The idea of cash mobs, a phenomenon that has particularly grown over the past year, is a rather simple one: find a business that is off the beaten path of popularity, tell a large group of people to bring a nominal amount of money, and invade the business with patrons ready to spend. The hope is that businesses less recognized not only become more active customer-wise, but that neighborhoods in return become more explored by residents.
Living Long Beach--from the sibling creators of We Love LB: Kate, Robin, and Scott Jones--offers up its fourth cash mob in order to, in the words of Robin, "activate businesses by localizing."
"Living Long Beach started because we realized that We Love LB had a missing component: business," explained Robin. "Our point is focus on localizing. Living, shopping, eating local."
After being approached last year by Belmont Shore Business Association Executive Director Dede Rossi, Living Long Beach held their first cash mob in July of last year, sending a hoard of shoppers into the then-secret location of We Olive.
The success of the first one led to another in Belmont Shore in September to support Blue Windows and a third in Bixby Knolls in support of Pixie Toys. And now, a fourth one will happen yet again in Belmont Shore in support of a local business.
Living Long Beach, in their focus on localizing, attempts to incorporate other businesses as well to make the venture a joint one.
"We usually meet at a particular location, go to the secret cash mob location, and then congregate for food afterwards," Robin explained. "Our first cash mob had everyone meet at the Belmont Athletic Club, then we went to We Olive, then we ate at Murphy's afterwards. That way, even though the cash mob itself is focused on one business, we can incorporate and provide promotion to multiple businesses."
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All in all, this cross-pollination of different aspects of Long Beach business has a simple hope: to connect people on a different level.
"The whole point of Living Long Beach is to bring that personal touch to business," Robin said. "Take our use of the Big Red Bus, for example: every just assumes it's a party bus. But the owners want to reach out and show that you can use it as a community, for weddings, for kids, for more than just partying. We love that. You learn names, faces--and we want you to know everyone from the plumber to the piano teacher. This way, Long Beach can flourish."
The latest Living Long Beach Cash Mob will take place this Thursday at 6PM, where mobbers are asked to meet at the Long Beach Fire Station #8, located at 5365 E. 2nd Street. Guests are asked to bring $20 to spend at the secret location. For more information, click here.