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Words: Dustin Strong
Photos: Dustin Strong and Daydream Surf Shop
Tucked away in the myriad of business complexes of Newport Beach, California, hides a small, yet authentic space called Daydream Surf Shop. Owned and operated by Kyle Kennelly, a longtime friend of RAEN with his partner Becca Mantei.
The aesthetic of Daydream directly mirrors our goal of designing products that are visually appealing, functional and stylish. We are stoked they chose to offer RAEN to their customers. Daydream is one few select retailers to carry our full line of Luxury Wig frames, a collaboration with RAEN ambassador Alex Knost who is a frequent patron of the shop.
Beyond the surf shop, Daydream runs a coffee bar to serve up unique coffee blends, artisan drinks and teas. The perfect morning pick-me-up for the surfers who are a part of their Surf Club program or an afternoon drink. The Daydream Surf Club is a one-of-a-kind aspect of the shop, which in Kyle’s words is, “an effort to break down the price tag barrier that comes along with surfboard experimentation, we seek to provide wave sliders looking to experiment with all types of high quality boards from hulls and logs to bonzers and keel fishes so that they can tap into a style of surfing that suits them best.”
We had a chance to sit down with Kyle and Becca to ask them a couple questions about RAEN and the shop.
What is the history of your relationship with RAEN?
Kyle Kennelly: It actually goes back to when they first started and I knew Jeremy Heit from XCEL Wetsuits when he was working there as a rep. Him and his brother Justin branched off and started the brand. I remember they brought me in, I must have been about 15, and was an ambassador for them when I was surfing in my latter teenage years. When I moved up to Berkeley I kind of fell off a lot of surfing stuff and was really consumed with academia but it's great to finally pick back up and start where we left off.
What about the frames made you feel they fit into the aesthetic of the shop?
Kyle Kennelly: The Luxury Wig collection is designed by our friends Alex Knost and Ford Archbold, which is rad. It’s awesome they’re designing stuff and it’s such a unique collection, it seemed like a natural fit to have in our shop. We have a lot of vintage stuff and I feel there’s a lot of vintage inspiration tied into the collection.
Becca Mantei: Totally. You said everything I wanted to say.
What are your favorite RAEN frames? Kyle Kennelly: The Squire for sure, I know the exact color and everything, matte root beer.
Becca Mantei: I have I think three pairs of the Flowers in the tortoise like they’re all the same glasses. When they remake them every season I get the same pair. I have the first one’s I ever got from RAEN maybe 5 years ago. They’re scratched to pieces but I love them.
Kyle: I remember some of our earliest dates and we have some old film photographs of you [Becca] wearing the Flowers. So RAEN’s been with us for a long time. It’s totally sentimental.
Tell me about the Grand Opening of the shop?
Kyle: It’s going to be on Friday, March 3, and it’ll start at about 5 pm. We are having our buddy Drew smoke some barbeque, which will be smoked for 18 to 20 hours. We are also going to have a bunch of yummy sides.
Becca: Roasted corn!
Kyle: Veggies and potatoes. We will also be serving beer from MadeWest Brewing Co. and whiskey courtesy of Slow & Low. It’ll be a good time, music will start at 7 pm by The Pesos, our friends Yaan and Joey are in the band and they do a great job and our other friend Ritchie will be spinning records and he has an incredible record collection. Tyler Warren will be showing some art. It’ll be a groovy night and the party will continue at the Boathouse Collective around 10 pm once we close things down at the shop. It’s been a long time coming because we’ve been open about 3 months and it’s a bit delayed but we’d rather have a really good party than a…
Becca: A half-assed one… No one wants to go to a half-assed party so it’ll be a full ass party.
Daydream Surf Shop is located at 1588 Monrovia Ave, Newport Beach, CA 92663 and the Grand Opening party is today, March 3rd and runs from 5-9 pm.