By Danielle Directo-Meston
Photos by Sara Norris
Luv Surf is making a real business out of California dreamin'. Born from a Mission Beach-based vacation rental company's clothing and souvenir shop, the local label is now riding onto the shelves at Nordstrom .
"We really wanted to create a lifestyle brand [that represents] San Diego," says co-founder Chris Kramer, who notes that Luv Surf's playful logo - a colorful heart with "surf" scrawled over it - has landed everywhere from Florida to France. "[We're] a young, contemporary brand; it's really fun and it's simple, in a good way."
Created to promote the pet-friendly property-rental business owned by local entrepreneur Gina Champion-Cain (whose ventures include bringing House of Blues to San Diego), Luv Surf was spun into a wholesale fashion line after its logo-happy apparel began flying off the surf shack's racks.
The brand hit the trade-show circuit last January, walking away with a major deal.
"Nordstrom really was our big break," says Kramer, adding that he expects to match last year's total sales in the first quarter of 2015.
"We want to capture that surf lifestyle, but you don't necessarily have to surf to enjoy our brand," says designer Ashley Villatuya.
Beach-ready basics (all under $50), Luv Surf 's youthful graphic tees, tanks, pullovers and accessories don't just channel the Golden State - they're cut and sewn here, too.
Next up for Luv Surf is expansion into additional seaside shops. Plus, Kramer says he hopes to launch Luv Surf Adventures, a program aimed at teaching girls how to surf.
"It's a way to provide a service to our customer, and not just a product," he says. Talk about making waves.
Luv Surf Apparel
3816 Mission Blvd., Mission Beach