We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Poage and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
There are so many different factors that come into play that make The Aloha Bungalow successful. However, I believe our most important factor that makes our shop truly successful is the genuine connections we make with every customer that walks into our shop. We genuinely care about our customers and partners at The Aloha Bungalow. Aloha is an energy and a way of life. It’s a mutual and collective existence between all people treating one another with love and respect while joyfully sharing life. Aloha is used to express love and to take everyone in with open arms without anything in return. We try to breathe, live, and exude that energy into our tiny shop. That is how we hope The Aloha Bungalow and its products and employees make you feel when you step inside our store and that is truly why I think we are as successful as we have been these past 3 years.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I started The Aloha Bungalow with my husband in 2018 after spending five years working in the apparel industry in Los Angeles and San Francisco. My degree is in Apparel Design & Merchandising from San Francisco State and I always had an eye for fashion. My cousin previously owned the business Soil Home & Garden that was in our space and when she wanted to move on from the business I felt it was a great opportunity for me to use my experience from the fashion industry and combine it with my love for curating and merchandising. There have been many lessons that I’ve learned along the way. The biggest lesson is to take risks and invest in yourself. I quit my steady and reliable job in the fashion industry to pursue my dream of owning my own retail store and risked the financial and social norms along with it. However, I quickly learned that when working for myself allowed me to have new experiences and expanded my horizons so much more than my traditional job ever allowed. While it was definitely hard work and required working every day for months at a time, it was worth it to build a beautiful, local business that our beach town can be proud of. I would like the world to know that businesses can be used to spread joy and provide significant value to their community even if they are small. The Aloha Bungalow aims to always provide immense value to our local community and bring joy to everyone we encounter!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
After I pick up my best friend from the airport, we head straight to Riviera Village. If it’s morning, we hit The Rockefeller for the best breakfast burritos and guava mimosas. After brunch, we stroll down Catalina Avenue and pop in and out of some of our favorite shops including Ribbons Boutique, Nu Shuz, Fringe & The Aloha Bungalow! After we shop til we drop, we pick up a little afternoon coffee at Yellow Vase. For the afternoon, we stroll along the beach and hit the Redondo Pier. We grab lunch at R10 Social House and grab some paddle boards from Paddle House and loop around the pier and marina on our boards soaking up the sun. We then loop back and walk down the Esplanade just before sunset admiring the view to Palos Verdes. We head home and change before grabbing an evening cocktail at Baleen Kitchen followed by dinner with live music. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shoutout to all the local vendors, artists and creatives along with our employees who make our shop the unique and vibrant place that it is today. Our customers love The Aloha Bungalow because we offer locally made products that cannot be found anywhere else. They know when they purchase something from our shop that they are supporting the local community and help to ensure our beach town always keeps its identity. Our employees bring a special energy to our shop and make everyone around them feel welcome and appreciated when they come to The Aloha Bungalow.
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