James and Josephine Munroe and their family of seven children moved from South San Francisco to a much larger home in Burlingame. They all loved the quaint city with its abundant trees and sunny weather.
Soon after Maureen and Paulette became students at Burlingame High School. While roaming the then desolate Burlingame Avenue, the sisters discovered Morning Glory, a small, hippy-style boutique. They both loved the store, and shopped there often discovering special and unique finds. Having been raised by a motorcycle dealer father and a dramatic, spirited, and highly creative mother, the store was just up their alley.
In the spring of 1972, Paulette was just about to graduate from Burlingame High (Maureen had graduated the previous year), she had heard from a classmate, Lisa, that her sister Shelly would soon be closing Morning Glory. Paulette thought “I could do that”. She asked her sister Maureen to join her as a partner and approach Shelly to see if she would sell them the store. Shelly had been liquidating and was down to very little remaining inventory. She was happy to have the sisters take over, as she had moved to Santa Cruz and was a week or two from closing. Shelly asked a small amount of money for the fixtures and inventory. The sisters were happy and Shelly was too. Maureen and Paulette then approached their father, James, for a loan. Having ran his own business, he was very supportive of his independent daughters. So… within two weeks, after taking over the lease, the sisters were in business.
Morning Glory sales girl Sheryle stayed for a short while to help the girls get started. Shelly took them to an apparel show and introduced them to some of the sales people that she had been doing business with. It was tough at first, not only due to the fact that Maureen and Paulette were so young (18 and 19 years old) but they only looked 13 and 14. They would experience comments like, “come back when you have your parents with you”. But the tenacious sisters, with their passion for style and fashion, soon won them over.
Since the partners started with very little inventory and were waiting for future shipments to arrive, their resourcefulness and ingenuity took over. They visited local factories to purchase over stocked fabrics at a discount, and filled the racks with hand-made creations. With dresses created by Paulette, and necklaces of silk, beads and shells, their designs sold quickly which enabled them to repay the loan in one year’s time.
This year Morning Glory celebrates its 40th anniversary. Maureen and Paulette are very grateful to their highly talented staff, which includes Wendy their employee of over 30 years, Jeanette, Liz, Darlien, Maria and Mary . The passion for fashion is contagious as the staff shares their creative ideas with their customer. Shoppers from around the world are inspired by Morning Glory. They have shared such comments as “This is not just clothing, it is poetry…”, “This isn’t a store, it is an experience” and “We just discovered the best store in San Francisco, is actually located in Burlingame!”
The sisters and their staff look forward to continuing the adventure…offering unique and one-of-a-kind items to help you fulfill your individual sense of style. They are all looking forward to sharing their love of fashion with you… come join the fun…