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SoCal-inspired shop coming downtown by way of Kansas

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A clothing and apparel shop inspired by Southern California culture is opening its second shop in Springfield after nearly 30 years operating in downtown Lawrence, Kansas.

Steve Schoepflin, who bought Sharks Surf X Supply two years ago from Chris Cox, its founder in 1989, said Springfield was a solid choice given its demographic similarity to Lawrence.

“We like to be in the master plan,” he said. “We want to contribute to the community.”

Schoepflin signed a one-year lease with renewal options for undisclosed terms with the Marjorie Washam Trust for 2,500 square feet at 301 W. Walnut St. The space has been vacant since October 2016, when Queen City Cycles relocated to 615 S. Pickwick Ave.

Schoepflin said he’s investing $75,000 to $100,000, mostly in inventory, with a planned soft launch Feb. 15, followed by a grand opening March 15.

Similar to Lawrence, Schoepflin said, Springfield has a vibrant downtown community where the shop’s clientele of college students, hipsters and suburbanites tend to flock. He said Sharks Surf X Supply plays up its landlocked nature despite celebrating an ocean-living lifestyle.

“The irony of it is what lends well to us,” Schoepflin said. “I would think we’re one of the oldest surf shops in the Midwest.”

For example, he said one of the Lawrence shop’s best sellers is a “Surf Kansas” shirt, and he plans to launch “Surf Missouri” apparel at the Springfield store.

Besides its branded clothing, Schoepflin said the shop’s best sellers are Vans, as well as Ray-Ban, Converse and Reef.

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