Nestled next to boutique toy wonderland Geppetto’s Toys, and within skipping distance to Fuzziwig’s Candy Factory, the newest resident of 1150 Orange Avenue is Fiveloaves Twofish, bringing another celebration of all things childhood to the Village. For the young, the young at heart, and quite simply for anyone who appreciates beautiful things made with love, Fiveloaves Twofish is the newly installed treasure trove to visit on Coronado’s Orange Avenue.
The company name is the first insight into the whimsical, yet classic girls’ lifestyle brand. The name Fiveloaves Twofish was conceived of by the founding sisters as a nod to their parents and Christian upbringing, as well as to differentiate themselves and their brand from the usual trite and generic names for girls’ clothing. Company co-founder and Creative Director Heather Haas explains:
“When we were researching the market, everything comparable to our brand was named something stifling and weird, like ‘Cupcakes and Pastry’ or ‘Hope Baby’. We wanted something that would mean something to us, just like our designs do. The name is also a daily reminder that abundance comes from faith. We aren’t a Christian store or Christian brand, but the message resonates with us.”
The girls’ lifestyle brand shop opened for business fewer than two weeks ago, but plans to come to Coronado have been in the works for years.
“We’ve been watching the Coronado retail market for a long time,” says Heather “After living here for 25 years, we know what works and doesn’t when it comes to retail space. We were very particular about the location. When this spot opened up, we didn’t hesitate because the timing was serendipitous too.”
Hass, together with her sister Kit Kuriakose, Head Designer at 5L2F, started the business out of their homes over a decade ago. Heather had an inkling that there may be a market for stylized children’s fashion when her children’s handmade Halloween costumes became coveted and highly sought-after amongst peers and friends.
“It went from an idea to a sketch to a sample… and then, that dress blew up the company. From that point the progression was organic. Opportunities came to us, and we took advantage of all that came our way.”
The progression of 5L2F included distribution to more than 300 boutiques nationwide, as well as major national retailers such as Nordstrom and Zappos. The company had sales reps in every region across the state and ultimately were invited to open stores in Fashion Valley Mall in San Diego and UTC Westfield in La Jolla.
“Retailing ourselves was never in our plan, but we decided to go for it. Being at the mall informed our perspective. We learned a lot about what we brought to the market.”
What they also learned was that the next evolution of their company would be to downsize and return to Coronado. “We’re changing our approach,” says Heather, “We closed our 2500 sq ft warehouse, our shop in Fashion Valley closes in early January. It’s all here now. We’ve brought everything to Coronado because we want our customers to have the full experience with our brand – from design through manufacturing.”
The business’ return to Coronado isn’t the only reflection of the sisters’ loyalty to the Crown City. It is also evident within their destination-driven designs. The ‘Just Shellin’ Collection features Coronado’s iconic Hotel del Coronado and is a true work of art in garment-form. According to Hass, quality in design, materials, and craftsmanship are foundational to the 5L2F brand:
“Everything is American-made. Our cutters and sewers are a network of San Diego family-owned companies. Everyone who touched that garment are artisans who got paid. You won’t find cheap fabrics or polyester here.”
Despite the very special origins and care taken with each garment, the Fiveloaves Twofish collections are designed to be everyday wear:
“A lot of the feedback I get from my customers is that their children never want to wear anything else,” Hass laughs. “Ultimately, we design for the child instead of the parents or what’s trendy. We believe that clothes are an expression of what you want in the world. Kids know what they want and they know what they like. Fiveloaves Twofish is a brand for conscious consumers.”
Fiveloaves Twofish is located at 1150 Orange Ave. Collections and more information can be found on their website: www.fiveloavestwofishclothing.com