Located throughout Downtown Long Beach’s distinct neighborhoods, from the East Village Arts District to North Pine, you simply can’t replicate the in-person retail experience each of these shops so thoughtfully provides. With every corner, every shelf curated to offer visitors a feast for the eyes, DTLB’s shopping scene offers more than just apparel, but a unique weekend or week-day outing difficult to find anywhere else.
Check out these six DTLB shops:
MASAYA / 501B Pine Ave.
At MASAYA, customers not only have a place to find high-quality, responsibly made goods, but a place to be present. From the high ceilings and natural light, to the textures and fabrics, original art, the curated playlists and creative arrangement of merchandise, visitors are presented with bespoke opportunities throughout the space to discover something new.
“MASAYA is unique because it’s an expression of the many cultures and communities I’m part of and ones that have influenced me, not only Filipino and other AAPI, but also American, BIPOC and LGBTQ+,” said owner Rich Rodriguez. “I think you can see it manifested in our customers who literally come from all backgrounds and ages. They have found a way into the brand because something spoke to them authentically–the shop design, product, stories, events.”
Rodriguez opened MASAYA in 2022, realizing his longtime dream of having his own shop: “‘Masaya,’ meaning ‘joyful, happy,’ in Tagalog, honors the culture and spirit of the Filipino people with the name,” Rodriguez said.
“My favorite moments are when people walk by the store and do a double take, step inside, soak in the colorful walls and merchandise, hear the music, try on something, and tell me the experience made them feel so good—that’s MASAYA,” said Rodriguez. “These moments remind me that I’m on the right path and keep me motivated to make the experience even better.”
New in the shop: An All-Encompassing Serum from a new Filipino-led brand called REJINS (pronounced “regions”): “The serum is suitable for all skin tones, and skin types and is thoughtfully made with maturing melanin-rich skin in mind,” said Rodriguez.
ANNEISE / 440 E. 1st St.
Stepping into Anneise’s small 319-sq. ft. space, visitors can expect an immediate sense of warmth, not just from the plentiful wood fixtures owner Kimberly Latham added for coziness, but from Latham herself, who takes pride in making people feel welcomed, helped and heard. Shared with another local small business, Saffria Sage Soap, Anneise offers shoppers a calm setting to peruse a carefully curated selection of apparel and accessories.
“Shopping for clothes and accessories can be overwhelming and I try to take the chaos out of it,” Latham said.
Coming up soon at Anneise: “warmer textures and earthly Fall colors in summer silhouettes, because SoCal Fall is hot,” Latham said. Latham hand selects new items weekly that are affordable, made from quality materials, and have a classic look that will last her customers multiple seasons, including key staples in single colorways in an effort to simplify the shopping experience, Latham said.
A hidden gem of a boutique in DTLB, surrounded by East Village’s cluster of unique shops along 1st Street, Latham opened Anneise in 2011: “It’s a tiny neighborhood tucked unassumingly within a downtown metropolis and I’ve watched it grow into an amazing community of small businesses that support and encourage one another.”
Named after her sister, Ann, and her sister-in-law, Neise, “two amazing women I look to for guidance and inspiration,” running Anneise is one of Latham’s joys in life: “I’m inspired by the process. Building something from nothing. Creating a relationship with the makers, hand-selecting the assortment, and then seeing the happiness in my customers fills me with joy to keep doing it!”
For the latest on Anneise, follow along on Instagram @shopanneise.
BURKE MERCANTILE / 435 E. 1st St.
Combine a museum, gift shop, clothing boutique and conceptual general store and you get Burke Mercantile, one of Downtown’s most eclectic shops in the East Village Arts District. Owner Maggie Stoll started the business in 2018 and named it after her paternal great grandfather, George Burke, and added “Mercantile” because she envisioned “a unique small shop offering a wide variety of product types.”
“I like to think of the shopping experience at Burke similar to a museum experience! I’ve always been very inspired by Art Museums and especially Art Museum Gift Shops,” said Stoll. “Everything is very visual, intentional, and has a story behind it.”
Guests browsing Burke Mercantile’s offerings can look forward to a meticulously curated selection of products and apparel, including a recently added item, Artisan Candlestick Holders from Italian design studio, Miho Unexpected Things, a third-generation family company. One of Stoll’s favorites at the moment, they’re “fun, intricate, and unique!”
Coming from nearly a decade in corporate fast fashion where Stoll witnessed first-hand the waste and overproduction, Stoll’s Burke Mercantile seeks to do the opposite with its collection of items made by independent brands, makers and artists passionate about putting sustainable goods out into the world.
“I wanted to change my own habits as a consumer and when I found it hard to find places to buy more sustainable goods locally, I set out to create that kind of place myself,” Stoll said. “I work to do the research on brands for my consumers so they can feel good about their purchases when they shop at Burke, and I also try hard to find brands and products no one has heard of or that aren’t available anywhere else in Long Beach!”
MARAL DESIGNS / 455 E. Ocean Blvd
Shopping at Maral Designs in Downtown’s historic Cooper Arms building is like embarking on a treasure hunt. You never know what you’ll find, or from what far-off location your new favorite blouse or handbag might be from. The shop’s eclectic inventory is hand-picked from all over the world by owner Maral Malikyar, who has had a passion for fashion since she was a kid who loved to play “dress up.” Now, Malikyar takes pride in dressing other people.
Visitors can expect to find designer samples at wholesale prices and a full range of sizes, from XS to Plus, as well as one-of-a-kind jewelry and a unique collection of handbags. On sale now are a selection of versatile silk wraps, which Malikyar says can be worn six different ways.
Established in 2005, Maral Designs has been in Long Beach for the past six years. What Malikyar loves most about the shop’s location in the East Village Arts District are “all the unique personalities” she runs into. Heavily inspired by Coco Chanel, Malikyar is quite the personality herself. If you stop by for a visit, make sure to ask the world traveler about her most recent adventure. You might find yourself shopping for an upcoming trip to the Amalfi Coast, whether you actually have one planned or not.
6TH AND DETROIT / 105-B Linden Ave.
Shoppers at 6th And Detroit will find themselves immersed in a collage of eras from the 50s to the 80s, surrounded by aesthetically arranged, high-quality vintage merchandise, thoughtful vignettes, and plenty of inspiration to add something special to their wardrobe or home.
“With fall around the corner, I wanted to start collecting items needed for entertaining season, so I’ve been hunting down beautiful vintage colored glassware in all sorts of shapes and sizes,” said owner Michelle Qazi. “They’re such alovely way to add spark and character to your table. Whether you like to mix or match colors, they’ll never go out of style!”
6th And Detroit owner Michelle Qazi began her vintage love affair when moving to her first apartment in Los Angeles, on 6th Street and Detroit Avenue. In 2015, Qazi launched an Etsy shop, filled with treasures she’d collected from scouring estate sales and flea markets: “It was always a collection of finds that I would want in my home, which made it personal and special.”
After seven years in business, and with a recent expansion in 2022, where does Qazi find inspiration? Through her family, love of the beach, camping, traveling, and the outdoors, which you can see through the sustainably-minded materials throughout the space: woods, rattan, stone and more.
“The thrill of finding a special piece and seeing a customer fall in love with it is something that is just priceless,” she said. “It inspires me to continue the hunt and be able to have these treasures accessible to everyone.”
LONG BEACH VINTAGE ETC. / 737 Pine Ave.
Fun fact (or tale depending on what you believe in): Long Beach Vintage Etc. has a resident ghost, Mr. Michael Jaffe, a remnant from the 1940s when the building was home to “Jaffe’s Complete Home Furnishings.” Overcome with illness, despondence over declining sales and the resulting despair, Jaffe is said to have taken his own life in the very same space Long Beach Vintage Etc. now inhabits.
Luckily, Jaffe’s poor luck seems to have had no effect on sales today, as the business has steadily grown since 2014 from 2,500 sq. ft. and 10 dealers, to 7,500 sq. ft. of shop space and more than 45 dealers.
Long Beach Vintage Etc. is a warm and inviting treasure-filled space, home to a variety of antiques, vintage and estate items, and lots of things that can only be categorized under the “Etc.” in the shop’s name. Whether you’re an antique collector or seller, an avid thrifter, or simply looking for a unique shopping experience, a visit to 737 Pine Ave. will not disappoint.
Located in Downtown’s historic North Pine neighborhood, the shop represents owner Elizabeth Kobliha’s dedication to making “collecting, appreciating and loving history cool again,” she said.
“We build long term relationships with our customers and we are paving the way for a new generation to teach their children and friends that things aren’t disposable,” said Kobliha. “We live in a disposable society. A lot of people consider most things disposable: furniture, plates, everything! I’m inspired by the thought that we are keeping things out of the landfill.”
“I love this location because we are on the historic old Pine Avenue,” said Kobliha. “I’ve lived in Long Beach for over 35 years and I couldn’t imagine living or working anyplace else.”
For more Downtown Long Beach businesses, make sure to visit downtownlongbeach.org/interactive-map for the full directory.