Two Moroccan-style pouf chairs sit beneath an industrial wood and metal table, which in turn is weighed with antique books, sculptures, and a mirror in a carved frame. The scene might have come straight from a magazine shoot, but it's only a creative arrangement of the eclectic merchandise at Macalistaire at 1850. It's no surprise that shop owner Rachiel Macalistaire was inspired to open the store after her styling work was featured in home and style magazines. An avid vintage shopper, she filled the store with items from every decade, from a '50s wiggle dress to a '90s Y2K biohazard suit. Half the floor space is devoted to couches, dressers, mirrors, sculptures, and other eye-catching home items. Despite the range of goods, writers at Refinery29 wrote, "No need to spend a ton of time sifting through racks of clothing…every item from this carefully curated shop is tops!" The store also caught the eye of local press and grabbed the number-three spot on CBS 2 News and KCAL TV's top consignment shops in Orange County list.
Toes on the Nose strives to embody the adventurous spirit and classic laid-back aesthetic of surfing through its proprietary line of apparel and accessories for men, women, and kids. Situated in the surfing hotbeds of Laguna Beach and Huntington Beach, Toes on the Nose’s two locations rely on sunglasses from VonZipper, footwear from Ocean Minded, and apparel from Billabong to bedeck the beach bound in a relaxed, effortless look that's stood the test of time better than Victorian bathing suits or medieval witch-hunting scuba gear. Helping patrons do more than simply look the part, each location provides surf lessons, and the Huntington Beach shop also offers standup-paddling lessons and kayak and boat tours, and equips the wave-ready with surfboards and surf accessories.
SUPCO was built on the enthusiasm of owner and standup paddleboarder Tommy Donnelly, who chose the golden shores of Laguna Beach to instruct mainlanders on the activity. From the start Tommy has been committed to putting the sport's best foot forward, assembling a staff of eight World Paddle Association–certified instructors to teach comprehensive lessons and lungfish CPR. The paddle faculty includes second-generation watersport competitor Chuck Patterson and pro surfer and actor Kala Alexander. Tommy and his team promote both the Hawaiian watersport's wave-riding thrills and the vibrant culture that surrounds it by stocking their beachside retail space with hats, T-shirts, and other paddleboard-related apparel.
Cobalt blue, lavender, and turquoise hues pervade the lines of baubles and accents at Primitives, LTD, a jewelry outfit that has been curating a selection of handcrafted pieces since 1988. Created primarily by Navajo, Zuni, and Hopi artists, the shop’s displays are dominated by nature-influenced designs. Artist Alan Kiva handcrafts a line of Zuni opal prayer beads, carving a total of 365 cuts into each bead’s stones to represent hopes for good health, prosperity, and a surfeit of cat videos for each day of the year. The opal inlaid into the beads’ sterling-silver setting comes in colors from frosted pink to green fire and is cut through by a ribbon of clear gemstones, exemplifying the ethereal beauty of many of Primitives’ pieces.
For 21 years, CA Surf Shop has dispatched legions of wave riders into the watery blue yonder fully equipped with sturdy boards, proper technique, and plenty of sure-footed confidence. Owner Rod Greenup heads a team of trained instructors that leads private and semiprivate surfing and standup paddleboarding lessons from atop a floating lectern. Back on shore, the shop's storefront supplies surfers of all levels with board rentals, wet suits, and stylish beach clothes. A retinue of meticulous craftsmen can also sculpt custom surfboards tailored to customers' skill level and surfing style.
Some people are fated to travel down a particular career path. With a surname that literally means "flowers," horticulturalist Ruben Flores may be one of those people. The Laguna Nursery owner and award-winning landscape designer fills the nursery with exotic plants, multicolor blooms, and flavorful herbs. He also gathers architectural artifacts and sculptures from local artists to inspire gardeners to augment their green spaces with artistic accents that don't involve hiring models to stand still above new blooms.