Coast by Coast is…

A coastal lifestyle boutique custom built out of a 1972 VW bus. Coast by Coast is inspired by the nomadic nature of travel, curated through a swim and outdoor lens.

And the initial inspiration behind it…

After working as a buyer and merchant in the swim and activewear industries for the past 10 years, the timing felt right to make the switch and follow my lifelong dream to become an entrepreneur. I wanted to create something that felt like a bolt of fresh air in the fashion retail world; clever, unexpected, architectural, nostalgic. Inviting the customer in to have her/his own unique, memorable experience. A mobile vintage vehicle seemed like the perfect starting ground. Although our business is centered around a swim- and active-focused shop, the beauty of it is that it is ever-evolving. The backbone is firm but can be stretched, disassembled and newly re-imagined.

The most exciting part about owning our own business…

The sense of opportunity. It’s endless. And when you are the mind behind that, you have the opportunity to take your business in the direction you’re passionate about, based on your own knowledge and experience. I am inspired by the real ambitious, unrealistic ideas that push boundaries. The spontaneity of it all, is a close second.

Kristen Cleary

And being on the bus…

The opportunity to be on the road. I get to take my love of travel and exploration and blend it with my appreciation for everything swim/active/outdoors. I’m curious by nature, so being on the road satisfies my nomadic inquisitiveness and means endless opportunities to be outdoors with no destination but exploration. Photography is a strong passion of mine, so driving the open road gives me the chance to capture some of this world’s most incredible landscapes.

The most challenging part about owning our own business…

The ability to disconnect. Even when I am not working I am noticing things, cataloging ideas away, collecting information that will filter its way through my work. My mind is always in motion but in the best sort of way. There is a beauty in this challenge for us particularly, in that being on the road, we are only a mere stop away from the option to turn everything “off” for a brief second here and there. We are all for the immediate, “Pull over!”, so we can run to a cliff’s edge, barely catching our breath before we are on to explore the next vista.

And being on the bus…

In the blistering summers and deepest of winters, we either swelter or freeze. The VW doesn’t have AC or heat so those long drives can be comical. Wool blankets and stripping down to a bikini are what those days are made of.

My advice to the would-be entrepreneur…

“Keep the balance.” A female state park ranger said this to me as I was driving away from my campground in Big Sur. In this world of go, go go, it is so important, especially while traveling on the road, to remember to take those moments to just be. Meditation, reading, running/climbing are ways I slow myself down.

Kristen Cleary

Our road trip getaways this winter season…

We recently rolled into LA and made the West Coast home! We are looking forward to driving the bus to Yosemite this fall, followed by a 12-day, 100 plus-mile backpacking trip through what I can only imagine is an insanely beautiful place. In December, we will be road-tripping to the Wynwood Arts District in Miami for Art Basel. A first for the bus in Florida.

Fitness tips for those on a road trip…

Always take the back roads, no matter the destination. It’s on these detours that you discover the places meant for exploring. Lacing up your sneakers and hiking new ground or taking a dip in a local swimming hole are experiences not typical to your everyday fitness routine. Being on the road provides you with endless active opportunities. When you are outdoors, you can’t help but be reminded how nature always over-promises and then exceeds expectations.

What the words “embrace ambition” mean to me…

I have always had the mindset that you can do anything. You just have to start somewhere and keep going forward. I think having a nontraditional career forces you to question the notions of success and what it means to go after what you want. I am constantly pushing myself to evolve by staying curious and adaptive to everything around me. Coast by Coast is a product of this mindset. I am building something that I love and believing in what I do.

This was originally published on Tory’s Pro Shop.