Prism Boutique Brings Chic Shopping to Belmont Heights

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Photos by Brian Addison. Full gallery below.

Dayna Mance, like many Millenials, saw a chance in Belmont Heights: the chance to, in her early 30s, open her own boutique dedicated to all-female fashion and jewelry.

The 33-year-old Rose Park resident’s store, Prism, sits at the popular corner of 4th and Termino, home to the odd-but-perfect assortment of Scratch Bakery, Kava Yoga, and Viento y Agua—and she just celebrated her first anniversary by winning the second annual Shaun Lumachi Rising Star Award, given by the Long Beach Area Chamber of Commerce to small business owners who show high growth potential.

“I’ve always known I wanted to do this—I almost did it six years ago on my own but the timing just wasn’t right,” Mance said. “Thank God I didn’t: the economy was horrible.”

Having worked for Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie for years, Mance not only had a professionally harnessed talent for female clothing but also the business-savvy to know that Long Beach—and specifically Belmont Heights—was on the cusp of a turn-around. As older businesses began leaving, younger folk like her and her husband were open to seize brick-and-mortar storefronts.

Prism16Believing that Anthropologie “showed her a market,” Mance scored a store front at 4th St. & Termino Ave., a space she had always desired to be at.

“Even before I lived in Long Beach, I wanted to own a boutique—but Belmont Heights is where I live and it became the place I knew I wanted to expand my entrepreneurial side.”

The influence of both Long Beach and Anthropologie become clear once you step inside Prism: casual but dynamic, wearable fashion with an array of BoHo-style options that fit women who want to look good. Her jewelry—geometric-focused shapes from predominantly local jewelers—act as the perfect accompaniment to her clothes.

Long Beach brands like Callahan are mixed with other SoCal brands, such as Orange County’s Novella Royale and Knot Sisters and L.A.’s own Chaser. And like Orn Hansen and other Long Beach boutiques, Mance launched her own online store in November—which now accounts for nearly 15% to 20% of her sales and offers her a reach outside of Long Beach as well.

“Through not just our online outlet, but our Instagram and Facebook, we have reached an audience that goes way beyond Long Beach,” Mance said. “Even before we launched our site, we were shipping things out on a daily basis. There’s an interest in our product and even though I had no background in online consumerism, I decided to build the website.”

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Prism is part of an ongoing Renaissance, if you will, happening within Long Beach clothing: providing product that not only appeal to locals but reach an audience beyond the city’s borders (such as Orn Hansen or shops like Port and Yellow 108).

Though her first year was questionable when she started—“I asked myself, ‘Can I survive?’ countless times”—but like all Long Beachers, she simply stuck it through, a sentiment that she offers to anyone wanting to set up shop in the LBC.

“I work from morning to night,” said the new mother, “but it’s fun because it’s mine. You just take the leap—it was impossible to fight the burn inside me. I just had to because it was more of a risk not to.”

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