Downtown Miami: a daunting world; where parking is a privilege not a right, and strange, exotic men attempt to lure you into their over-crowded accessory stores with an "authentic" Canon 6D at a suspiciously low price. Good shopping in downtown doesn't come easy. Aside from a uniformed army of stores with luggage and pawned-off cameras, what's left?
Sure, downtown has it's charm with buzz-worthy spots like American Airlines Arena for the sports fanatics, the row of restaurants off of Third Avenue for the keenest of taste buds, Grand Central for the beat-bumpers, and the Corner for all the hipsters and artsy folk. But where does that leave the local consumers?
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For brothers Randy and Brian Alonso, finding a cure for the area's otherwise shady reputation of retail discrepancies, is their core mission. The ordinance against said dilemma: Lost Boy Dry Goods, the duo's co-ed, Americana denim boutique recently opened right in the heart of downtown, amid the finagling and scam artists off of East Flagler Street.
"We want to build the neighborhood," declares Randy Alonso, co-owner of the Colorado-inspired, rustic boutique.
Having been raised around the area as offspring of the owners of Miami's oldest department store, La Epoca, the brothers quickly saw a demand for a concept store, that attracts more locals.
In 2011, the brothers grew frustrated with the "development of the area" retail-wise and sought to "extract a new type of customer." Thus, they devised a rustic, denim retail concept, providing a homey space where local guys and girls can curl-up on their vintage leather couch and browse through one of their coffee table books currently for sale. Randy says that the name of the store came from a ski lift in Colorado where his father first taught the two boys how to ski.
"Lost Boy was this long green [run]," Randy recalls, "so my dad would always take us up there to practice." Come summertime, the Alonso family would say adios to Miami's grogginess and take three-day road trips up to Colorado, where they would also pass through much of the Southwest.
"This is beautiful," says Randy, pointing to the Southwestern region on a map of the U.S. "We would pass through Sedona and it blew me away."
For the brothers, that childhood nostalgia lingered and manifested into what is now their very own fully functional one-stop shop. The 2,700-square-foot boutique, completely stripped from it's original packaging of mired ceilings and white walls, has since been entirely restored by Randy, a civil engineering graduate from Duke. Exposed brick walls and refurbished marble floors, as well as the wood encompassing the fitting-rooms brought from three different farms in Tennessee, now warm the expanse.
"A lot of the furniture here is actually from my family, or I've found over the years," Randy says. "These trunks were my brother's trunks when he used to go away to camp; the hat rack over there is my grandfather's; and all the books were from the den in my house."
After demolishing the low-slung ceilings, a second floor was the natural next step, where floorboards from an old general store in the hills of Tennessee now hang over the cash rep and shoe area.