For Bryce and Cecilia Cole, fashion, architecture and homewares are part of related design categories that they file under good living.

The husband-and-wife team opened independent boutique Coast Modern at 219 Main St. in Seal Beach, Calif., which is sandwiched between the port city of Long Beach and Huntington Beach, and gave itself the name Surf City.

In their 600-square-foot boutique, they sell architecture books on mid-20th-century homes that have been restored in the area (Think of 1950s-era Case Study Houses in Long Beach and Joseph Eichler homes—the Coles reside in one in Orange, Calif.) There’s Danish Modern furniture and their own clothing line, Unidas . It features T-shirts with architecturally inspired graphic designs.

More than a decade ago, Bryce Cole co-founded two separate branded boutiques called Suburban and Mooks on Los Angeles’ La Brea Avenue. He closed them down to concentrate on design and consulting. Cecilia Cole works as a manufacturing liaison in another Cole family business, called Common Thread Apparel Resources , and helps direct manufacturing denim lines in Puebla, Mexico. They’re bullish on boutique retail.

“There’s a revival going on for smaller ‘general store’ boutiques,” Bryce Cole said. “The time is right to work with smaller brands and tell their stories to our customers. That is what we are about.”

Coast Modern opened Nov. 15 in Seal Beach’s downtown. Once known for quaint shops and bars, new fashion shops have opened in Seal Beach such as Petals and Pop and Tankfarm Clothing & Co. , which runs a flagship across the street from Coastal Modern. Bryce Cole did some design consulting in the past for Tankfarm.

People shopping in Seal Beach are interested in casual fashion with a stylish edge. In the past few weeks, top-selling items for men included the “Slingshot Henley” shirt from Almond Surfboards & Designs , based in Newport Beach, Calif. The short-sleeve shirt with contrast heather sleeves retails for $58. For women, a top-selling item was the “Lyra Blue Polka” dress from Bridge & Burn , headquartered in Portland, Ore. It retails for $148. The sleeveless dress is cinched at the waist and features pockets and a draw cord at the neck.

Maryan Barbara
Maryan Barbara

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