Fierce Females

Westfield Fashion Square

  • Category
    Fashion, People
  • Styled by
    Allison Rae Marsh
  • Photographed by
    Shane O’Donnell
  • Hair & makeup by
    Jenny Karl
  • Edited by
    Laura L. Watts

Westfield Fashion Square is a fashion-forward boutique shopping destination in the heart of the San Fernando Valley. The center is home to a curated mix of fashion, dining and lifestyle retail. Here, some of the women who manage stores in this Valley hub share their thoughts on finding success and empowerment as a woman in business.


Malisa Ota  |  Store Manager

“Being able to work with such amazing colleagues is truly inspiring; there is always something to learn from one another. Seeing my team grow and gain confidence in their roles is so important to me. I encourage other women in business to have a voice and not be afraid to be heard. We have to stand with each other and advocate for one another. My advice is to stand out from the crowd and do not hold back your ideas just because they may be different. Know your worth and give yourself the credit you deserve. There is nothing trendier than being confident! Always look to grow and learn. Challenge yourself and aim high. Don’t ever settle—life gets stagnant that way. Be open to new opportunities, and don’t ever be afraid to try something new!”

Tumi 19 Degree aluminum trunk, $1,695, and international carry-on, $995.
High-rise denim pants by Levi’s, $70
One-piece top by Nina Parker, $99
Chain belt by Giani Bernini, $35
Earrings by Anne Klein, $40
Frye Suede booties, $278.


Cathy Muhlenforth  |  General Manager

“When I started in my career, there were few paths available to women—typically a nurse, teacher or secretary. I had no one to really look up to. I always had a love for fashion, so I went to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City and was lucky enough to start my career in management. Women need to understand how valuable they really are and what they bring to the table. They need to speak up and learn how to make their voices heard. This can be intimidating, and if they are uncomfortable, I recommend a public speaking class to become at ease standing out in a crowd. Know your worth, and work hard! Bloom where you are planted! Do the best job you can in the job you have now, and don’t worry about the next job. If you work hard, you will get where you need to be.”

The Kooples foil blue poppy dress, $425
The Kooples blue wrap coat, $650
Zadig & Voltaire Lena smooth boots, $548
David Yurman jewelry.

Old Navy

Ashlee Narr  |  General Manager 

“My philosophy on fashion is to stick with classic basics and add a fun, trendy accessory or shoe to refresh your look from season to season. Comfort and authenticity are key—if you don’t feel good in it, it’s not going to look right. Old Navy is an amazing, all-inclusive brand. We love to bring the fun every day in everything we do for customers and employees alike. We also have a lot of love to give, and helping our communities is what we’re known for. My advice for women trying to succeed in business is: Know your worth, and don’t be afraid to promote yourself! Be a sponge! Listen and learn everything you possibly can. The more knowledge you have under belt, the more successful you will be. And I think it’s important to be honest. Honesty opens up the discussion on our behaviors and performance, which enables us to constantly improve ourselves.”

Kicker boot mid-rise pants, $35
Long-sleeve open-neck brown floral blouse, $30
Textured open-front rust cardigan, $45
Old Navy suede bootie, $40


Amanda Swan  |  Store Manager 

“As an entrepreneur, being able to improvise and have control over what my business needs keeps me energized and thinking outside the box. I get inspired by seeing the success of my peers, connecting with guests and thinking about how I like to shop. Being able to work out, plan a getaway, and connect with friends and family helps me de-stress and creates a good work-life balance.  My advice to other women is to be all in and don’t limit your growth. You may think the job you are doing is not going to lead to anything, but you never know. Write down your goals, create a plan and share it with others to help hold yourself accountable. Sometimes it’s not what you know but who you know that gives you a little push to get where you want to go.”

Align pants, $118
Tie-dye Flow-Y Bra Nulu, $48
Yoga bag, $68
Yoga mat, $68


Jill Pan  |  Senior Director/ Store Manager

“At Macy’s we encourage everyone to bring their authentic self to work. This is one of the best forms of empowerment. I try to educate, encourage and inspire women to see themselves in a different light, take risks and ensure their voice is heard. My store team is my own main motivation and inspiration. The work they put in every day to make magic for our customers—bringing merchandise to life through execution, visuals and selling—is nothing short of amazing. Each day is a new adventure. Always bringing your best self—inside and out—is so important. Set your goals high, and when you achieve them, set them higher. Make sure your voice is heard, and know that your contributions make a difference.”

Dress by Marciano | GUESS, $158
Boots by Schutz, $175
Jewelry by Macy’s: chain necklace with gold coin, $1,850
Smaller solid gold chain, $850
Gold chain bracelets, $550
Earring set, $350

Bath & Body Works

Jackie Dzhulfayan  |  Store Manager 

“My passion and love for what I do keeps me motivated and energized. I wake up every day excited to go to work and accomplish my goals and tasks. My team and I are extremely goal-oriented but have fun at the same time. I feel super privileged to be leading a group of amazing individuals who inspire me to be the best leader I can be. I empower the women in my life by celebrating their wins and supporting them in their opportunities. I am always willing to lift others up and help them feel empowered and supported. As women, we should believe in ourselves enough to go after anything we set our minds on. Put yourself out there and allow others to see your potential—there’s so much greatness that can come out of it!”

Bath & Body Works Garden Harvest gentle foaming hand soap, $7.50
Gold hoops by Zenzii, $28
Beige vest by Sandro, $265
Sandro Marron skirt, $325
Scarf by Tory Burch, $78
See By Chloé boots, $445


Westfield Fashion Square 

14006 Riverside Drive  |  Sherman Oaks

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