Surf Diva Boutique in La Jolla, California has introduced women of all ages to the sport and spirit of surfing in a fun and encouraging environment. Twin sisters and partners Izzy and Coco are proud to have turned their life-long passion into a successful and growing business—and have a ton of fun doing it.
We were lucky to catch up with both of them at Surf Summit 17 earlier this year in Cabo and, as always, loved their energy and passion. Here, co-owner and buyer Coco Tihanyi chats with us about specialty brands, community involvement, and the importance of doing what you love.
What makes your store unique?
Surf Diva is unique because of the whole experience our customer receives when they enter our shop; from the greeting at the door to the authentic customer service our Shop Divas offer! I liked to carry core surf brands and more “boutiquey” brands so that the shop is a one-stop shop.
We own 3 really cool surf schools so we are able to make sure customers leave with a really great surfing or standup paddleboarding experience, depending on what type of program they are looking for: Surf Diva Surf School, La Jolla Surf Camp, and the American Surf Academy.
What’s your most memorable or proudest moment in the (water, snow, etc.)?
I love having our board meetings with my sister in the water. It’s just awesome! I also love going out into the water with my son and watching him try new surfboards… priceless.
What brands are impressing you or incorporating out of the box designs or promotions that have caught your attention recently?
I really like the direction Roxy is going with their Outdoor Fitness collection—the brand is doing really well and the price points are good. Their bags have also done well, especially the new neoprene fabrics for the beach totes and fanny packs.
If you could trade places with anyone for a day, who would it be?
I wouldn’t want to. They’d be the one winning.
How do you reward your customers?
We offer gifts with each purchase. Right now it’s a 2014 tide calendar, and we also hairbrushes or other items they might need after a surf lesson. We always offer free gift-wrapping, and on the day of a surf lesson, customers receive 20% discount in the shop or 10% off with rentals. For locals we offer 10% discount as well.
How do you keep momentum in the off-season?
It’s a constant effort to keep the momentum in the off-season so we work with the local hotels and make a lot of phone calls, inviting customers into the shop and reminding them we are here for them.
What pulls you into a store?
I personally love going to different stores and seeing/feeling the vibe. Just last weekend I spent an hour in a Michael Kors store because the staff was so nice and I just loved watching how they interacted with the customers. After offering me a mimosa, I ended up buying a hot pink wallet!
What’s the funniest thing you’ve ever heard in your store?
A customer asked us if she could learn to surf with her new implants…
If you could travel anywhere this weekend to (surf, skate, snow, wake, etc.), where would you go and why?
La Jolla Shores. We already live in paradise. (Seriously. This is NOT an infomercial.)
What are you most looking forward to this summer?
I am looking forward to sharing the world of surfing and standup paddleboarding with tons of customers, informing them what brands they should buy while always letting them know something about that brand, and, obviously having a HUGE selling season in the shop! I also want to enjoy time in the water with my family and friends.