You’re not likely to happen upon Prism Boutique by chance. It’s located in a neighborhood off the main streets, and about a mile away from Dayna Mance’s old home. She’s the founder and owner of Prism Boutique—one of Long Beach’s hidden gems. Each time we walk into Prism, we’re in awe. There’s always something new, the ladies who work there are lovely, and the shop itself is beautiful. You’ll find yourself wanting to spend all day inside, and you probably could if time permitted. You’ll also want to buy literally everything, and you probably would if your wallet permitted.
It’s worth a stop if you’re in the area. And if you’re not, be sure to check out their website or Instagram—both equally as stunning and offering the most amazing products for wherever you are.
We caught up with Dayna and asked her a few questions about Prism Boutique—and know exactly where we’ll be going to do all of our shopping for summer.
Whenever we walk into Prism Boutique, it’s a warm, bright, and inviting space. We love it. How do you keep this atmosphere alive?
We really try to have the boutique feel beautiful and special not only in the way it looks with the display and merchandising, but also with our service. Having a welcoming and happy staff is so important to me. My staff is genuine and represents the brand. They treat everyone who walks in like they would treat someone who walks into their home. We know a lot of our customers and have a genuine relationship with them. We like to chat with everyone coming in, find out who they are and how we can help outfit them. We love our store and our job and I think that shows with our interactions.
Aside from that, the visual aspect of the store is very important to us. We are always moving the product around to keep it fresh. We get new product daily. Our window displays and fixtures are all handmade by artists who are friends of mine. Right now our window display is large plant hangers made out of leather and rope with brass hardware. Our fitting room hangs from a piece of driftwood I found on the beach. We have macramés and wall hangings by local artists decorating the walls. Turkish rugs, plants & cacti, crystals and little details make it feel like a home as opposed to a business.
When did you open Prism Boutique?
We opened in April of 2013, so we just celebrated our four year anniversary! What inspired you to open Prism Boutique?
I always knew I wanted my own store. I worked in retail since I was 14 and it is where I feel most at home. After college (UCSB), I worked for Urban Outfitters Inc for ten years. The last five years I was a Store Manager for a large Anthroplogie and traveled around the county opening new stores. I loved working for that company, learned so much, and met so many amazing people—but I knew I had to try and go out on my own. I was ready to leave the corporate atmosphere and work hard for myself. It was the scariest and best thing I’ve ever done. I’ve never looked back.
Describe Prism Boutique in three words.
Ooh…this is a hard one. California cool. Vintage inspired. Free spirited. (Trends change but we will always have bohemian roots.)
How do you choose what brands you carry in your store?
From my first buys to how I buy now isn’t a science. It’s as simple as this: I buy what I like for the store. I have a couple girls that help me with the buying now and we feel that each staff member represents a type of customer. If we don’t see one of our employees wearing it, we won’t buy it. We range from pretty bohemian dresses to rock n’ roll torn up tees. I’ve found some amazing brands that just work for us and our customers. We also carry quite a few Australian brands that are our favorites like Rollas, Auguste, and Spell. Why Long Beach?
Long Beach is home for me. I’ve lived here for eleven years now and I’ve always felt this is my place, my people. The boutique is less than a mile away from my old house. It’s off the beaten path in Belmont Heights so we are more of a destination than a store you will stumble across on a busy street. The area that we are in is more Mom & Pop shops and small businesses vs corporate and that’s right where we fit in.
How did Prism build such a powerful community?
From the moment I opened my doors, the support and energy around the boutique has been incredible. Women just love the store and the product. We have a fun event in the store every month and I think that has built a strong sense of community around us. We put a lot of time, energy, and love into our photoshoots and our aesthetic. I think people really notice and respect that. It sounds silly, but we are really nice to everyone we cross paths with. That goes a long way.
What sets Prism Boutique apart from the rest?
We are more than just your average boutique for many reasons, but a lot of it is because of our social media presence and our website. We are constantly shooting and creating original content. We have fun with it and try to stay a step ahead. The way the store looks and feels visually is elevated and not like other boutiques. We aspire to have women walk in and say “I want everything.” And they do! Do you plan to open any other shops? What’s in the future for Prism? What’s in the future for you on a personal level?
I’d like to have more stores one day, but probably not right away. Our online business is really a second store and where we’ve invested into growing. It’s amazing how many customers we can reach online. We ship all over the country and internationally. We will also be remodeling and expanding the boutique for the second time starting this summer. We need more back room and selling floor space. It will be beautiful, I promise.
For me personally, it’s all about Prism (my first baby) and being a wife and a mama. I have two daughters. Indi is three and Lucie is one. They are so beautiful, sweet, and they amaze me everyday. They keep me quite busy! I am one lucky lady.
Describe a typical day in Prism Boutique.
We have eight staff members and typically four of them work a day. Lots of multi tasking goes into running our business. Everything Prism happens in the store. We process all products coming in from vendors and all orders going out to online customers. We are always merchandising and keeping up with the sales floor, along with helping customers coming in and out all day. We do all the customer service for the online store out of the boutique. We are always taking photos for Instagram and stories, and getting ready for Ecomm and lookbook shoots. We often have sales reps coming by for buying appointments and vendors stopping in. Needless to say, we keep busy! The days go by fast, and we like it like that.