Daydream Surf Shop
If you live in Southern California, there’s a BIG chance you’ve seen and heard of Daydream Surf Shop by word of mouth or all over Instagram. This shop is basically a surfer’s paradise: You can go there to pick up and demo your future favorite board, fuel up with some specialty coffee, and treat yourself to some vintage goods and ethically made products. Daydream’s eclectic concept has turned it into the go-to one stop shop amongst locals and people all over the county.
The brains behind Daydream are none other than entrepreneurial couple, Becca Mantei and Kyle Kennely. Becca’s strong background in fine art and design, along with Kyle’s surfing and creative expertise cultivated a shop filled with good vibes and a great community supporting it.
I spoke with Becca to get the low-down on Daydream and their current project on the works...
This is her chronicle:
Could you share a little bit about yourself and how the concept for a Surf and Coffee Shop come about?
My name is Becca Mantei and I own and operate a speciality coffee shop and retail space called Daydream Surf Shop in Costa Mesa, CA with my boyfriend Kyle Kennelly. We are definitely not the first people to combine the two, surf and coffee. Kyle's first exposure to the combination was at Huntington Surf and Sport. They have a small coffee bar inside their shop and he has fond memories of getting a hot chocolate with friends before jumping in the ocean, early in the morning. Places like Saturdays in NYC and Japan are also a huge inspiration of this concept. It's a great way to bring our community together and gives people a reason to come in daily. It's hard to sell a surfboard to the same person every day but you can make them a great cup of coffee and they become a regular.
I love the aesthetic and location of your shop. What inspired the design for the space? I’ve never seen anything like it—in the best way possible!
Thanks so much! We wanted the space to feel inviting, relaxed, open, and comfortable. Speciality Boutiques and Surf Shops can get a bad reputation for being uninviting and pretentious and we wanted to try our best to make sure our customers feel at home when they come into Daydream. Also our tiny budget determined what materials we used and how we built things. Kyle and I build the majority of the shop ourselves with the help of Kyle's uncle and willing friends. Almost everything is made with the cheapest plywood you can find at Home Depot. $29 for a 4 x 8 foot sheet! When you don't have a huge budget to throw money at things in a build out, it forces you to get creative and work with what you have. We are actually getting ready to open another shop up the street from Daydream. We are opening a wine bar and retail space called Semi Tropic Wines. We will be designing the space with similar inspirations and a whole lot of plywood.
How has the community reacted towards towards Daydream since you’ve opened your doors?
It's been insane! 2.5 years into our doors being open and I still am blown away by how much support we receive from our community. Customers have become regulars and then become our friends. I am so grateful for all the people who believe in Daydream and support our shop.
Could you explain the curating process for the products currently sold at your shop?
Oh yeah! Our vintage collection is my favorite part of the shop. I have loved vintage since I was a kid. I've been going to the flea markets in my area religiously. There is something so special about finding something that has lived a whole separate life before you find it. Not to mention buying vintage is great for the planet too. I try to buy pieces that are made with natural fibers, meaning cotton, linen, silk, denim, leather, suede, etc. I also try to make sure the vintage we have in the shop is actually wearable. I don't want anything feeling like it's a costume.
Your Surf Club seems like the perfect fit for someone who loves switching boards around depending on the conditions and how they’re feeling at the moment. Could you give us a little background on it?
That is all Kyle. We call it The Research Center He came up the idea when we were still living in San Francisco and had a board share program that we ran out of our garage. We really want to foster experimentation and exploration with these boards. You can't really test ride surf boards, but with our demo program you can, and you might just find that you really love a board you would have never had the chance to surf. The Research Center is structured like this: 1 day = $20 1 month membership (you can take a board for 3 days at a time) = $50 and 1 month membership (you can take a board for 7 days at a time) = $100
What’s your favorite part about running Daydream?
My favorite part about running Daydream is all the people I get to meet. I get to be introduced to the most creative and interesting people.
What’s your go-to coffee order?
Black coffee, room temperature.
Do you have any advice for entrepreneurs who want to open up their own business?
Go for it! If you believe in something with everything in you, others will too. We had so much help getting Daydream off the group, Kyle and I are both so down to help anyone out anyway we can. Seriously, shoot us an email and we'd be happy to talk with you firstname.lastname@example.org If the world had more people following their dreams and opening more rad businesses, it would be a better place.
What has been your proudest moment with Daydream?
I have this vivid memory last summer where I was starting at the back register and there were so many people in the shop, it was nuts, like probably 45 people. And I remember being so shocked that every single person in the shop was someone that I didn't know. These were total strangers that found out about our weird little shop in a warehouse and were here supporting it. It was crazy. We also had an insane fund raiser to raise money for the Thomas Fires that devastated so much of Ventura. We threw together this live auction in a week and hosted it at our shop and raised over $10,000!
What’s a resource (podcast, blog, book, etc…) you would recommend and refer to often?
I really like listening to The Life Stylist podcast, and Natural Disasters podcast. I have this really cool book on communes cults and utopian societies in the Bay Area that I haven't finished but it's super interesting.
I attended your 2 year anniversary party and had so much fun! Are there any events happening with Daydream anytime soon?
Rad! That was such a fun party. We are having a board demo day at San O on Saturday 4/20. We did it last year and it was such a blast, I think it's becoming an annual event.
If you weren't running Daydream what would you be doing?
I have no idea! I can't imagine doing anything else. Maybe live on a farm somewhere in Marin haha
What’s next for Daydream Surf Shop?
We are opening up a new space! Just up the street from where Daydream is. We are opening a wine bar and shop in Costa Mesa called Semi Tropic Wines. We are going to be exclusively serving and selling natural wines and a selection of beers and ciders. People come into Daydream and often ask us where they can get a good glass of wine and we tell them that they really need to do to LA to find something. This amazing space opened up that we both have loved for years, the stars aligned, and now we are in the process it out. We're hoping to be open in the summer! Daydream will still be our main focus, but I am so excited to start something new.
What do you love the most about being a creative person?
I love that doing creative things is my outlet in life. Making things and creating things makes me feel sane and balanced. If I didn't have a creative outlet in my life I would go nuts.
Location: 1588 Monrovia Ave, Newport Beach CA
Hours: Monday-Friday 7am-6pm, Saturday 8am-6pm