ENCINITAS — In 1995, Beverly Goodman drove 4,000 miles around Mexico, meeting local artisans and purchasing anything that would fit into her old truck. She had recently quit her corporate job in health care management and was getting ready to open Coast Hwy Traders, a shop that would sell art, clothing and other funky items. These trips to Mexico soon became a regular part of how she acquired art for sale.
“I’d go into town down a dirt road in a little village, and the door would swing open, and they’d say, ‘Beverly we heard you were in town, come in,’” Goodman recalled. “The word would just get out, ‘she’s in town,’ and they’d get everything ready. It was really fun.”
Now, 24 years later, after helping launch the careers of many Mexican artists, shop owner Beverly Goodman is retiring from her business. As the property owner, Goodman will now rent the full space to Deb Molina and Rachael Maile, owners of the local clothing brand gypSea Dreams, which currently has a booth in Coast Hwy Traders. Goodman had recently been considering retirement, so the timing was perfect.
“Deb and her daughter — they’re partners — approached me with the idea, and I thought, you know, it feels right, I think you’re the right person,” Goodman said. “They live in Encinitas, and they love Encinitas.”
Molina was one of Goodman’s first vendors when she was at her original location just a few blocks north on Highway 101. The gypSea Dreams team will remodel the current space, but they will keep many of the same vendors. The biggest change folks will notice is much less Mexican art for sale, since that was driven mainly by Goodman’s passion. Still, Goodman and Molina have worked together for years, and their goals of supporting fair-trade business, women entrepreneurs and a thriving downtown have always aligned.
“Beverly doesn’t want to see her community taken over by restaurants and office buildings,” Molina explained. “We want to have a downtown community, and we want to offer that.”
In the Encinitas downtown, retail is a huge part of the culture, especially with the growing tourist scene. Currently, Goodman says the shop sees about 70 percent tourists and 30 percent residents, a huge shift from when she started the business over two decades ago. Keeping the space as retail was a huge priority for Goodman.
“The tourists really have expectations of the town, and they want to come here and buy retail,” Goodman said. “You’re not going to get the same rent you’d get if you rented to a chain, or someone else, but you’re helping the downtown keep its culture.”
Goodman will officially retire in the fall. Some repeat customers who have heard the news already started purchasing coveted pieces while they’re still there. A shop in Old Town has asked to buy anything that isn’t sold before closing.
Instead of a retirement party, Goodman says she’d rather take her six employees out for a celebratory thank you dinner. When she’s officially wrapped up Coast Hwy Traders, she says she will finish out her term on the Encinitas 101 MainStreet board, but she’ll take more time for her own passion projects, which include her own original art projects and mentoring Mexican women in business. She wants to leave the business with a huge thank you to the people of Encinitas.
“It’s been a pleasure being downtown all of these years and seeing downtown evolve,” Goodman said. “I would encourage everyone to support and shop local. I feel very blessed that I’ve had such a great time down here.”