LONG BEACH — Glenna Traen was always happy to fill in, now she’s full time.
On Saturday, Sept. 21 Glenna Traen held the official grand opening as owner of Home at the Beach, a home décor, gifts, jewelry and women’s apparel store at 600 Pacific Ave. in downtown Long Beach.
Traen bought the business from former owners Karyn Zigler and Kathy Matthews.
“I have worked with Karyn and Kathy at Home at the Beach for years as well as been a regular customer,” Traen said. “It’s always been a great place to find unique items made locally as well as fine gifts items and great jewelry. When I saw an opening on Pacific Avenue, I thought it was meant to be.”
Traen, from Portland, has been in the area about 10 years.
“I came down from Alaska to be a snowbird,” she said. “For five years we went back and forth, but we just liked it so much here. I was semi-retired, doing inn-sitting and part-time work around the Peninsula.”
Among her part-time jobs, Traen worked for Deux Chapeaux and for the former Home By The Beach owners when they traveled.
“I really enjoyed it and working with both women. I’m thankful they thought of passing it along to me,” she said.
Traen credited her partner and co-proprietor, Billy Weiss, with bringing the business into fruition.
“Despite how crazy-busy and overwhelming it’s been, my partner has been there all the way through it. There’s no way I could have done it or still be doing it without him,” she said.
Latest fashion, local jewelry
Traen attended a women’s apparel show in Las Vegas in August, where she ordered a large portion of inventory featuring the latest in fashion, including clothes, shoes and handbags.
The four-day trip was exhausting Traen said, but served as a great learning experience, with informative seminars and inspiring interactions with designers.
To compliment the clothing, Traen has invested in jewelry made by regional and local artists, including Shirely Girl based in Seaside.
Traen is anticipating the arrival of her full line of fall and winter apparel soon.
“I try to carry a mixture high-end and medium-priced women’s clothing in all sizes,” she said.
The clothing line, Parsely & Sage, has been among her best-selling line so far she said.
“I’m down to just two jackets now,” Traen said. “They’ve got great fabric and style, their clothes are smart and sharp.”
Over the summer, Traen moved the business to from 110 Pacific Ave. to 600 Pacific Ave.
The new space, formerly occupied by a tattoo studio, boosted exposure for the business.
“People can now see the shop on their way into town,” Traen said.
Roughly five weeks after relocating, sales have been steady. Small home wares, such as dishcloths and napkin rings, have been among the best sellers.
“Everything has sold pretty well since I opened,” Traen said. “I can’t say I’m going to phase anything out because it all seems to be popular.”
Becoming a business owner and transitioning to full-time work from seasonal has been a challenging change for Traen, particularly getting up to speed on managing the business, books and inventory.
Since the summer, Traen has found time to slow down and cutback her schedule, moving from a seven-day workweek to six by closing on Wednesday.
Curating the store shelves with hand-picked clothing has been among her favorite parts.
“I enjoy the clothes. I take a lot of care in choosing them. I like fun things like secret pockets and reversibility, things that are great ideas and you don’t find at Fred Meyer,” Traen said.