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San Clemente Journal

Shop ‘Til You Drop

Nov 20, 2014 08:51AM ● By Donia Moore

The Aellig Family

by Donia Moore

As any parent with teen-agers knows, shopping for them can sometimes be a little tricky. Jancee Aellig, General Manager of the new Outlets at San Clemente, sees this site as a potential solution for people to shop in town for brands they and their children want.

 “I love a good deal,” says Jancee. With over 100 stores and restaurants, people will have a choice of popular national brands at outlet prices and more of their money will stay in San Clemente.

A California girl born in San Bernardino, Jancee was raised with a generous dollop of Southern hospitality by her Mississippi-born parents. This upbringing will help her welcome shoppers to the opening of the Outlets at San Clemente, expected to happen in late summer or early fall of 2015. 

Craig Realty Group’s San Clemente Representative

With a smile as warm as the California sun on a summer day, Jancee takes the responsibility of being the face of Craig Realty Group to San Clemente seriously. She was recruited by Steve Craig, owner and developer of Craig Realty Group, 14 years ago to manage his Carlsbad center.  In 2004, he asked her to manage the San Clemente project when it opened.  She and her family moved to San Clemente six years ago and promptly fell in love with the Spanish Village by the Sea.

“Now I can’t imagine living anywhere else,” she says.

Steve likes his managers to live and participate in the communities where they work in order to keep in touch with the residents. He believes in being a good neighbor when he brings a project into town. When San Clemente’s Senior Center needed help with fundraising efforts, Steve was supportive.  He opened his lovely home in Newport Beach for them to use for their fundraiser.

Jancee believes in being a good neighbor as well. She is currently a member of the San Clemente Sunrise Rotary Club and has co-chaired the club’s major fund raising efforts through “Dancing for a Cause” for the last four years. Based on the “Dancing with the Stars” TV show, it benefits five to six local charity organizations per year. She has also served on the San Clemente Ocean Festival Advisory committee and was very involved in the San Clemente High School’s Cheer program for three years of daughter Shaina’s high school experience, all with Steve’s support. When the Outlets open, she expects to head up a Shopping Extravaganza for Charity, similar to events that Craig has held at their other outlet projects.

Opening Vista Hermosa

To lessen the expected traffic impact, Jancee has coordinated meetings with OCTA and the City of San Clemente, along with Craig Realty Group, to help get West Avenida Vista Hermosa completed prior to the start of the Avenida Pico interchange work and in preparation for the center’s opening. She and Steve are also committed to helping the Downtown Business Association promote the businesses already in downtown San Clemente. Ideas range from an information kiosk at the outlet center about downtown, to possibly supporting a trolley at some future time to take visitors there.

Hard Work

Jancee’s industry experience started at Costco. She began boxing groceries and 11 years later she had worked her way up to the position of National Marketing Manager, based in San Diego. When Costco moved their management team to Seattle, Jancee and husband Lee chose not to relocate. Jancee soon took a position with Westfield Malls in San Diego where she worked for 8 years until recruited by Craig Realty Group. Jancee managed Carlsbad Company Stores for three years until the center was sold due to a pre-existing agreement Steve Craig had with his previous company. Since then she has handled specialty leasing for the entire Craig portfolio for the last 10 years. Her passion, though, is managing the malls and overseeing the whole operation. She loves the challenge of consistently improving the shopping experience for their customers.  

“People shop Outlet centers because of the brands.  But they shop Craig Realty Group Outlet centers because, in addition to the great brands they love, they know they will be shopping at a beautiful, well maintained center with great amenities and fun activities!  The new stores and restaurants will reflect that. Many will be chains that won’t conflict with what’s here already. We want residents to shop in town and non-residents to come to San Clemente to shop and have a great experience doing it,” says Jancee. 

The city benefits by retaining an average of $1 for every $100 spent in the community.

Hard Play

Jancee and husband Lee play as hard as they work. They make an extra effort to devote time to each other and their children. While Jancee was helping out with all the cheer mom- tasks for daughter Shaina’s Cheer squad, Lee was busy coaching son Chase’s football, baseball and basketball teams. When they first got married they decided that every year they would go out of the country to renew their wedding vows. That commitment has led them from the Masai Mara tribal lands in Kenya to Ireland, Thailand, Greece, Italy, Australia, the South Pacific, the Caribbean, Mexico and beyond. Originally Jancee’s idea, Lee now does all the trip planning each year and Jancee just plans what to wear.

 “I do have a couple of white sundresses that I like to wear for the 10-minute ceremony, but I‘ve been caught-out in shorts, like when a pastor in Mexico offered to do the ceremony immediately,” remembers Jancee.

This year they celebrated their 20th anniversary in the Bahamas. For the last few years, Shaina and Chase have traveled with them and agree that it’s a terrific way to spend a family vacation.

Lee, a trained graphic artist, also gives back to the community by donating his skills to various organizations in town helping with flyers for fundraisers and programs and invitations for special events.  He owns Innovative Design Group, a graphic arts studio here in San Clemente. His day job is working for Dynapac Design Group, a product design and engineering firm, specializing in developing new inventions. In his spare time, he coaches football for San Juan Hills High School.

And Jancee? In her spare time she goes shopping!