Downtown Fullerton boutiques create an eccentric oasis for shoppers

In Arts & Entertainment, Fashion
Beatnic prides itself in its exclusive and limited-edition merchandise from brands such as Nike, Converse, Stussy and Aape. The boutique offers customers an experience found only in downtown Fullerton.
(Iman Lathan / Daily Titan)

Among the endless row of brightly lit trees and lively bars in downtown Fullerton is a diverse selection of exceptional thrift stores and storefront boutiques that offer locals an alternative to the shopping mall.

Stores such as Beatnic, Stitch and Feather, Wander Outfitters, Buffalo Exchange and Memo’s Vintage Clothing all personify the great shopping opportunities downtown — which prides itself in its uniqueness — has to offer.

Beatnic is a destination boutique dedicated to exclusivity and rare, selective brands, said Gary Matthews, store manager.

The shop carries limited-edition merchandise of common brand names such as Nike, Adidas and Vans; however, its harder-to-find merchandise like Aape, Stussy and Raised By Wolves draws people into the boutique.

The store has a selection of apparel and footwear that stores in the mall will not have in stock, coinciding with Beatnic’s mission of providing customers with streetwear, shoes and the latest apparel in fashion, Matthews said.

“Considering the fact that we are one of the very few (streetwear) boutiques in OC, it makes us that much more exclusive,” Matthews said.

Stitch and Feather is a women’s clothing store on the corner of Wilshire Avenue and Harbor Boulevard that keeps up with current women’s apparel and shoes trends. Upon entering the boutique, the ambiance resembles Urban Outfitters’ quirky home-decor vibe, but with cheaper price tags.

Dedicated to exceptional customer service, the store has rave reviews on Yelp about its customer service and uniqueness. With its only other location in Seal Beach, the boutique is especially exclusive because of its selection of apparel, shoes, paperie and homemade gifts.

For the great outdoors enthusiasts, Wander Outfitters is an active lifestyle boutique encouraging customers to “explore,” “travel” and “wander” by offering equipment, clothing and accessories for the best adventures at a reasonable price, said Oliver Tan, store owner. The store caters to those seeking to incorporate active lifestyles into their everyday life.

Wander Outfitters goes beyond retail and hosts educational events like “Get Sharp Knife Seminar,” which guides and instructs people on knife upkeep and use.

“We can provide expertise in certain areas,” Tan said. “We’re a small business, so if you support a small business, it goes back into the community.”  

Buffalo Exchange is a thrift store that has a high standard for buying, selling and trading apparel. Its products are bought and sold locally, allowing shoppers the opportunity to get money for their clothes and affordable clothes for their money.

Buffalo Exchange provides a variety of clothing styles, including current trends, denim, leather, designer, everyday basics, vintage and one-of-a-kind items.

Buffalo Exchange also puts an emphasis on giving back with programs like “Token for Bags” and “Earth Day $1 Day Sale,” where shoppers can donate to charities.

Students have opportunities for promotions such as “Retail Therapy Study Break!” If students show their school ID through May 15, they’ll receive a $5 discount coupon to use on their next purchase.

Memo’s Vintage Clothing offers a quirky selection of vintage clothing with items such as fur caps from the ‘20s, sock-hop skirts of the ‘50s, and wild patterns from the ‘90s. The boutique takes patrons back to various periods of fashion in history. Memo’s sells men, women and children’s clothing.

Downtown Fullerton houses some of the most eccentric storefront boutiques and thrift shops in the OC. Beatnic, Stitch and Feather, Wander Outfitters, Buffalo Exchange and Memo’s Vintage Clothing are only a handful of shops that exemplify the diversity and exclusivity sprinkled throughout downtown. Shoppers can add chic clothing pieces to their closets while supporting local businesses and helping fashion in Fullerton prosper.

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