What is the name of your / the business and social media handle?
How did the name come about and how long have you been here?
“We wanted to do a shop that was vintage and centered around our lifestyle, motorcycles and surfboards. We have been longtime surfers, I have always rode motorcycles, been into a lot of fashion, and have worked for a lot of apparel brands over the years. So, we wanted to combine them somehow into a retail space and we came up with the idea. Seaweed means surfing and gravel means motorcycles… we wanted it to be a little vague.”
How long have you been at Seaweed & Gravel?
“The shop has been here for 5 & 1/2 years.”
What is your role at the company?
“Its pretty much a sole proprietor and I take care of everything. I do all the buying, all the purchasing, all the in house products, and everything that comes with that. I have two guys that work for me as salesmen in the shop.”
How did you get started?
“I just came down to Leucadia, happened to be looking around, and I knew I wanted to do it here specifically. There was nothing going on in this town at that time. It was 2012 and this space was empty for like 8 months. There were a bunch of spaces that were available to rent and we decided, okay this is the place that we want to do it. And then we started building it out and buying motorcycles and what not. Our grand opening was very well received and thats when I met my motorcycle builder. He was a local guy who had been building motorcycles here just under his own name. He came in and was like, ‘this is great, lets build some motorcycles together.’ So now we have a build garage out in San Marcos where we have all the building going on, he does that full time. We have motorcycle builds scheduled out for a two year waiting list.”
What is your favorite thing about the business?
“I get a lot of local customers, but I think I have gotten to a point where a lot of times the local customers are coming in to just check in and get gifts for other people. And then the other side of it is we get a lot of tourist business and then because of the whole social media presence I get a lot of people coming through town that want to come here because they have been following us for years and just want to come see the store. Its a nice mix bag and thats why I keep the store really different because older ladies will come in and buy candles and a purse and young guys will get a wallet, a patch, and a motorcycle jacket. It’s all over the place, every demographic. Even the bonsai, we get horticultural minded people coming in to look at the bonsai. We do some community workshops in the spring. I teach them which is fun, its a hobby of mine.”
What’s the best part about being in Leucadia?
“It’s the lifestyle. It’s being in a place where people are at ease with where they are at in town. People come here because they want to be in that same environment. There are a lot of young and up and coming people here trying to make a living, but it is still grounded. I have lived all over California. I went to college in San Luis Obispo and I did a lot of apparel in Orange County. When I wanted to open this store I knew I wanted to do it down here, to get away from that sense of entitlement that resides elsewhere. I love that people here accept what you’re doing with no questions asked. It is a double-edged sword though because it is quiet and the sidewalks roll up at 9pm and its a quiet town. So for a retail space its difficult because you don’t have pedestrian walk through and crowds that you would get in a busier place. It is a little bit tricky, but this place has been able to survive because its a destination for people who have bought into it and are following it.”
Do you know about BLOC and what we’re about?
“I have seen your building, but I don’t know much about BLOC. I do Pop Up Events, if it is something you guys would be interested in I would love to have BLOC involved so you guys can reach more people in the community. People may not walk in there to ask what it is about, but in an environment where people are cruising through with their dogs it may be a good opportunity to spread awareness of the co-working world.”
Do you have anything exciting coming up in the future?
“I’m trying to figure out the next step of what’s happening because things are rapidly changing around this town. The culture of what we do is changing pretty rapidly, so the next step is to address that and change the look of the store quite a bit. I don’t know exactly what that is yet, but I’ve got some ideas. I don’t want to give anything away, but its going to be fun and I’m excited for it.”
Did you always see yourself doing something like this?
“That’s a hard question, but I’ve always been involved in fashion forward thinking with apparel companies and with different projects. I am an artist and designer, so that constant thought of what is going to happen, what’s the next thing kind of thinking… I’m never complacent to just sit back on whatever is going on and think that that is going to sustain anything. So I guess I could see it, but just in a different light.”
What was your very first or most memorable job?
“My first job was with Vision Streetwear. It was in the early 90’s, they had their own shoes, it was part of the skate culture that was blown up at the time. That was a pretty fun job.”