No doubt about it, Paradise Surf Shop has a great vibe about it. On the day of our visit, Owners Sally Smith and Kristina Marquez (sister of pro surfer Chris Gallagher), were hoping — running around the counter answer phones calls, ringing up purchases, and finishing up a recent fund-raiser.
The fund-raiser raised nearly 6,000 dollars and benefited cancer treatment center Women CARE Santa Cruz. It’s just one of the community-outreach events Smith and Marquez have gotten their surf shop involved with, and it’s helped build a sense of community at this girl’s-only surf shop.
According to Marquez, the number of women surfers in the water continues to rise. “I grew up in this neighborhood near Pleasure Point and where once you only saw a few girls out at the point, now there’s sometimes more girls than guys,” she says.
According to Smith, Paradise’s sales are broken down as one-third surfboards, one-third Paradise’s own private-label apparel, and one-third other apparel. While Paradise customers buy a lot of sundresses in the summer and hooded sweatshirts in the winter, Smith says the trend toward more fashion-driven pieces from some brands have for the most part missed the mark at Paradise. “A lot of the surf industry is trying to appeal to the mainstream boutique shopper and it doesn’t work in a shop like ours,” says Smith.
Now in its fourth year of operation, Paradise Surf Shop is building a loyal customer base — not just through the product they offer — but by being an involved member of the community.
**** Just The Facts Ma’am ****
Window Brands: None
Major Display Brands: Aleeda
Strongest Category: Apparel (Paradise private label is especially important).
Weakest Category: Fashion-driven apparel designed for mainstream boutiques.
Bests Rep(s): Mikkel Clark from Local Motion and Ocean Minded, Tony from Smith.
Hottest Brand(s): Paradise
On A Scale Of 1 to 10, Rate:
Health of the surf sales: 8.5
Health of girls sales: 10
Health of men’s apparel sales: n/a
Health of wetsuit sales: 8
Health of footwear sales: 9
Health of surfboard sales: 10