Christel Tran
Credit: Christel Tran

Half Salon, Half Boutique, Second Place Co. in Encinitas Is a Mecca for Creativity

Don’t Skip Out on This Ultra Trendy Shop by the Coast

When the pandemic hit, Betsy and Zach Smith, a hair colorist and fashion designer, respectively, were forced to find new ways not just to survive but also thrive as valuable members of their community. They combined their talents and dreams into one: the newly minted shop and hair salon, Second Place Co. Second Place Encinitas

Credit: Christel Tran

During the pandemic, Betsy, like most hair stylists, was not able to work. Her focus at that time shifted from in-house services to educating her clients on ways to take care of their hair at home. When other hair salons were closing doors, Betsy sought a new beginning. So without skipping a beat, she and Zach found their own brick-and-mortar space and divided it into a hair salon and a boutique for their own brand in November 2021. Betsy has one employee in her salon who specializes in cuts while she manages the coloring side of the business. 



Local Insight:

Carlo Anjelo
Credit: Carlo Anjelo

Second Place Co. offers free space quarterly to local artists to exhibit and sell their work. Zach says the company benefits from having beautiful, local art on the walls and from fostering a sense of community within the space.

As for Zach, he now works with manufacturers from Los Angeles to partially produce the company’s own brand of vintage-inspired workwear. “Our flagship products feature vintage materials and designs. We didn’t want our apparel to support fast fashion; rather, we wanted items that could stand the test of time,” says Zach. Today, Second Place Co. offers an assortment of vintage-inspired pants, caps, jackets, tees and other items that are mostly made in the US using high-quality materials. “So far, it’s been great,” says Zach. “We feel really connected to our town and neighbors. We always keep the space full of energy and bustling with creativity.”

Local Insight: Betsy Smith has big plans for the future and hopes to focus more on education. She aims to host training events geared toward helping hair stylists grow as both artists and business people.

Second Place Encinitas

Second Place Co.
520 Second St
Encinitas, CA 92024

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