Local, sustainable fashion brand 3 Women will close storefront this month • Long Beach Post News

Repurposed historic buildings are home to a variety of unique shops, eateries, and hangouts to suit every interest, and murals bring color to nearly every corner.

There are many unique businesses here, each with their own story, but others have found it difficult to compete in the current economy and have closed down, the cultural fabric that makes Long Beach so special. There are spaces left in .

On First Street, a beloved local business will close its brick-and-mortar stores by the end of this month due to an onslaught of problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Crystal Early and Natalie Mumford have been building a community through Shop 3 Women for the last five years. According to Margaret Stoll, a friend of the two and her owner of a nearby business, together the two create a welcoming and inclusive environment that would be difficult to recreate once they are gone. I made it. Owned by Stoll, Burke Mercantile is a sustainable shop with her curated selection of fashion and lifestyle items right next door.

Three female owners, Crystal Lee Early (left) and Natalie Mumford (far right), stand next to Burke Mercantile owner Margaret Stoll (center) on Sunday, January 22, 2023. Photo by Sarahi Apaez.

“The space they created here is always open to anyone,” Stoll said. Earlier this month, Stoll created his GoFundMe page to give Early and Mumford the option to raise money, support their businesses, and secure a shop if needed.

3 Women is a sustainable fashion brand from Long Beach that offers a wide range of locally made clothing using vintage textiles as well as a wide range of pre-owned clothing. To them, the third woman is everyone they’ve connected and collaborated with over the years, and they live up to their motto, “Three strings don’t break easily.”

Early and Mumford met in 2016 while separately selling vintage clothing at various flea markets across Los Angeles, and soon developed a lasting friendship. They joined forces and started selling clothes together for several years. One day, Arley decided it was time to fulfill her lifelong dream of owning her own storefront.

The dream came true in February 2018, when the pair opened a space at 433 E First Street. In addition to selling second-hand clothes, they began using deadstock fabrics, second-hand rice bags, and flour bags to create unique, custom-made clothing for anyone who walked through their door.

Crystal Early designs sustainable clothing in her shop 3 Women at 433 E 1st St. in Long Beach. Photo courtesy of 3 women.

Before the pandemic, East Village businesses were booming and growing in popularity. Early on, Stoll and another local business owner, Amy Stock, relaunched the East His Village Association website in 2019, highlighting each of the neighborhood’s more than 80 businesses.

But the pandemic has brought all that to a halt, bringing economic hardship and uncertainty.

According to Early, hallway traffic has declined and most of the sales have moved online, which has forced the company to shorten its hours. This is a difficult problem for small businesses to bounce back from. Now, the conversation around downtown businesses has shifted to issues of public safety and homelessness, a factor that keeps businesses away from people who need them, she said.

“No one is to blame, but a lot has to happen for even one business in the region to survive,” says Early.

To revive local interest in downtown once business resumes, Early, Mumford, and Stoll will hold late-night brainstorming sessions at the store, including clothing exchanges, craft sessions, and more to celebrate sustainability. Created an event, such as a community event. Despite their best efforts, it wasn’t enough, he said, Stoll.

3 Women continues to enjoy online success, surpassing 110,000 followers on Instagram. Their work has been featured in British Vogue, Cosmopolitan, Teen Vogue and W Magazine, and worn by Jhenay Aiko, Maud Apatow, Maya Hawke, Gracie Abrams and more.

The brand will be maintained through e-commerce, continuing to operate and connect with local vintage flea markets, but without the freedom of owning a store, Early said.

“Small businesses aren’t just people trying to sell things and make money. They’re really businesses that are very passionate about Long Beach,” she said. It’s an honor to live and do business here.”

Crystal Early and Natalie Mumford have owned and operated 3 Women in the East Village Arts District since February 2018. Photo courtesy of 3 Women.

Inside the store last weekend, where vintage textiles hung from the ceiling and colorful clothes hung from clothes racks stacked on the walls, Early, Mumford, and Stoll spent the past five years talking about the friendship they’ve forged and how they’ve been working together. I remember the connections I made.

Some customers stopped by and learned of the upcoming closure for the first time.

“We’re leaving the store at the end of this month. I’m sorry to share this bad news,” Early said to an older man named Richard, a longtime supporter of the three women.

Ten minutes later he came back and slid two $20 bills under the door.

“This is a very special place,” Early said.

The store is open until Sunday, January 29th, and custom reservations are available until Monday.their go fund me Raised $7,769 of their $50,000 goal.

Beachwood Brewing has temporarily closed its downtown kitchens, citing ongoing safety and cleanliness issues in the area.

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