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Trestles Clothing Company Is a Dream Come True
By Norb Garrett
The writing was quite literally on the wall; some 30 years ago, Aileen Switzer’s senior project at Cal State Northridge for her Fashion Merchandising major was a business plan about creating and opening her own boutique clothing store.
Fast-forward to October 2021, and Switzer’s childhood dream of owning her own clothing shop is now a reality, as Trestles Clothing Company opened its doors in San Clemente, offering her unique curation of coastal lifestyle apparel that she describes as “beachy, Boho clothing.”
“I’ve been thinking about this ever since I was a little girl,” said Switzer, who grew up in Pasadena before heading to college at Cal State Northridge, where she met her husband, Kirt, in a marketing class. “My class project was all about the style of clothes, how the shop would look. It was everything but the name, Trestles.”
It took a few years for her dream to come to fruition, as after college, she had two children and worked at a consigned space in a vintage home décor shop, which operated as a pop-up store on weekends.
After experiencing success with the shop, she started adding clothing to the operation—which was her passion. The fast-growing business ran into challenges during the pandemic, as in-person attendance declined due to social-distancing restrictions.
She decided to spin out on her own to focus entirely on her clothing business, first launching a website in June 2020, then taking her own pop-up experience to market, realizing that online sales proved challenging.
She immediately saw success hosting her own pop-up events, as her clients were drawn to her fresh inventory of styles and fashions, while the big box mall stores experienced inventory issues.
“I realized if I could do so much sales in just two days at a pop-up event, I could open a store to be able to offer it every day,” said Switzer, who set about to find a storefront in San Clemente, where the family had moved in 2016 from the San Francisco area.
After kicking off her search in May 2021, Switzer found the perfect spot for her dream store—on San Clemente’s main shopping thoroughfare, Avenida Del Mar, nestled between the back patio of BeachFire Bar & Grill and Sugar Blossom Bakery.
On Oct. 16, she hosted a grand opening event.
Leaning on the talents of some of her family, as well as close friends, for everything from in-store layout to building the furniture and dressing rooms, Switzer’s new 1,400-square-foot space features women’s clothing, gifts, and home décor items in a modern, “industrial chic” look.
Switzer takes a philanthropic approach to her business as well, and has been donating her overstock items to charitable organizations supporting women and children in need.
She also holds special sales events in which she contributes a percentage of proceeds to the National Alopecia Areata Foundation, a cause near and dear to her, as both of her children have suffered from the autoimmune disease that causes hair loss.
“I’m really proud of our commitment to giving back and having a positive impact on our community,” said Switzer, who noted that while the majority of the products are geared toward women (including a curated section for plus-sized women), there are some men’s styles available, as well. “It’s great to finally have all of these clothes out of my garage and displayed in this beautiful store. It’s truly a dream come true.”
Trestles Clothing Company
204 Avenida Del Mar, Suite G