OCEAN CITY – Quiet Storm on the Boardwalk has become the largest surf shop in Maryland as it has tripled in size over the last few years to keep up with demand.
In April of 2011, a ribbon cutting was held when Quiet Storm opened its doors at its new location on the Boardwalk at North Division Street. The store joined Quiet Storm’s growing list of locations with stores also located in mid-town Ocean City, Rehoboth, and Hilton Head in South Carolina.
Quiet Storm Surf Shop has been serving a wide range of customers since 1984 offering a variety of surfboards, skateboards, clothing and accessories for men, women and kids.
Bill Dreilbelbis and his partners, Dale and Kelly Loeser, bought the property, which once was entirely Edwards Department Store. At that time Edwards’s was 32,000 square feet. When Quiet Storm moved in, it took over 22,000 square feet, which was half of the first floor and the entire upstairs, leaving Edwards 10,000 square feet stocked with its bestselling items.
“They gave it [Edwards] three years, it was still producing really well, but we [Quiet Storm] were growing so rapidly that we needed the space,” Manager/Buyer Meredith Moore said. “We were just out of room, which is a good thing.”
When The Dispatch last spoke with Moore, immediately following the grand opening, she was in the process of establishing the second floor as the girls/juniors section. The downstairs held boys/men’s, sunglasses, shoes, accessories and hard goods, which includes Quiet Storm’s selection of skate boards, surf boards, body boards and skim boards.
Last year, Quiet Storm closed its doors for renovations, while Edwards closed its doors for the last time sharing its storefront with Quiet Storm. Edwards will re-open at its new storefront between 2nd and 3rd streets on the boardwalk.
Last Saturday, Quiet Storm re-opened, now taking up the entire 32,000 square feet of the property. With more floor space on the first floor, Quiet Storm has been rearranged to make room for the growth in merchandise, including Quiet Storm’s own brand name.
The sunglasses collection has been moved to take up most of the right-hand side of the store until you reach the boys/men’s department in the back, and the hard goods have been pushed to the back, all to make room for the most significant change in the store’s expansion, which is the shoe department that has taken over the entire left-hand side of the store.
Quiet Storm has taken on new brands and many new styles of shoes to become a “full blown” shoe department, Moore and co- manager/buyer Caleigh Wooten explained.
Wooten, who buys for the men’s department, said the store has ordered 6,400 pairs of Vans in at least 50 different styles. The shoe department will also mostly be made up of Sanuk, Reef and Rainbow, along with Sperry, Billabong, Roxy, O’Neill, and Toms. There is a shoe to be found for everyone from a tourist who forgot their flip flops to the perfect pumps for a night out on the town.
“In Vegas, we picked up a bunch of different shoe lines, so we are going to have tons of wedges and heels to offer as well as … more flats, heels, wedges, boots, and dressy sandals,” said Moore, who buys for the girls/junior department.
Quiet Storm staff took the opportunity to attend Magic, a fashion trade show, in Las Vegas to pick brands and styles to bring on board in the new and improved Quiet Storm.
“We have been going to Vegas and picking up different lines there, trying to do something a little different than all the other surf shops, and carrying other brands that you wouldn’t necessarily see in every surf shop,” Moore said.
Upstairs in the girls/juniors department, Moore is adding a woman’s section, as well as Edwards’ house ware and gift section.
“I have picked up more boutique styles and brands, but still resort looking, and at a good price,” she said.
Wooten is doing the same in the boys/men’s department, adding more of a selection for the older males. She explained this section is mostly where Quiet Storm’s own brand will come into play, which Dreilbelis has mostly been designing himself.
“We will have Quiet Storm brand tee’s and tanks at a good price,” Wooten said. “They are in really fun colors, bright, for all ages, and we will have different designs.”
Along with the growth of Quiet Storms fashion selection, the popular hard goods section will expand in the near future to offer an even larger variety of skate, surf, body and skim boards.
“We are trying to have a multitude of different prices for different customers but you are still going to have the same quality of what you’re purchasing,” Wooten said.
Moore concluded Quiet Storm is excited over the expansion and the additional floor space to showcase the new items.
“It shows that we are getting a good reaction,” she said.
Wooten added, “Every year we have been here we have grown in size … customers have really taken a liking to Quiet Storm.”