On The Beach It’s Blue
Sunset Blue Resort Wear is a locally owned and operated beach store with apparel, games, souvenirs and more for locals and visitors.
Adam Uzan, the owner of Sunset Blue Resort Wear, purchased Sunset Place Beachwear in January 2011 and has spent the ensuing years giving the interior and exterior parts of the building some fresh coats of paint, improving the shelving and making the business his own.
Uzan, who was born and raised in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, graduated from Coastal Carolina University in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in business. Throughout college and as a high school senior, he worked in his father’s retail shops in Carolina Beach.
“It was a great way to learn pretty much every aspect of the retail business,” Uzan says. “From ordering the merchandise to stocking the shelves to greeting and assisting the customers, each part was important.”
For almost 30 years his father, Itamar Uzan, has run several retail shops. As a student and after graduating from college, the younger Uzan took some time thinking about what career path he wanted to take.
“I didn’t automatically want to go into the family business,” Uzan says. “I wanted something of my own. Deciding that retail would work, my family had heard the prior owner of Sunset Place Beachwear wanted to sell and we realized that the timing was perfect.”
With 2,800 square feet of space right near the beach, Sunset Blue Resort Wear employees sell everything from beach items and accessories to clothing and footwear to jewelry, gifts, games, specialty items and souvenirs such as decorative Sunset Beach license plates and sand in a bottle. In terms of games, Spikeball is without a doubt the most popular game people ask for. It’s a simple setup, much easier than setting up a volleyball net, and it is fun for families and friends to play on the beach.
Uzan says by far the two most popular items sold are footwear and clothing. Flip flops and Birkenstock sandals for men and women are always in demand, as are t-shirts and sweatshirts for lounging on the beach. Visitors love bringing home t-shirts and sweatshirts that say Sunset Beach, North Carolina because they are great mementoes of their vacations.
“We’ve also got some oversized pictures of the Kindred Spirit mailbox, and that’s a souvenir that many of our customers love,” Uzan says.
Sunset Beach is home to the Kindred Spirit mailbox, and many people say they have made the 1.5-mile walk from the pier to the mailbox that everyone seems to want to see. Fiction writer Nicholas Sparks wrote about it in his bestselling book titled Every Breath, and the mailbox has become a legend all its own.
Realtors often say that “location, location, location is key,” and Uzan agrees. “There’s something unique about stores that are at the beach,” Uzan says. “We’re not a Main Street USA store, we cater to individuals and families who need to run in for a bottle of suntan lotion and to people who may need to buy a gift for a special someone, to pick up some jewelry and a greeting card, perhaps. Since we’re conveniently located, it saves them from having to drive several miles to a big box store.”
Uzan says he is proud of being a small business owner on Sunset Beach because small business owners in any community are an essential part of the town. “The thing I am proudest of is that my shop provides stable jobs to local residents,” he says.
There are three full-time employees at Sunset Blue Resort Wear and three part-time employees. They’re open seven days a week, 14.5 hours a day. Not many people come in after 10 pm, but if someone needs something, the store is open until 11 pm.
“We cater to local residents and the many tourists who enjoy visiting Sunset Beach every year and we’ve gotten to know them,” Uzan says. “Many are repeat customers who stop by every time they visit the area and they update us about how they are doing and what their families have been up to in the past few months.”
Uzan’s mother, Rivka “Ricky” Uzan, is an employee at the shop and is an integral part of running the business.
“She’s here most days chatting with the customers and welcoming newcomers to the island,” Uzan says. “All of us pride ourselves on giving the people superior customer service and an unforgettable experience. After all, shopping is fun!”
Want to go?
Sunset Blue Resort Wear
424 Sunset Boulevard S., Sunset Beach
Facebook: Sunset Blue Resort Wear
Open daily from 8:30 am to 11 pm
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