Friday, February 3, 2012

A Road Better Traveled

There are people that you come across in your life that make you re-evaluate your long-established practices and methodology. If you are smart, you surround yourself with them as they will challenge you, inspire you, help you be better at what you do, and most importantly, not give up hope for this world.

A few years back, my wife and I were lucky enough to befriend such a person named Delilah Snell—a kind-hearted purveyor of great ideas and a shepherd of goodwill, with an infectious belly laugh that could liven up a mortuary. Delilah was a wealth of information as I was, at the time, hoping to help bring a Farmer's Market to either the Second Street Promenade in Downtown or the train station parking lot located (conveniently) right across the street.

At the time, Delilah owned and operated a wonderful eco-friendly store located on the corner of North Main Street and Buffalo here in Santa Ana. If you were driving too fast on Main Street, you would most definitely miss it. I likened giving my neighbors directions to her store to navigating one's way through The Lost Woods in the original "Legend of Zelda"–up (Main), left (Santa Clara), down (Broadway), left (Buffalo). Alas, just like days of old, even with these simple directions, many still got lost.

But like all hidden gems, this store was one worth hunting for. In a pre-Pinterest time where online crafters were just getting started with Etsy, The Road Less Traveled Store was years ahead of the crafting trend and doing it the old-fashioned brick-and-mortar way.

Meanwhile down the street, Downtown Santa Ana began blossoming again with new restaurants and Brave New Urbanists occupying a series of loft developments. And as the demographics began to oh-so-slightly shift, the need and desire for unique retail began to grow—and this store's destiny became clear.

At the end of 2011, Delilah began packing up her store on North Main Street and returned to her Second Street Promenade roots (having previously worked at the Gypsy Den many years before).

On February 1, 2012, Delilah reopened her now pedestrian-friendly store with much success with endless possibilities for awesomeness to come.

The Road Less Traveled Store's new location offers more space for workshops, increased inventory, new partnership opportunities, as well as a symbiotic relationship with the existing Cal State Fullerton Grand Central Art Center.

In time, this store will help inspire others to create—not only at home with crafting, but also new stores and ideas in this retail-starved area of Downtown Santa Ana.

The Road Less Traveled Store

125 North Broadway-C, Santa Ana, CA 92701
Phone: 714.836.8727

Tue - Sat: 11:00 am - 6:00 pm
Sun: 11:00 am - 3:00 pm


delilah said...

i LOVE this post-thank you for your kind words, help and happy to be contributing to the area and to be next to friends...especially you guys!

Lisa Rios said...

Such a fantastic blog post!! I can't wait to get my butt down there to check out Delilah's new space!

Pretty. Good. Food. said...

I went, I saw, I conquered. Glad you're blogging again.
Stopped by this afternoon and picked up some funsies. Thanks for the tip!
xo: m

Anonymous said...

Ah, Ben, so glad to have you back. A voice with reason, humor, and interesting stuff

Anonymous said...

I thought you did a great job writing on The Road Less Traveled :)

So much so, I wanted to know more about you so I took the time to Google you and was pleasantly surprised with what I found.

Thanks for making me smile :)