From the plains of Texas to the rolling hills of California, I sat down with local business owner and my best friend, Dani Kana, for a look inside her journey to being one of the leading retailers in the Brazos Valley. Her ambitious personality and eye for style has brought her a long way since opening the doors to her boutique Merge, with best friend Tara Miller in the spring of 2010. Since the days of being a young business owner, a second boutique by the name of Pine has joined the family and is the sister store to Merge. With the ever changing trends in women’s fashion and the fast pace lifestyle, Dani Kana has decided to uproot from her seemingly slower paced lifestyle here in College Station, to the hustle and bustle of Los Angeles. I sat down with my partner in crime to discuss her big move to LA, what’s next for her retail stores and all things style.

CO: Thanks for sitting down with me before the BIG move to Los Angeles! I’m not going to lie, I’m happy you’re pursuing this new journey, however I hate to see you go! Why the decision to leave College Station?

DK: I’m just at a point in my life where I want to explore what is out there in the universe. I love traveling and experiencing new cultures, so this move is a reflection of that. College Station will always be a second home to me though, plus I will be back for business and markets often!

CO: You and Tara have come a long ways since opening the doors to Merge over 7 years ago. What has been the most exciting part of building your retail brand?

DK: Honestly, my business partner and I genuinely love fashion. So to be able to work in this industry for a living has felt less like a job, and more like a vacation. Outside of being able to have a job that you genuinely love doing everyday, I would say opening our second store Pine has been another exciting moment for us.

Both Merge & Pine offer women’s clothing, but can you tell readers how they are different?

DK: Absolutely. Both stores have options for any type of women, however Merge offers fashionable clothing and accessories all at a price point under $50! Which is great for the college girl who is wanting to stay on top of trends and still save money. Pine offers premium products and designer brands that you can only get in larger cities such as, Marc Jacobs, Kate Spade, Rachel Zoe and House of Harlow. This is great for the girl who loves her designers, but doesn’t want to drive out of town or wait for it to come in online!

CO: How would you define your personal style?

DK: That’s a great question. I would have to say my personal style is sort of  “high-low” inspired. Meaning I love a good high-end piece like any other girl, but some of my favorite things hanging in my closet are actually vintage finds and things from thrift shops. Those mixed together are usually an accurate definition on my personal style.

CO: Name one item in your closet that you couldn’t live without.

DK: Wow that is a tough one and almost impossible for me to answer! However, if I had to pick one item I would probably have to say my Saint Laurent heels. Every girl should own at least one good pair of heels that never go out of style and can be worn with just about anything!

CO: Any suggestions for the girls out there looking for some fashion or style advice?

DK: Invest in a good pair of denim that fits your body type. You can never go wrong with a pair of jeans that fit good in all the right places! Plus they are a staple items in every woman’s wardrobe and never go out of style.

CO: What is the future looking like for Merge & Pine in 2017?

DK: Tara and I have some really exciting plans in store for this next year and are looking forward to sharing them all with our awesome and loyal customers very soon! Make sure and stay connected to our instagram accounts in the next few weeks to find out what those are!

CO: Will do and thanks Dani for joining me in this edition of Chance’s Corner! For more information on Dani, Merge and Pine Boutique follow them on instagram.

Dani [@danikana]  Merge [@mergeboutiquecs]  Pine [@pineboutique]