I’m constantly in a tug-of-war with the internet, which is slowly becoming more and more apparent with each piece I write. In the world of retail, the internet can be a gift or a curse, depending on which side of the fence you’re on. With so many people now focusing on e-commerce, physical establishments are slowly becoming a thing of the past and keeping the lights on has become a real thing.
When streetwear was booming in the mid-2000s, life as a boutique owner wasn’t easy, but it was definitely less complicated than it is now. The explosion of independent clothing lines gave these small stores an advantage over the big box retailers, continually providing fresh product for a hungry consumer demanding limited edition gear that couldn’t be found at your local Macy’s.
Then came the recession. People lost their homes, jobs and many, their brands and stores. These unfortunate circumstances left the surviving mom-and-pops with the grueling task of re-inventing themselves to stay afloat, especially when the brands that weathered the storm began widen distribution to larger chains. That created a challenge for stores like 5 & A Dime.
I’ve known Jason Huggins for a few years. I met him back in ’08-09? At the time, streetwear, as we knew it, was arguably at its pinnacle. Brands were tenfold and the amount of selection on shelves was bananas. Addicted to the madness, I was constantly on the hunt for new stores that carried cool brands that no one had ever heard of. It was actually kind of awesome. I was able to catch up with him this past week, to talk about his last 10 years as a retail owner and how he’s managed to keep the lights on through a window to his childhood. The video above is a reminder that holding fast during tough times can sometimes lead to a path you never would have never discovered otherwise.
For those interested in paying a visit to 5 & A Dime:
5 & A Dime
701 8th Ave.
San Diego, CA 92101