (Of course with the support of my family and friends). But knowing that I built this business on a dream. I never stopped thinking, creating, searching, and pursuing this. One time a client of mine and I were talking - he was once a business owner (cowboy boot retailer). He owned several stores, sold his business, and retired young. I was cutting his hair and picking his brain and told him my ideas. I told him I was so scared, but really wanted to do this. As he walked out of the salon, he told me this one thing:

"The difference between two people with the same dream is that one of them pursues it. Which one are you going to be?"

That stuck with me every step of the way. Even at times I want to give up, I remember why I started. Accomplishing any goal or task you set for yourself is so liberating! Continuing to fight for it gives you the incredible feeling that no one can ever take away from you.

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