Cheyenne Jimenez ’20 — The Blind Faith of a Boutique Owner

by Megan Wilhelm '23

On the morning of November 25, 2022, Cheyenne Jimenez ’20 woke up at the crack of dawn, preparing for her biggest day yet as the new owner of her boutique Ariete. As she prepared the space for guests by setting out a cart of food, drinks, and a “spin and win” prize wheel, Jimenez noticed no one lining up for the event like in years past. My first Black Friday as Ariete’s new owner is a failure, she thought. Within the same minute of her perceived flop, Jimenez turned and saw the line of guests she’d been waiting for. “Ushering everybody in was crazy. I had never seen so many people in the store. It was awesome,” she said. “We were serving appetizers and the music was blaring and it was so great. It was Christmas to a tee.” Jimenez’s success that day has been a defining moment during her time as Ariete’s owner. Since then, the Riverside native has been working hard to promote her clothing boutique.

Jimenez inherited Ariete from the previous owner, who planned on selling the boutique and asked Jimenez specifically if she would be interested in buying it. Though the 25-year-old claims she’s never been a fashionista, her experience working in various roles for the business — along with a lot of faith — gave her the confidence to say yes. “I feel like I’m always the person to just go for it. I tend to throw myself into situations and see what happens,” she said. “It’s always turned out great, so this was just another one of those opportunities.”

Since becoming the owner of a small business back in September 2022, Jimenez has been busier than ever. She must stay on top of fashion trends, make weekly trips to LA to obtain new styles, take photos in the new clothing for Ariete’s website and social media — the list goes on. “That’s all done within three days of each other, which is why I’m always pretty busy,” she said. “It’s such a short window, but because Ariete is so small and it is a one-woman team of me, myself, and I, it must be done. But it’s fun, I like being busy!”

Despite the many challenges of running a small business, Jimenez recognizes that there are many benefits as well. Some of her favorite moments have been taking part in pop-up events. At her very first pop-up with Creative Babe Market, Jimenez had the opportunity to expand the name of Ariete to other cities through interacting with potential customers and giving out business cards, gaining 50 new Instagram followers by the end of the day. Jimenez enjoys interacting with customers. As a small business owner, she sees many of the same faces and has built a community of loyal supporters. “I have girls who come in who have been shopping with us since before I worked here, and they’ve stuck around,” she said. “They’ve seen how Ariete has grown and changed, and they’re so supportive. I remember how great our sales were the first month I took over because everybody was coming in and congratulating me, telling me they would be here for me and keep supporting me.” After receiving much encouragement from family, friends, and customers, Jimenez has been inspired to support other local businesses, buying from them whenever she can.

When looking back on her time at APU, Jimenez is grateful for her work with ZU Media as a broadcast journalist because it helped her enjoy being on camera — something she does frequently as Ariete’s main model. “Being in front of the camera all the time really got me comfortable just being myself and not worrying too much about how I looked or what I was saying,” she said. “That’s when you get your best work, when you’re very fluid and authentic.” Jimenez’s internship also provided her with valuable skills in marketing for her boutique. As the social media manager for a church, she learned how to create fun and engaging captions for Instagram — a skill she uses almost daily.

Along with professional skills, Jimenez also credits APU with helping her grow in her faith. As she continues with Ariete, she is taking challenges head on, enjoying the adventures that come with each day and trusting that God will continue in His faithfulness to her.

“Everything happens in God’s timing and according to His way. You just have to have blind faith sometimes,” she said.

Owning a boutique was never something Jimenez envisioned for herself, but she is thriving as a small business owner, crediting the Lord’s faithfulness for her success. “I have always had faith that things would fall into place and that God always had a specific path for me,” she said. “I might not always know what it is or agree with where He is taking me, but all glory to God. He knows best.”

Megan Wilhelm '23 is a public relations intern in the Division of Strategic Communication and Engagement. She earned her bachelor's degree in journalism and honors humanities and is working towards a master of arts in English.