Sea Candy Jewelry @ US OPEN Surfing
Vans Street Market
A row of 10 small business vendors is set up on the sand, where beachgoers can check out merchandise such as vinyl records, visit a barber shop, or see stylish swimwear by San Clemente brand Seea, known for its loyal following on the longboard scene.
The Sea Candy booth was especially busy, Monday, with sea glass jewelry on display and for sale. When Vans contacted owners Sean Malek and girlfriend Chloe Thuler after a vendor dropped out a few weeks before the event, the Laguna Niguel duo jumped at the chance.
“This can’t be real,” Malek remembers saying. “Are you serious?”
All their jewelry is handmade, with items found off of Laguna Beach. Keeping up with the demand at an event that will draw an estimated 500,000 people over nine days won’t be easy.
“It’s crazy because we have to hand-make everything. We want to sell a lot and we want to let people enjoy our work. We are working every night to maintain our stock,” he said.
He liked that Vans was putting small businesses in the forefront.
“It’s such an awesome opportunity. Not only do they donate it, but they gave us $500 to decorate the space, they take no cut whatsoever,” Malek said. “I think they just want to make a change in the community — that’s more important than a small fee. We’re so grateful.”