By Janee Law
The people behind Nalu Dry Goods, a snow, surf and skate shop that recently expanded to Huntington village, have set out to “Loosen Up Long Island.”
That’s the shop’s motto, as seen on one of its logos, which sports art of a hand making a Hawaiian shaka sign branching out of the east end of Long Island. Nalu sells the logo on apparel its newest location at 291 Main St. in the village.
Owner Marie Fischer, who was born and raised in Honolulu, said she has set out to “provide a retro feel” inside of her stores. She also operates a Nalu shop in Bay Shore, the original location of the brand.
“We’re more of a lifestyle store not strictly hard goods, but we do a lot of soft goods,” she added.
Nalu sells men, women and youth apparel used for surfing, skiing and snowboard or skateboarding. That includes swimwear, beater boards, skateboards, snow goggles, and accessories like bags, wallets, mugs and jewelry. Brands like Billabong, Quiksilver, Hurley and Town and Country Surf, which Fischer orders from Hawaii, are common finds at Nalu.
This spring, Nalu plans to bring the Volcom brand to its selection of clothing, and hopes to eventually sell items for newborns and children ages 7 and older.
Fischer said she prides herself on customer service. “I try to listen to what the customers want and need and try to help them.”
She continued, “We try to go out of our way to help the customer because I feel like at a lot of big box stores you don’t really get that personal attention.”
The mentality is something Fischer adopted through her time going to surf shops as she grew up, and then working in the surf industry until 2009. In 1998, when she was 19 years old, Fischer moved to New York City to attend the Fashion Institute of Technology. Eight years later she moved out to Islip Terrace, then to Huntington Station in 2007 and finally to her current residence in Bay Shore in 2010.
Fischer opened Nalu Dry Goods in Bay Shore in 2013, but eventually closed that location and opened up the nearly 1,000-square-foot Huntington location in November. The shop is found in the previously home of the Merrell shoe store.
But Fischer was reluctant to lose her customer base in Bay Shore, so she opened up another location on Main Street there earlier this month.
Life as a business owner has brought Fischer to interact with customers on a daily basis. She said she loves it.
“I love matching their needs to what we have here, and they’re usually pretty happy with our selection,” Fischer said. “I feel like I’m buying the right things for them and that makes me happy.”
Huntington customers have been supportive of the new shop, she added. People have been “pretty psyched that we’re here.”
Operating two storefronts is something Fischer never expected. She said she’s grateful and blessed to be able to do so.
“We ended up with two stores in two great towns and I’m really happy and grateful for the local support,” she said. “We definitely depend on that because there’s so much competition. We really appreciate the loyal customers that come back time and time again.”