It's been a little over a week since our first brick and mortar store opened on Main Street in the charming beach town of Seal Beach, California. As I sit in our shop, taking a moment to reflect on these whirlwind past two months opening a store for Mien Studios, I'm still in a bit of disbelief with how lucky I am to find a place for our small but mighty team to call home for the next year.
On September 1st, 2019, our grand opening day, we opened our doors to the public in picture-perfect, sunny beachside weather. With the smell of seawater in the air and surrounded by customers, friends, and family cheering us on over glasses of champagne, the excitement was palpable - and it finally hit me, this is real. The truth is, I didn't think I would ever open a store for Mien Studios. Our online community is expanding and the brand is growing healthily through our website. But the opportunity that lands in our lap when one is least expecting it can be the most rare and valuable, but once the chance passes by, it's gone. So I decided to take that chance and take over the space that belonged to one of my best friends, Theresa Anderson of Petals & Pop flower shop, for a year. Theresa has been a long time supporter of my work. She wears her Lakeside Jumpsuits (she has many), her Painter's Jackets (also several), and her Haven Jackets (she has 2 colors) all the time. She knows and lives in my work and eventually, so do her customers. Her store is beloved and I've done many popups there so the Seal Beach community is familiar to me. While my friend made the decision to focus the next year on her many, many wedding clients and studio projects, she offered me the space for the next year. With this incredible stroke of luck also came many sleepless nights and careful consideration on my part to take this brand onto the next chapter and move my business out of my home. From a flower atelier to a clothing store, the changing of hands between two great friends who have been there for each other through the years was easy, natural, and seemed meant to be all along.
My good friend Theresa of Petals & Pop on left
This store sells my clothing collection, but I also fill it with work by my talented U.S.-based maker friends. You'll find jewelry by Hyworks, beach blankets and baskets by Nipomo, hand-poured candles by Simply Curated, Turkish woven blankets by House No. 23, ceramics by Earthen and Lemonglaze, and so much more. There are also hand painted cards by Moglea, cook books, art books, potted house plants and everlasting bouquets by Petals & Pop. The list goes on and it makes me so happy to see my work alongside my friends'. Within 500 square feet, this small space holds dear everything I love: my own work, my team, my friends' works, and is always a welcoming space for all who know us, or want to get to know us. ALL are welcome here.
A little bit about Seal Beach, I love being here. Main Street still maintains the old-fashioned, cobblestone paved road, quiet small town charm that is so hard to find today. The shops on the street are mom-and-pop stores with restaurants that are family-owned as well. I can't imagine Mien being in a major shopping mall or situated in a trendy shopping district. I love the peace and slow pace of a beach town, its people either leisurely going about their routine or on holiday. With the ocean and white sandy beach right at the end of the small street, this little slice of heaven is ours for the next year and we feel right at home.
Come major holidays, we will go the extra step to celebrate with the rest of the neighborhood —Halloween, Christmas, and Mother’s Day I know will be especially festive on Main street. Petals & Pop will do a popup in the shop and Theresa will bring all her flowers here to do hand-tied bouquets and wreaths for purchase. We'll pop some bubbly and snacks for you while you shop Mien Studios' collection and also the great selection of handmade gifts and curated goods all over the store. Easy music is always playing, a candle will always be lit, so stop by —we're always happy to see you.