PopUp Encinitas: The Hippest New Shop Is a Co-Op
Local retailers band together to run a summer pop-up in Encinitas
Co-op members of PopUp Encinitas gather around their ringleader, Brandon Vega of Atomic Bazaar
Nineteen of San Diego’s most-loved retailers just opened their own brick-and-mortar—together.
Located off of Encinitas’ main drag—look for the rhinoceros mural between Electra Bicycle and Fish Shop on South Coast Highway 101—the summer pop-up PopUp Encinitas has a little something for everyone, whether your style is bohemian, vintage, rock ’n’ roll, or plant loving.
But perhaps the coolest facet of all is that it’s a co-op.
PopUp Encinitas is the newest retail brainchild of real estate developer Brandon Vega, owner of high-end furniture shop Atomic Bazaar.
“I took all of the people who do rad things and I put them under one roof. The beauty in that is that no matter who is working, it’s going to be someone who is passionate about the stuff in here.”
Vega also launched Sea Hive Marketplace, a similar co-op in Oceanside that boasts over 100 retailers and more antique aesthetics; PopUp Encinitas is a more chic and more compressed version of that predecessor.
Sarah Yasukochi’s online kids’ boutique Blaze + Wander is a member of both spaces, and she says of the co-op model, “It’s taking ‘shop local’ to the next level. Community over competition is not just a hashtag for us. It’s real.”
For PopUp Encinitas to function, every vendor has to pull their weight, because, as Vega puts it, “The shop doesn’t open if the shop owners don’t work.”
About 40 percent of the merchandise is new, often with a handmade touch, like Boomer & Co.’s men’s grooming essentials, Gunn & Swain’s sarapes and handwoven rugs, and interior designer Abbie Naber’s pillows and throws.
Most of the inventory, however, is a well-curated collection of vintage scores: ’90s Beatles and Sex Pistols printed pants by Versace from Home NYC; old-school Levi’s from The Brave Arrow; an Emilio Pucci dress from Lex and Los; an autographed print by Joan Miró with a $21,000 price tag, L’Ogre Enjoue (The Playful Ogre), at Atomic Bazaar.
Globally sourced textiles, succulents, and rattan pieces complete the space.
“What we tried to do is give the most well-rounded shopping experience possible,” Vega says.
1010 South Coast Highway 101, Encinitas