Back in 2009, Melanie Michaud thought the best way to introduce new fashion brands was to display them in pop-up shops, so she ran the Graffiti Beach pop-up store in more than 30 places in Los Angeles and Orange counties. After three years on the pop-up circuit, she decided to take a more permanent approach.
On March 24, Michaud will open the first permanent Graffiti Beach shop. The 1,200-square-foot shop will take a bow at 2220 Fern St. in San Diego’s South Park district, a pedestrian-friendly area that hosts many bars and restaurants but not much fashion retail. Pioneering fashion retail in a neighborhood with few boutiques was the main reason she chose to open in South Park.
Like her pop-up ventures, the permanent Graffiti Beach will be devoted to new and emerging brands, mostly from California. Her reasons for shifting gears from gypsy-style retail to a more settled business ranged from wanting to try something different to getting tired of the heavy work that pop-ups require. “It’s the double whammy of opening a store and doing an event,” she said of finding the venue, booking vendors and spreading the word on the pop-up shop, as well as building it and breaking it down all in the space of a weekend.
Still, Michaud does not expect her workload to lighten much. On March 24, she will also debut her e-commerce shop at http://www.graffitibeach.org. Like the physical shop, it will offer fashion art and music. Fashion brands offered will include swimwear brand Ani Bikini, women’s brand Brokedown, and men’s lines Redhawk Brigade and Astronomy.—Andrew Asch