Have you recently moved to San Diego, California, or are you looking at places to stop by during your up-and-coming trip to San Diego? Well, look no further because I have something for you. San Diego is a small city, but don’t be fooled; there is so much to do that it can seem a little daunting. Of course, San Diego has hot spots like the San Diego Zoo, Balboa Park, Seaport Village, and Little Italy but to really get to know a city, you have to get to know its people, and what better way to connect than with small business owners!
Easing your way into a new social community can be challenging and intimidating, so leaning on places where you feel comfortable can ease the anxieties and overwhelmingness of entering an environment for the first time. It can be hard to find your community in a new city. However, there is one community you can rely on to find all around the world. Women! Here in San Diego, there are thousands of women-owned businesses to choose from. For that reason, let's start with these five women-run, small businesses that are worth taking a peek at in San Diego.
Located in University Heights, Pixley’s Oddities was started by Simone Weinstein and is Non-Binary/Femme run and operated. Pixley’s is a shop filled with “oddities,” like jewelry, taxidermy, art, books, etc, but it is also a tattoo and piercing shop with 14 tattoo artists ranging in styles (plus one piercer). Guest tattoo artists make appearances from time to time so make sure to check out their Instagram for updates. Pixley’s also holds taxidermy classes with their taxidermist Kendra. Classes are usually held monthly, but there is no set schedule. These classes are not for everyone, so if you prefer to appreciate it from afar, taxidermy is displayed around the shop.
For more information or to book appointments, check out their website: https://pixleysoddities.myshopify.com.
Located in Ocean Beach, Azúcar is a Cuban pastry shop founded in 2008 by Vivian Hernandez-Jackson, daughter of Cuban immigrants. Vivian beautifully mixes her Cuban heritage and family recipes with her classical French training. Trained at Le Cordon Bleu in classical French pastry, Vivian worked as a pastry chef at Claridge’s Hotel in London and Loews Hotel in Miami. The menu at Azúcar features goodies like ham and cheese croquetas, papas rellenas, pastelito de guayaba con queso, Cuban coffee, and Cuban sandwiches. Azúcar even does custom cakes for any occasion you may have coming up. So when stopping by the beach, don’t forget to grab a bite at Azúcar.
To look at their menu or order online, check out their website: https://iloveazucar.com/.
Voted San Diego's Best Vegan Baked Goods in 2017 and 2018, Maya’s Cookies is a Black and Woman-owned vegan cookie business running right here in the Grantville area of San Diego. Owner Maya Madsen started her business after finally perfecting the vegan cookie recipe that she created due to the lack of vegan cookie options around her. Maya has created a variety of flavors like Druken Grandma, “Everything,” Big Poppa, and White Chocolate Espresso. Maya’s Cookies even has gluten-free cookies if you or anyone you know has a wheat allergy/intolerance. You are even able to order these amazing cookies online, so if you happen to fall in love with these cookies on your trip, don’t worry, you can get them back home too.
To shop from America’s #1 Black-owned vegan cookie company, click the following link: https://www.mayascookies.com/.
Owned by twin sisters Izzy and Coco Tihanyi, Surf Diva is a business passionate about the ocean and teaching. Izzy has been surfing since 8 years old and started teaching it in college. Coco has a business and communication background. Together, Izzy and Coco created Surf Diva in La Jolla. Surf Diva offers private surf lessons, stand-up paddleboarding lessons, team-building surf lessons, spring/summer camps, and more. They also offer rentals for foam boards, stand-up paddleboards, wetsuits, beach chairs, umbrellas, etc. So if you know how to surf or stand up paddleboard, you can borrow their equipment for different periods of time (hourly, half-day, full-day, etc.) These lessons are for people of all ages and abilities so don’t worry about your skill level.
For more information, check out their website: https://www.surfdiva.com/.
East County Vinyl
Are you a vinyl collector, music lover, or just love anything vintage? East County Vinyl may be the place for you to visit. Located inside The Consignment Shack in La Mesa, East County Vinyl has every genre of music for you to choose from and different prices for your budget. Opened in 2012, the owner Kelly has new records every week. At East County Vinyl you can buy used vinyl records, sell your records for cash, or even trade your records for store credit.
For more information, check out their website: https://eastcountyvinyl.com/.
No matter how long or short your trip is, one of these businesses will hopefully fit into your schedule. If you’re new to the neighborhood, you may even consider visiting all of these wonderful stores eventually. San Diego offers so much, even this list of five can seem like a lot. However, this list impacts something a lot bigger than your trip or move to San Diego. It indicates that there is a demand for women-owned businesses that have a positive impact on other women who may be unsure if their future businesses would thrive or not. Use some of your time to support and promote the women of San Diego by visiting these women-owned small businesses.
Cover image via https://www.instagram.com/pixleysoddities/?hl=en