One Stop Shop: Collective2one9 shopping hub opens in Downtown Santa Ana

Collective2one9 is Orange County's new and innovative shopping hub featuring 25 vendors.
Collective2one9 is Orange County’s new and innovative shopping hub featuring 25 vendors offering art, gifts, plants, clothing, jewelry and coffee.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The most challenging part of opening a small retail business is, well, every part. Collective2one9 in Downtown Santa Ana is eliminating some of the challenges for small businesses and start-ups with a new shopping hub concept on 4th Street.

“The goal of Collective2one9 is to provide brick-and-mortar opportunities to small businesses looking for a cool, walkable area that represents their brands,” said Collective2one9 creator and founder, Ryan Chase. Chase is also behind the district’s well-known sister location, 4th Street Market, located next door.

Chase has partnered with husband and wife team, co-creator Dana Jazayeri and manager Alejandra Astoquilca for the multivendor retail space.

Manager Alejandra Astoquilca and co-creator Dana Jazayeri of Collective2one9.
Manager Alejandra Astoquilca and co-creator Dana Jazayeri of Collective2one9 stand together at the retail location in Santa Ana on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“We segmented 6,000 square feet into 25 stalls that vendors can rent, build out, implement a storefront in, and then we handle the operations for them,” said Jazayeri. “They don’t have be here, they don’t have worry about hiring employees — we handle the whole show.”

High ceilings and bright light give the space a cheery vibe, and colorful, well-curated displays fill every corner. Spaces range from 4-foot-by-4-foot tables to 150-square-foot stalls, and all 25 of the vendor spaces are currently occupied.

“This is the conduit to potentially having a brick-and-mortar storefront. You can’t find 150 square feet anywhere to operate, and if you are, it is normally a pop-up situation,” said Jazayeri. “Here, vendors are provided them with the feeling of what a brick and mortar could be, without the operational pains and cost.”

Jazayeri and Astoquilca have extensive experience owning and working retail spaces and understand the challenges.

A variety of vendor spaces make up the new Collective2one9 in Santa Ana.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“When we came up with this concept, we wanted it to be an all-inclusive experience. We have had stores in concepts like this, but you have to work your space or you have to have an employee,” said Astoquilca. “The overhead cost is so much because you have to pay rent, you have to pay utilities, you have to pay for your [point of sale], your bags, and you have to have money in your cash register at all times. There are so many things that people don’t know, and it takes a lot.”

The idea is to ease the overhead burden for retail entrepreneurs while also giving them an opportunity to grow — or not.

“It may not work for them, or it may be something that they want to stay here forever because they like simplicity behind the experience that we provide for them,” Jazayeri said. “Or they leave one day and go find a larger space and have their own brick and mortar some day.”

Astoquilca trains the team and gives employees the product knowledge they need for every individual brand at Collective2one9.

“So when customers come and ask, ‘What is this?’ we can have a background story for them,” said Astoquilca.

The concept also gives small retail businesses owners an element of freedom.

“They can continue to be creative and make their product. If they have to travel to a convention or workshop, they can still do that,” said Astoquilca. “You just send us your product, we input it, we tag it, we sticker it, we put it out on the floor.”

Current vendors include Atomic Art & Music, Birdie Home Botanicals, Bolla Co., Boss Dog, Faka’s Island Grill, Funday Collective, Infinity Sauces, Love Kat Designs, Soap Barrio, Suavecito, Taly Co. Boutique, Unlisted, Vibes Boutique, Yessi Collection and Santa Ana Secret Society from popular local artist, Dino Perez.

Jon Yu, left, and Dusty Alexander check out vendors' goods at Collective2one9 on Nov. 9.
Jon Yu, left, and Dusty Alexander check out vendors’ goods at Collective2one9 on Wednesday, Nov. 9.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“Being able to put a store in here for him is so exciting,” Astoquilca said of Perez. “He is one that I am definitely really excited about because I know this is what he has wanted.”

Perez’s space features art prints, clothing and totebags.

Favored 4th Street coffee shop Coffee Muse is expected to open in late November at Collective2one9 in a 1,000-square-foot patio area, where they will serve organic roasted coffee, house-made pastries and host community programming, like open mic nights.

About half of the vendors in the space, like Santa Ana Secret Society and Coffee Muse, are local to Santa Ana.

A man walks past the exterior of Collective2one9 in Santa Ana.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“We worked carefully to curate a variety of vendors and unique products that could appeal to a diversity of people, as well as related to Santa Ana,” said Chase.

Astoquilca and Jazayeri also hope seeing small businesses from the neighborhood thrive will encourage other entrepreneurs.

“I want people to see that it is a supportive space and that we are trying to uplift people,” said Jazayeri.

Astoquilca agreed. “We hope to inspire other entrepreneurs to take that leap and develop their passion,” she said.

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