When the store in Huntington Beach
named California Greetings launched in early 2003, the locals
were delighted. Located in Downtown Huntington Beach just three
blocks from the Pacific Ocean, this new venture from
entrepreneurs who previously owned a store in Belmont Shore
(Long Beach), just seemed to resonate with locals from
Huntington Beach and tourists visiting.
The secret to the store, according
to its co-founder Joe Shaw, was to find unique beach themed
items at affordable prices, and continuously
introduce new products onto the shelves. Very few products have
a shelf life of more than a year in the store. Building the
business into a solid and high performing shop in the downtown
tourist region, Shaw and his partner sold it several years ago.
In a "Good News" story, one of the
employees at the store was able to finance the purchase of the
business with a partner, and now operates California Greetings
in a similar manner to the original model that Shaw introduced.
Owner Debbie Moussafir worked for
Shaw several years before acquiring the business, and was able
to observe what people liked and didn't. She took mental note on
the comments and also took one of Shaw's best salespersons into
the new venture with her.
Today California Greetings
celebrates over 6 years in Huntington Beach and also recently
celebrated the announcement that it was the People's Choice in a
popular newspaper reader's poll. For the 2nd year in a row,
shoppers have declared this store a favorite.
What's in the store? Silly gift
cards, quality greetings cards, locally-focused books, t-shirts,
baby clothes, adult souvenirs and humor items, tropical themed
housewares, beach shoes, collectibles, a line of fragrance and
body products, candles, and art you can hang on your wall.
Constantly being approached to
represent a new artist or vendor, the store buyer is selective
in what sits on the shelves or hangs on a wall, but the owner
and staff enjoy promoting local artists and their goods. Knowing
what will sell and what won't, Moussafir occasionally tries out
a new item just to learn whether shoppers will buy it or not.
For more information about the
store, visit: cagreetings.com.