Today we’d like to introduce you to Alyssa Remington.
Alyssa, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
As a relatively young and single Mom, my creative endeavors were always supplemented by a lot of waitressing & bartending. I was fortunate in that I had friends who often hired me for photography jobs & others who sold some of my art in their shops, so there was always an outlet for creativity- but, there were often times I doubted that I’d ever be able to do what I loved full time.
Then six years ago, my son & I moved back to our home town of Santa Barbara to be close to family. My Mom, Lynn had also recently moved back down south from the Bay Area (where she had been staging homes & owned a retail shop) &asked me to partner up with her on a shop of our own. I was excited at the prospect of a creative opportunity & also a bit hesitant to venture into retail. But, our goal was to create a more of a hands-on experience for shoppers and to involve our community by offering classes & hosting a Makers Market seasonally.
We opened Folly in a charming little 1920’s house in Carpinteria (just south of Santa Barbara). Our Makers Markets proved to be a huge hit & a sweet venue for artists from LA to SF- Our everyday traffic, however, was a different story, as we were located a bit off the beaten path. We decided to close shop after three years.
At the time of Folly’s closing, I was renovating a 1957 Boles Aero trailer with the intention of renting it on airbnb. With the trailer gutted, I decided it would be fun to do a pop-up shop in the trailer to unload leftover merchandise from Folly. I was thrilled to be invited to pull into the parking lot of one of my all-time favorite shops in Carpinteria, Porch for their annual June Gloom Festival. At the end of the day, Christie & Diana (owners at Porch) asked if I’d like to move my tiny trailer shop into their back garden to stay. So, this is where I’ve ended up & it couldn’t be a more perfect fit.
Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
It hasn’t always been a huge financial success – But, I really love what I’m doing & quite honestly, things have just sort of fallen into place.
Folly – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Folly is made up of 100% vintage and handcrafted goods. With the exception of two artists from Mexico & two from Seattle, the artists, designers, and makers I buy from are all local to California. Several, if not all of them use upcycled materials & organic fabrics in what they make, which is a big plus in my eyes. I’d say my aesthetic is pretty eclectic. Although growing up in California, I’ve always had an affinity for the people, culture, and style of Mexico and I love color.
As a small business owner, of course I’m thrilled when I have a day with great sales- but, I think what makes me most proud is when I hear a customer say “It feels so good in here” or “I love the energy in this place” With all of the shopping that’s done on the internet, it’s my goal to give my customers an experience. I want them to leave feeling inspired.
What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I love that my son has a chance to witness that I’m doing something that I love for a living.
- Address: 3823 Santa Claus Lane
Carpinteria, CA 93013
- Phone: (415) 847-5598
- Email: email@example.com
- Instagram: @follyhome