This on trend boutique, 409 East 8th Street, is all about empowerment
TO RISE like a phoenix from the ashes means to emerge from a catastrophe stronger, smarter, and more powerful. For Wild Phoenix Boutique owner, Kim Demarco, the symbolism in this ancient myth inspired her to create her shop. Following a tremendously difficult 2020, she explained, “our family of six wanted to focus on positivity and new beginnings.”
At the end of 2019, Kim was diagnosed with breast cancer, and made the decision to leave her beloved job and friends at the 7th Street Surf Shop, where she began working as a teen during the summers.
“I left 7th Street to focus on my treatment and my health. More and more time was passing, and I wanted so badly to go back, but just couldn’t at that time. While I was home recovering, I had way too much time on my hands,” she laughed. “I needed something to focus on and got the idea to open a boutique. All my friends at 7th Street were so supportive, and gave me the extra push I needed. Something good came out of something bad.”
All of Kim’s four kids followed in mom’s footsteps, and work at 7th Street now too, including her son, Kai, 20. Her three girls, Keely, 19, Shea, 17, and Lola, 15, also helped Kim open her new business this past Memorial Day weekend. They continue to work with her to run it successfully.
“I was so excited to do something like this with my daughters. They’re three fun and crazy girls, hence, the ‘Wild,’ she said. “It’s fun to create a business where moms and daughters can shop side by side.”
Kim and her daughters began carefully cultivating their inventory by going to trade shows.
“It’s fun to look at items together, get their ideas for what to carry, and agree on different collections. We get to go shopping for cool clothes and accessories for a living,” Kim laughed. “What girl wouldn’t love that? My goal, though, is to be respectful of the other shops and brands already in town.”
“It has been a really cool experience to go through the steps of creating a store together, like going to the trade shows together,” said Shea.
Kim and her kids look for unique clothing, accessories, bags, candles, and gifts. Kim describes her clothing as “boho chic.”
“It’s comfortable, a bit indie, and beachy,” she said. “We like leopard, tie dye, and really bold patterns. Our clothes are nothing too fancy, just easy. We carry items that are on trend, that aren’t just for teens, but for everyone. People just seem to love it.”
Lola couldn’t be happier for her mom.
“I’m so proud of my mom for making her dream a reality,” Lola said. “She created a store where there really is something for all ages.”
Keely agrees and is proud of Kim as well.
“Working on the Wild Phoenix brand brought my sisters and I closer, and I love that we all had a part in creating this.”
One of the jewelry makers Kim carries is created by Raising Surfers. Owner and operator, Kristin Manchin, describes their jewelry as “boho to bold.”
“Our Surf Jewels collection is waterproof, tarnish-free, and hypoallergenic, and is geared toward an active lifestyle,” Kristin said.
Wild Phoenix Boutique also carries the California-based brand, Rareform. The company recycles billboard vinyl and transforms it into one-of-a-kind, durable bags and other functional everyday items. Over the past seven years, Rareform has repurposed more than three million pounds of vinyl destined for landfills.
“It’s really relevant today in helping the ecology, especially living here on an island,” Kim said. “They sell backpacks, totes, wallets, coolers, and more. They’re all cool, bright, and artful. You’ll never get the same piece twice.”
Wild Phoenix Boutique, tucked away in a lovely, quiet location on 409 East 8th Street, is open every day 9am to 5pm, where locals and visitors stroll by all year. It’s open through the Christmas and New Year holiday season, and will reopen come spring 2022.
Follow them online at instagram.com/wildphoenixboutique