Debra Carvalho, owner of Pono Skincare and Waxing Boutique at 2860 Diamond Street, has been named SFPD Ingleside Station’s Citizen of the Month, January 2022.
The Ingleside District covers a sprawling part of the city, encompassing the area south of Cesar Chavez Street to the San Mateo County line and west from Highway 101 to Faxon Avenue. It’s therefore very significant that this neighborhood entrepreneur has been recognized for her contributions to our community.
In the boutique, estheticians Michelle Park and Jessie Ho round out the team that works to beautify the people of Glen Park and beyond.
As written in the Ingleside Station Newsletter:
“Debra actively serves on the Glen Park Merchants Association, and she follows in the footsteps and entrepreneurial spirit of her mother and grandmother, who once owned a clothing boutique in The City. Debra is a third generation native San Franciscan, went to Aptos Middle School, and is proud to reside in the city. Debra thrives to inspire, beautify and create a warm and welcoming environment in all spaces she occupies. During the pandemic, Debra offered hope by using her store front windows to inspire the community with poetry and words of encouragement. Debra promises to continue to build a place for community, and she says she is humbled and full of gratitude to be recognized as our Citizen of the Month. Congratulations Debra, and thank you for all you do!”
In response to the honor, Debra says, “I appreciate the acknowledgment for the recognition of my hard work in trying to build a place for community. I promise I will continue to do so. Thank you for the nomination, I am humbled and full of gratitude.”
Not content to rest on these laurels, Debra told the Glen Park News about other activities and plans. She lives in the Portola neighborhood, is married and has two children, ages two-and-a-half and seven, and a business that’s turning five–“so I’ve been very busy!” she says.
She rents the much improved space adjacent to the boutique (behind the Welcome to Glen Park sign) from her landlords, the local Hayes family. “The weeds weren’t working for me, or the neighborhood.” Several years ago, she put together a slideshow of her vision for the space with a warm and welcoming vibe and showed it to the Hayes, who jumped on board and later remade it into a small plaza.
Like many businesses, Debra has had to pivot in different directions to stay afloat during the pandemic, when everything was at a standstill. Over the Christmas holiday, she held a very successful event in the plaza, selling plants, wreaths and other holiday items. She notes that, “It’s really hard again right now with the omicron surge so we’re expanding in every way we can to hang in there.”
She’s partnering with a Glen Park resident, Janese Tyree, to launch a branch of the business in “Pono Plaza,” called Native Plant and Juice Co. “We feel like the inner wellness and skin care theme makes a lot of sense,” she says. “Janese is a phenomenal artist–we’ll have candles, wreaths, and vintage pottery that we’ve curated. We also need a cute little flower and plant shop in the neighborhood.”
Currently there’s some red tape working its way through the city, but the area will probably involve a shed that will be set up and taken down for events.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: They’re going to be selling bouquets for Valentine’s Day February 11-14, from 11:00 – 5.
Follow Pono on Instagram: @ponoboutique