Tiny, but mighty, Sandy Johnson is energy personified, and her new Sand, Beach, and Bikinis shop at 845 Orange Avenue matches her enthusiasm, as she fills it with eclectic items, creating a bohemian beachy vibe. The pandemic changed her business model, which used to be purchasing closeout merchandise. Now, she scouts companies that offer items that are what her Coronado locals and tourists like. Her goal is to source quality merchandise at reasonable prices. The most popular items are hats, beach bags, versatile towel-coverups, tank tops, flowy pants, swimsuits and shirts. Her original store, which opened in 2020, is located at 1121 Tenth Street.
She is joined in business by her daughter Michelle, a CHS graduate. Their target audience is guys and gals of ages from teens on up. She is thankful for her regular locals, many of whom have become friends, and she invites them to stop by the new shop. The original store has been updated as well and has a new twist with the addition of artist studios. It is now home to two artists, Dona Doering and Michaela Andrew, whose works are on display and for sale.
Both shops offer an array of clothing, including beach apparel, cashmere sweaters, date night outfits and everything in between. They have a selection of cover-ups, an assortment of Hawaiian shirts, slides, sandals, San Diego and Coronado hoodies, towels, candles, bucket hats perfect for travel, swimsuits, beach bags, ball caps, Fourth of July items, hammocks, and so much more. They still carry their popular $7 Stance socks.
Sandy’s philosophy is to treat customers right, and she promises that the more you buy, the better the deal she will give you. She closed her original store, Sandy’s Bargain Treasures in Imperial Beach, several years ago and now has the two locations in Coronado, where she lives. Skateboarding to work, she can often be seen with her dog Moonshine, who is the store mascot and has his own set of regular visitors.
Shopping at Sand, Beach, and Bikinis is an adventure, with the array of merchandise always changing. The original store is located at 1121 Tenth Street, next to the Chamber of Commerce, and the new location is at 845 Orange Avenue, next to Night and Day Café. Both are open most days from 10 am to 5 pm. Check out their Instagram at @sandbeachandbikini, to see specials and what’s new.
Learn more about the artists in the studios and be sure to visit to view their art ~
Chona Doering was born in the Philippines and came here to pursue her master’s in business at Pepperdine University. She worked in the corporate world, but found it stressful, so she used art as a creative outlet to relax. With no formal training, she has always been artistic and remembers scribbling, creating watercolors, and crafting collages from leaves and twigs from a young age.
Art was her outlet throughout her corporate journey and cancer treatment, and she amassed quite a collection of paintings. She always sketches when she travels and loves to paint places she’s been. Her favorite spot is Maui, which she calls her second home.
With several art shows under her belt, she belongs to a number of painting organizations. She recalls that plein air painting was a great escape during COVID, because her group would set up still life objects in a garage, and everyone could distance themselves outside while painting.
Her daughter and Sandy’s daughter Michelle have been friends since kindergarten, so when the room opened up, she loved the light pouring in from the window, and the idea clicked to make it her studio space.
Doering oozes enthusiasm for art and proudly announces that she never has artist’s block. “I dream about it, and I crave mixing paint,” she shares. Stop by her studio and check out her art at www.chonadoering.com, C. Doering Fine Art on Facebook, and @chonadoering on Instagram.
Michaela Andrew always remembers loving art, and while she isn’t formally trained and her parents aren’t artistic, she feels she gets her creative genes from her grandparents. “I’ve been creative for as long as I can remember. I was always doodling in my school notebooks,” she recalls. Growing up, she combined her creativity with making money and sold bracelets and watercolor paintings at her brother’s professional swim meets.
Previously, she created art in her living room, but it was hard to manage the mess, so she started looking for a studio and found the opportunity with Johnson, who she says has been amazingly supportive. Initially fearful of starting a business, everyone encouraged her to sell her art and now she loves seeing people’s responses. “I took a leap of faith, and it all seems to be coming together,” she shares.
Acrylic paint is her main medium, and her art is very personal, with ocean themes her favorite. She likes painting on surfboards and loves recycling old boards to give them new life. She loves the ocean, because it represents an uncontrollable force. “When you are surfing, it’s just you, God, the water, and it’s peaceful,” she expresses.
She has been involved in several art shows, and also does commissions and enjoys when someone tells her a story and she gets to depict it in an artistic way. She also makes and sells shirts and bags, for which she hand carves the designs on wood and then prints them. Soon she will be offering custom doggie prints through Pollyanna’s Grooming on 10th Street, and in the near future she hopes to offer small painting classes where students can create soothing ocean scenes.
Of South African heritage, her parents came to the U.S. on a farming visa. She was raised in Kansas, but always loved hearing her dad’s stories about growing up near the beach. Through the years she’s enjoyed surfing when travelling. “I feel like the beach is written on my heart. It’s where I feel at home,” she says. She loves living in Coronado, where she can surf and play volleyball with her church group from the Barabbas Road Church. In the past she’s also worked with her mom, who runs the Work Abroad Network, helping people obtain visas in the agriculture and farm arenas.
“Every painting has a story and I love it when people connect to my art,” she highlights. Her studio is open when the shop is, and you can check out her work at www.kalesadventureart.com or @Kalesadventureart on Instagram.