It’s been said, “Life’s a beach,” and in our case, it’s true!
Eleven months ago, my husband, “Kahuna Dave” and I launched our store, Alki Surf Shop on Alki Beach in West Seattle.
It took extraordinary effort and thinking to create such a unique place. It’s not just the fact that the “physical plant” is fun and adorable, but we go further to make sure our customers have a positive experience in every way we can. As Kahuna Dave says, Alki Beach is Seattle’s playground, and when you’re there, you’re having fun.
It starts with the music we pipe out onto the sidewalk. We actually see people outside on the sidewalk dancing before they enter our store. We have an incredible UE Boom bluetooth speaker, which acts like a pied piper, drawing them up into our space. And when a customer leaves, we often give them something extra to remember.
Our stock-in-trade is genuine Alki-branded tees, hoodies, and tank tops, but we sell all manner of beach essentials: sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, mats, beach blankets, chairs, umbrellas, flip flops, beach toys and more.
We carry a variety of beached-themed home and fashion accessories, as well as cards, kites, bags, sarongs, hats and jewelry. We also have snacks and have a glass fridge filled with Seattle’s own Jones Soda water and other cold and refreshing drinks.
Earrings made for Alki Surf Shop
Flags, hats and pirate stuff for our Mateys
What is a beach store without Aloha Shirts flown in from Hawaii?
Some of the most interesting people find their way into our place. Recently we were swarmed with mermaids, pirates, television reporters (as customers!), a brand-new Seattle Seahawk, and players for the Seattle Reign.
The first annual Mermaid Parade took place in May
Kahuna Dave with KING-TV reporter Linda Brill, and James Lalonde
Mark Glowinski, rookie offensive guard for the Seattle Seahawks and his wife, Lisa!
We meet pilots, realtors, soldiers, students, sailors, doctors, nurses, chemists, software engineers, librarians, bartenders, project managers, artists, business owners, athletes, media people, hairdressers, advertising professionals, friends from social media, photographers, plumbers, surfers, and energetic kids of all ages.
We’ve had customers visit from just about every state of the U.S., and from countries stretching around the world, including Austria, S. Korea, Japan, China, Taiwan, Vietnam, Cambodia, S. Africa, Ethiopia, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, India, Brazil, Mexico, Russia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Italy, France, England, Australia, Dominican Republic, Guam, Virgin Islands, Philippines, Holland, Germany, Belgium, New Zealand, Kuwait, Peru, Iceland and Singapore. I know there are others—but it’s hard to remember them all!
Where else in Seattle can you cross paths with so many varied and fascinating people on a daily basis?
Alki Surf Shop is located at the center of the universe, and I invite you to join the party when you visit Seattle. I try to work at the store weekend afternoons, but if you're going to be there another day, give me a heads up, I’ll try to meet you there.
It’s possible people might arrive at Alki Beach in a bad mood, but they most certainly are smiling by the time they leave.
The magic continues to amaze and entertain all who enter Alki Surf Shop. Huge thanks to Verizon for their support. Our Belkin HD Netcam maintains a watchful eye over our store; we have been fortunate to have a Samsung Galaxy Note 4 and
Nokia Lumia Icon to shoot photos of our products, our customers and our amazing beach community; and our UE Boom bluetooth speaker — admired by customers and surrounding businesses for the amazing sound quality. Special thanks to Monica Vila @TheOnlineMom
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Terri Nakamura: https://twitter.com/terrinakamura
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