Business Corner: Malibu Beach House

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From left: Ashley Peak, Laura Burdge, Hanna Hayes, Dee Hayes, Kate Winn, Lauren Scott (not pictured: Nikki Visser)

The Malibu Beach House may have opened at the end of the summer rush in Trancas Country Market shopping center, but after a holiday season that went “beyond expectations,” owners Laura and Douglas Burdge have their sights set high for growth and more fun in the first full year. 

Douglas has been an architect for 26 years and the Burdge family has lived in Malibu for 20 years. He designed the entire shopping center and said the impetus of its design was to create barns and barn sidings, so it is not just the vibe of the Beach House but of the entire shopping center. The center has a public and private space for shoppers to hang out, and with a couple of restaurants currently under construction, it was important to get the design and lifestyle gift shop situated nearby. 

“I knew it was going to be a success,” he said. “My wife and I never did retail, but it seemed like a natural spin off from my architect business because we do projects all along the 27 miles of Malibu.” 

Douglas has conducted various residential and business designs, even coining and copywriting the term “Rustern.” The second satellite location for his architecture firm is located at the Beach House, with his primary space in eastern Malibu. 

“If we’re going to be the architect of your home, this is one-stop shopping,” Douglas said. 

One of the unique store specialties is the anticipated items to market Malibu and its brand. However, the Burdges went a step beyond, since being located in western Malibu at Broad Beach, it offers gifts that cater to Malibu’s more than 20 locations, specifically the surfing beaches. There is a wide selection of glasses, apparel and more for homeowners and renters who take pride in their special part of Malibu, whether it is Broad Beach, Zuma or Surfrider. 

“The store itself was all about gifts in the beginning, so we knew we had to get into the holidays,” Douglas said. “We have a whole line of furnishings and furniture. We have local vendors, and new ones each week. We represent a couple of interior designers who are remodeling, so some people will come to us for design services.” 

With Valentine’s Day up next, the times in between seasonal and holiday marketing for the Malibu Beach House will focus on its design services. 

Douglas said its biggest brands are Vagabond House, a Sierra Madre-based vendor offering high quality tabletop accessories. Nest Candles are also popular. Oregon-based vendor Will Leather Goods is also offered at the Beach House, which produces wallets, briefcases, handbags and more. 

“We have very cool customs signs that we found from a guy at the Pasadena Flea Market who makes all these custom signs using barn wood and metal,” Douglas said. “We always want to encourage local artists. We’ll bring them in every other month or every six weeks. We used to have a lot of art galleries in Malibu and they went away. We want to encourage all artists, including people making custom furniture.” 

Another hot item the Burdge family sells from a company out of downtown Los Angeles is the Preppi Emergency Survival Kits, heavily marketed by celebrities on social media. 

Malibu Beach House can be found online at bubeachhouse.com and they have launched pages on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Google Plus. Toward the end of 2015, Douglas notes they plan to work with their public relations firm to explore the possibility of e-commerce as an extension of its brick-and-mortar space. From the Hamptons in New York, to Newport Beach, Douglas said they are already getting requests for more locations. 

On Saturday, Jan. 31, the day before the Super Bowl, Douglas said they will have a barbecue tailgate open house for its supporters and locals in front of the store. 

“That’s something socially we love to do,” he said about their store events. “We’ll have many more of those throughout the years.” 

Malibu Beach House is located at 30745 Pacific Coast Highway, Bldg. R, Ste. 3. It can be reached at 310.457.5600, and hours are Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Sundays, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m