Meet Tamar & Robin
In the age where everyone seems to have everything they need (and then some), it’s nice to have a place to go that not only offers quality in their products, but also something fresh and unique that is not on every store shelf! Looking for a meaningful and unique gift these days is an overwhelming task. And who has time to go to 15 different stores? It’s hard to find even one place where you can go to shop for everyone on your list. And as women, our lists are long! Enter the dynamic duo behind Luster, A Gift Boutique: Tamar Brecher and Robin McCann. Together, they worked for over two years to bring Luster to life at The Van Aken District, in Shaker Heights. The Boutique offers something for everyone, a true one stop shop for all your gifting needs!
Where are you originally from?
We are both East side Moms. Robin was born and raised in Cleveland. She grew up in Beachwood and attended Hathaway Brown and then Beachwood High School. Tamar grew up in New Rochelle, NY and has lived in the area for 6 years.
How many children do you have & what are their ages?
Robin has 2 daughters ages 14 and 11.
Tamar has a son 11, daughter 9 and son age 5.
What’s your favorite things about NE Ohio?
NE Ohio is a great area to raise a family. We live in an area rich with culture. And now we have the Van Aken District. Besides for working in it — our kids/families spend a lot of time hanging out, shopping and eating in the district.
What’s your favorite thing to do with your kids?
Robin: Skiing, hiking and swimming
Tamar: I love just spending time all together as a family. I also will never pass up a good snuggle on the couch.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
Tamar worked at the Bronx District Attorney’s office as a case aide in the Gang and Homocide unit.
What’s your proudest accomplishment?
Luster — of course! And our 5 amazingly different and wonderful kids!
What is the biggest resource you have used to help make your business successful?
We have used a lot of local resources – many of them women including local business owners, the women’s business center of NE Ohio, and The shaker heights development office.
How do you juggle being a mom and a business owner?
It’s not easy! But we try to maintain a balance. We take turns being able to pick up our kids from school. We make school programs and sporting events a priority — so we try hard to cover each other so that we can be present for our kids. At the same time, we are sure to explain to our kids that sometimes we have to work and perhaps miss something at school – and that’s ok too. We definitely ask each other daily – “what are you making for dinner?” Always trying to make sure we share those ideas!
What’s the best payoff about owning your own business?
The joy and satisfaction it brings to see the fruit of all our hard work. We did it! We learned, studied, did our homework and even cried a few times along the way. But in the end.. we did it.
Advice or resources for someone who wants to open their own business?
Take advantage of local resources. They are a lot of organizations in NE Ohio out there to help. Find them and use them. Luster is a joint business venture that we started two years ago by taking a class with Bad Girl Ventures. Our vision was to open a gift boutique that had cool different things that you can’t find around Cleveland. We wanted to add something unique to the Cleveland area
Is there anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
Of course! We are each lucky enough to have great supportive husbands. They aren’t scared to help us move boxes at Luster or cook dinner at home. They are amazing partners — both of them!
Luster is located at the new The Van Aken District at 3441 Tuttle Road in Shaker Heights. Their hours are M-S from 10am-6pm & Sunday from 12-5pm. For more information about Luster: A Gift Boutique, please visit there website!
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