It's no secret San Diego has the best weather. Each month we ask one of our favorite San Diegans:

What else makes this city great?

Melanie Michaud

Owner,  Graffiti Beach, Thread + Seed,
Live: Bankers Hill
Work: South Park & Bankers Hill
How Long: 6 years

Where did you grow up?
I grew up in a town called Pleasant Hill in Northern California. I have always loved California so I knew I would never leave, but I wanted a change of pace and different scene. So after college I moved to Hermosa Beach to work for an advertising agency. I stayed in Hermosa for about a decade and combined my passion for advertising and fashion, taking a position as the Director of Marketing for a beachwear chain.

What brought you to San Diego?
I always knew I wanted to start my own retail business, so after years as a Marketing Director, I decided to make the big leap and start Graffiti Beach. Initially, I started out hosting pop-up shops in the LA area. After a couple years running pop-ups, I took on a temporary lease for a retail space on Abbot Kinney in Venice Beach. My next move was to secure a permanent lease for a brick-and-mortar store. LA was competitive, the rents were high, and I wanted Graffiti Beach’s home base to be in a place where it would shine. I scouted communities for awhile in San Diego and fell in love with South Park.

Besides the weather, why do you continue to call San Diego home?
San Diego offers a slower pace of living than LA but with all the perks…great restaurants, bars, beaches, and hikes. I also think that San Diego has a huge opportunity for independent retailers. The people here appreciate great design and style and support the ‘shop small’ movement. I am amazed at how supportive San Diegans have been to Graffiti Beach. This experience encouraged me to open a second shop in Banker’s Hill called Thread + Seed.