ELEV 8 Boutique, 105a Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA
ELEV 8 Boutique, 105a Linden Avenue, Long Beach, CA 90802, USA
Retailer of the Week
 

28 Mar. 2012

PATRICK SANTA ANA, ELEV8 & MINT, LONG BEACH, CALIFORNIA,USA

ELEV8 is helping to launch new brands and championing vintage finds and retrofitted classics.
ELEV8 is helping to launch new brands and championing vintage finds and retrofitted classics.
When Patrick Santa Ana opened ELEV8 five years ago, he was a young designer, frustrated by the lack of original, small boutiques and the dearth of opportunity for local designers to get appropriate representation and shelf space. His retail establishment solved that problem, helping to launch new brands and championing vintage finds and retrofitted classics. We sat down with Santa Ana in his Long Beach Art’s District shop and discussed his views, the store’s history and the addition of his new shoe boutique, Mint, just across the street. Interview by Rebecca Paiement

Why did you open ELEV8?
I was an indie designer trying to get my stuff sold in various stores on Melrose and online and I wanted to open a store where it would be easy for up-and-coming designers to showcase their work. I opened ELEV8 almost five years ago, first in Covina, California, and then moved to Long Beach two and a half years ago.

What’s selling particularly well right now?
Some best sellers are the hand made jewelry from local artists and the Lady of Guadalupe tee which is one of my first designs and means a lot to me.

Patrick Santa Ana (Elev8) at the Store Opening
What trends are you preparing for, just around the corner?

Trends that are appealing to our general consumer are very English and grunge, a lot of Doc Martens meets relaxed and earthy, almost like a bohemian rock star.

When do you buy and where do you find new names?
My buying philosophy is to purchase what everyone loves. I buy from trade shows and, equally, from sample sales. I can offer one of a kinds as well as indie lines that deserve to be seen.

You recently opened a shoe store. Tell us about it.
Mint Shoe Boutique is something that was totally unexpected. We recently opened it up three weeks ago, starting with a thought that manifested into reality. My gal pal Val and longtime friend, since the seventh grade, had a salon in that location. She wanted to move her salon to Pasadena to be nearer to her home but she didn’t want to lose the space so randomly, not knowing anything about shoes, she said, “Hey, ya wanna open up a shoe boutique?” And, three weeks later, here’s Mint.

“Hey, ya wanna open up a shoe boutique?” And, three weeks later, here’s Mint.
“Hey, ya wanna open up a shoe boutique?” And, three weeks later, here’s Mint.
Do you see an end to the retail doldrums?

The retail environment has picked up. We have seen a rise in terms of general walk-ins, sales have increased and overall support and admiration of non mainstream businesses has become the new cool thing. Let’s hope it stays this way.

What is most important to you at the end of the day?
ELEV8 is big on supporting local businesses. We constantly encourage our regulars, family and friends to shop from other local businesses like ours. We may not have the stock that they have so we refer our customers to others, a lot actually.


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