Rad Retailers: Sidewalk Surfing and Offline Shopping
A little round-up of some of our favorite outdoor industry retail spaces that provide high-quality products, engaging merchandise design and a strong sense of community.
Laguna Beach, CA
Poler Outdoor Stuff recently opened a concept store and event space in a spacious converted Laguna Beach greenhouse. Strategically placed in the O.C. to connect surfing with the rest of the great outdoors, it brings a pop of Portland to sunny Southern California, while paying homage to the area’s history of bohemian surf culture. The new shop carries a selection of Poler’s bags, apparel and outdoor gear, including beach essentials like Poler x Pendleton towels and ponchos. Northwest favorites like Stumptown cold brew and Salt & Straw ice cream are also served. The flagship store will host events, parties and workshops in the new space, situated alongside the iconic Pacific Coast Highway. Installations by Long Beach artist Eric Trine and a mural by Lori D. are not to be missed.
Wildfang started as an online-only boutique for the modern tomboy, selling menswear-inspired clothing for bold, badass ladies who want tailored clothing cut for the female figure. When locals wanted a place to try on the goods, they opened a brick-and-mortar store in Southeast Portland. Fresh from the success of that first store, WIldfang has opened a second location in the tony West End neighborhood, one that is double the size of the original. All that extra space contains some fun additions like a carving wall so customers can leave their mark, and a bar so you can sip Union Wine or crack a PBR while you take in Wildfang’s selection of graphic tees, suits, joggers, button ups and one-of-a-kind gifts. Keep an eye out for their exclusive collection of suiting by Lucca Couture.
Belief is located in Queens near Astoria Skate Park, stocking decks, clothing and footwear for skaters and streetwear fans alike. Flanked by a bar and a tattoo parlor, the low-key, friendly vibe keeps regulars coming back for brands such as Carhartt WIP, Only NY, Nike and Vans. Belief also sells as their own line of hats and shirts, some emblazoned with the brand’s motto “Ever Upward” inspired by the New York state motto “Excelsior.” Phil Gordon, who co-owns the shop along with his twin brother and their childhood friend, says the phrase “sums up our belief that if you strive to do what you love, you can reach your full potential in the face of any adversity.”
Los Angeles, CA
Individual Medley in the Atwater Village Neighborhood of Los Angeles offers an imaginatively curated selection of goods for the home, as well as clothing and accessories for men, women and kids. The emphasis is on natural fibers and an earthy aesthetic. Canvas drapes and a wood installation by artist Jay Nelson lend a rustic cabin-like feeling to the serene, light-filled interior. Standout items include ceramics by Helen Levi, jewelry by Nikki Montoya, and scents by Poppy and Someday. Cards and paper products make it a one-stop shop if you’re looking for the perfect gift.
This article was originally published in RANGE Magazine Issue Five.
Jen Abercrombie is a lifelong Californian with a love of cycling and the outdoors, who spent 12 years as an independent retailer in Los Angeles. She has a background in graphic design and works with active brands in social media and content creation. A self-described “word nerd,” she appreciates a clever caption.