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MOVING FORWARD

Solana Beach mainstay Leaping Lotus is growing up

By Brianne Brown | PHOTOs BY Devin Wilson, Pura Soul Photography
Channon, Rubie, Brenda and Rachel
Channon, Rubie, Brenda and Rachel

IN THE HEART OF SOLANA BEACH’S Cedros Design District is a unique shopping experience. Formerly Leaping Lotus, the space that houses approximately 50 vendors, each with their own theme and wares for sale, the renovated and rebooted Lotus aims to continue that which has been established in the space since 2000, while also bringing fresh, new ideas and a renewed energy.

While the phrase, “Under New Management” can be a frightening one to a long-established business, residents and patrons need not fear: the dynamic partnership of Rubie Pelegreen and Channon Medeiros honors the history of Leaping Lotus while moving the brand forward and into the future. Spanning more than a decade and two coasts (and the Hawaiian islands, too!), their partnership has set the stage for a retail renaissance in Solana Beach.

“We are thrilled to see all the hard work we’ve put in come to fruition,” says Medeiros, Lotus’ Director of Sales & Marketing. “We’re excited to share what we have worked on with the community, and we are so thankful for the support we’ve received from them. It’s been a challenge to achieve our vision for what we know this space can become, because we don’t want to stray too far from the spirit and essence of the original concept. But we’re confident that the upward momentum will continue.”

Store Director Pelegreen agrees, noting, “By changing the name from ‘Leaping Lotus’ to ‘Lotus,’ we think we’re showing that there is the continuity and familiarity to what the community has come to love. But we have also evolved, and we are working to elevate our aesthetic with a new design.”

Between Pelegreen and Medeiros, there exists a type of effortless communication. The pair jokes that they can tell you what the other will say before it’s said, and the ease with which they work together is remarkable. However, they’ll also claim that their employees are the heart of the store. Pelegreen says, “Rachel has been here since 2015 and Brenda has been here since 2016. When we first started, they welcomed us with open arms and were such a great help. They know the store inside and out and have seen the store go through the transition from the previous owners. They’ve built such a great rapport with our vendors and our regular customers.” Medeiros, too, credits the staff as instrumental to Lotus’ continued success, stating, “Rio and Monica bring such amazing energy to the floor with Rio singing through the aisles and Monica always smiling.”

The passionate staff are just one reason why Lotus is so special. A stroll through the store is more than just shopping, it’s a memorable experience. Visitors can not only discover one-of-a-kind items—such as boutique items from Turkey or hand-embroidered blouses from local artisans—but they can also enjoy a latte in the store’s lounge or take in the ever-changing mural.

One thing’s for sure: change isn’t always a bad thing. Stop into Lotus, and you’ll understand why.

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[ STOP BY AND SAY HELLO! Lotus, 240 South Cedros Avenue, Solana Beach 858.720.8283 leapinglotus.com ]