If you love handpicked vintage or have a comfy and cool bohemian style, then ShopCuffs should be on your list of clothing shops to visit (if you haven’t already visited many times before).
This quirky one-stop-shop, which first opened its doors in Midtown Sacramento in 2004, has all things on trend for both men and women. The boutique is easy to love because of its mix of vintage and one-of-a-kind items that bring fashions to Sacramento that are more carefully curated than your average mall.
Last year, ShopCuffs branched into the greater Sacramento area with the expansion of a second location in Davis. The typical “ShopCuffs” aesthetic fills the niche of downtown Bohemians and edgy hipsters of the college city who scavenge flea markets and are ahead of the trends. It also serves a large young demographic of UC Davis students who frequent the boutique (one of just a few in the city) to get on trend clothing.
ShopCuffs has done well in making themselves at home in both Sacramento and Davis, where their selection of unique and seasonal clothing keeps customers coming back.
We chatted with ShopCuffs owner and founder Lacadia Johnson, who talked to us about her business, the challenges of small business ownership, and what she loves most about Sacramento.
When did you start your business and what inspired it?
We opened our first location in 2004. I had graduated college about a year before that and was still trying to figure out exactly what I wanted to do. I had always been an avid thrifter and loved finding unique vintage items. There were a couple of really great vintage shops in my college town that inspired me to open my own. Sacramento seemed like the perfect place to do it because it was still a very affordable place to both live and start a business.
How would you describe your brand to someone who has never heard of it?
Our collection is both on trend and adventuresome. I think our customer is looking to hit on the very newest trends, but then making them their own by finding something they won’t find anywhere else. I aim to find those pieces that stand out in a subtle way, garnering compliments and curiosity. I hope my customers get a lot of, “I love that, where did you find it!?”
You’ve been in the same Sacramento location since you opened. What is it like to be a business in Midtown?
Yes, our current Midtown location is where we first opened, and it has’s served us well! Over the years we’ve seen an incredible amount of growth and development around us, which has only been helpful in growing our business. I still feel fortunate to have gotten into our location when we did. We have a great relationship with the owner of our building and he’s made it easy and affordable for us to stay there. We’ve seen dozens of businesses around us come and go.
What are some challenges you face as a small business owner in Sacramento and Davis?
I think the biggest challenge is the many hats you must wear as a small business owner. I’ve had to get good at managing almost every aspect of my business, from the buying to the hiring and firing. I manage all the marketing, content creation, product photography and the website development. It’s a lot to juggle.
What qualities of Sacramento make you love living here?
I’m originally from Minnesota, so I’m still in love with the California weather, despite the summer heat. But I also have loved and appreciate the community of business owners and creative entrepreneurs that have really sprung up in Sacramento. There’s so much growth going on because of that community and it’s generated a lot of Sacramento pride for everyone. It’s been fun to see and experience and feel like a part of downtown and midtown Sacramento’s new rebirth as a center for arts and culture and cuisine, coffee, beer, fashion, and all those fun things you should be able to find in a bustling metropolitan city.
What do you do in your free time?
Ahh, freetime…that sounds like such a luxury. As a small business owner and a mom, I don’t get a lot of that. When I can, I squeeze in a glass of wine with a good friend. I love to cook, and exercise is important to my physical and metal well being, so long dog walks and some yoga are essential. My husband and I try to get out of town for short trips on the weekend every once in awhile, to San Francisco or Tahoe.
What advice do you have for growing small businesses?
Don’t bite off more that you can chew in terms of overhead. Keeping those costs down is essential…[Also know that] your work is never done. You will never leave work for the day with a feeling of completion. It’s truly a 24/7 commitment. It’s a lifestyle more than it is a job.
How would you describe Sacramento to someone who doesn’t live here?
I always say it’s very underrated! Sacramento has always had such a bad reputation as a slow cowtown. And to be fair, it was one for a long time. But it’s not anymore! I’d encourage them to park and walk through midtown to shop the shops and visit the eateries. Check out the Antique Faire, visit the farmers market. Go to the Crocker. There’s lots to see and do!
>>CONNECT WITH SHOPCUFFS<<
2523 J Street, Sacramento, CA | 916.443.2881
Monday-Saturday 11-7, Sunday 11-6
231 3rd Street, Davis, CA | 530.204.8813
Monday + Tuesday 11-7, Wednesday – Saturday 11-8, Sunday 11-6
Photos feature the Midtown location. By Bethany Harris.