Salon Pop

Salon Pop co-owners Nicole Welke and Billy Burks had their eye on 4th Street’s Retro Row since they opened their salon 11 years ago on Redondo Avenue. Approximately three years later, they moved to their current location. “It was just a matter of finding a business large enough,” Welke said. “Retro Row fits our personality and style and I feel like it fits our clients’ as well.” Welke, a manicurist, and her partner Burks, a barber, said they wanted to open their own place where they could ensure that stylists were treated fairly, which was not always the case, Welke explained. “I feel like it’s gotten better now, that was in 2007,” she said. In addition to hairstyling services, Salon Pop also offers skin treatments for the face and back, waxing, makeup application lessons and “the best pedicure in Long Beach.” Welke said corrective hair coloring is one of the salon’s most popular services. “We also do a lot of bright colors,” she said. “It’s a fun street, we’ve got a lot of creative professionals who come in.” Burks, whose mother was a cosmetologist, said he enjoys the variety of each day and having the ability to lift his clients’ spirits. “You’re in the happiness industry,” he said. “No matter where you’re at when you come in, everyone leaves in an elevated mood, feeling good about themselves.” Salon Pop is located at 2218 E. 4th St. For more information, call 562/987-9200 or visit


Native Sol

Native Sol, a store featuring eco-friendly clothing, jewelry and accessories, started out of the home of co-owners May Salem and Tyrone Ward. The married couple began by selling their wares at festivals such as the Long Beach Funk Fest and Lightning In A Bottle. “I’ve always wanted to have a store,” Salem said. “I think it just naturally evolved.” Salem and Ward opened up shop in East Village, before relocating to Retro Row two and a half years later. “Our building was going up for sale. We started looking when we found out,” Salem recalled. “We always wanted to be on this street. . . .it was perfect timing.” Native Sol’s bestsellers include Salem’s own creations, clothes made out of salvaged or organic materials, and jewelry. The store also offers lifestyle products such as soap, tea and beeswax candles. Visitors have the opportunity to take home their own creations, as Native Sol hosts workshops in crafts such as macramé and dreamcatcher weaving. The shop also leads sessions in meditation and tarot card reading. Salem said one her favorite parts of owning a business is the flexibility that allows her to spend more time with her kids. Native Sol is located at 2018 E. 4th St. For more information, call 562/277-0224.


Liberty Vintage Clothing

Xavier Patin and his girlfriend, Eileen Mendez, took over Liberty Vintage Clothing from its previous owners about a year and half ago. “It was kind of vintage, but it had more boots, jeans and t-shirts,” Patin said. “We decided to take it back to more of a traditional vintage store with clothes from the 1940s, ’50s and ’60s.” Liberty Vintage sells dresses, records, lingerie, men’s jackets and novelties such as drinking glasses emblazoned with pin-up girls. Patin said the shop has become known for its women’s swimwear collection, which totals around 70 suits from the 1940s to the mid-1970s. Patin’s interest in classic style began when he worked as a photographer. “I had friends coming to me wanting to shoot pin-up photos, but they were bringing current clothes and stuff from Victoria’s Secret, so I started buying [vintage] clothes for photo shoots,” he explained. “Before I knew it, I had probably 15 big plastic totes filled with vintage clothes and shoes.” Mendez’s interest in vintage clothing was sparked by music, according to Patin. The couple hopes to start their own vintage-inspired clothing line and add more modern pieces to the store’s collection. “We’re starting to look at stuff from the 1980s and ’90s because we see a lot of customers looking for that,” Patin said. “My understanding is that anything that’s more than 20 years old is considered vintage.” Liberty Vintage Clothing is located at 2146 E. 4th St. For more information, call 562/264-5853.