Wet Sand in Ventura, CA
I first came across Wet Sand seven years ago when I was working for a surf inspired jewelry company called Strictly Boarding here in Encinitas. I was their inside sales person. My job was to make sure that the surf stores we sold to were stocked with our stuff. Long story short, I called Wet Sand in Ventura (my hometown, more about Ventura here), not making the connection at all. I spoke with Candy, the owner, still not making the connection. She asked is this Kate Bello? I said yeah. From Ventura? Uh-huh. She said this is Candy Menzel, Shannon Menzel's mom. No way! Shannon and I were friends in elementary and middle school. Shannon has some serious dirt on me when I used to perform The Little Mermaid song at girl scout camp on the reg. I remember sleeping over at her house watching Inner Space and Top Gun and listening to The Beach Boys 80s hit, Kokomo, which always seemed to be on at the time.
I stopped by the store shortly after that to see Shannon, now the creative director and Candy (the store was started by Shannon's dad and Candy's husband, Chuck). I was blown away at how beautiful the store was. I wanted everything in it. Even the guy stuff. It's so perfectly merchandised and designed, and from what I know, it's Shannon's eye (you can see her art in the photos above).
For those of you that don't know about Wet Sand, they started out as an online surf forecasting site, grew into an online store and opened their brick and mortar on Main St in Ventura in 2007. It's an apparel/surf shop with plenty of lovely items for the ladies too. I love their aesthetic.
Just to show you what a small world this is, I come to later find out that my former roommate and one of my besties, Lauren who owns the swimwear showroom Sel De Mer, sells her itty bitty bikinis to Wet Sand and knows Shannon. Aye, good people come together.
If you ever make it my hometown (and you should), make your way down to Main St. and into Wet Sand, float around and take it all in.