Goodies founder and owner Rhea Carlisle—born in the Philippines, raised in a small, struggling town in South Texas—is, at least when approaching her business and its ideals, a woman of the people and democratizer: When the affordable brand began opened its first brick-and-mortar in Santa Monica—without a single item, from plates and mugs to utensils and a now-famous ladder, costing above $25—Goodies blew up enough to expand.
But like the accessibility of her brand, her new locations were solely determined by her Instagram following via voting: Venice followed. Then Costa Mesa in Orange County. And now, after another Instagram poll, Long Beach’s Belmont Shore, where it will open inside the former Fern’s Garden space.
“Shopping at discount or value stores had a stigma attached to them growing up, and I wanted to change that narrative,” Carlisle told journalist Mia Ingui in an interview following her move from South Texas. “When I moved to L.A., I noticed certain stores, especially high-end ones, were stuffy and intimating—and that didn’t sit well with me. I’ve always loved brick-and-mortar retail and wanted to create a space where someone from South Texas and someone from L.A. can both shop.
“The stigma had no effect on the Santa Monica location: Her offering of a $24 ladder—used to lean against a wall and hang blankets, prints, towels, or anything you want—led to an hours-long wait on the sidewalk.
It showcased two things: That people who want to save money are alike despite whether they’re from South Texas or SoCal—something Carlisle didn’t necessarily realize initially.
While her upbringing in Texas was anything but luxurious, her career in interior proved fruitful: Able to comfortably move to Los Angeles, she soon found herself amid a struggle with both her behavior and identity—leading to a 27-day study with Buddhist monks in Thailand to clear her head.We’re talking nearly perpetual silence, a definitive lack of cell phones and computers, and a rediscovery of who she was and what she wanted out of her life (which explains the bright, mandarin orange found in her stores: it is reflective of the cloak worn by the monks she studied with).
Goodies will be located at 5308 E. 2nd St. inside Unit B (the former Fern’s Garden).