OCEAN CITY – With 11 locations, a growing online presence and a successful brand of clothing and accessories, Quiet Storm Surf Shop continues to serve locals and visitors alike.
Since 1983, Quiet Storm Surf Shop has been the place for surfing, fishing and coastal lifestyle clothing, accessories and hard goods.
In the beginning, the retail store started as a small surf shop on 75th Street in Ocean City. Since that time, Quiet Storm has grown into a successful business with nearly a dozen locations in five states.
“We have grown tremendously in the last 10 years,” owner Bill Dreibelbis said. “We are doing very well.”
Dreibelbis started his career in the retail industry in 1978, when he opened his first of four sporting goods stores in Annapolis.
By 1983, he bought a surf shop on 75th Street, which eventually led to the Quiet Storm Surf Shop that so many know today.
Quiet Storm offers a wide variety of surfboards, skateboards, accessories, shoes, swimwear and clothing from popular brands such as Quiksilver, Billabong, Patagonia, Chubbies and Johnnie-O, to name a few. It also sells apparel and accessories under its own private label, which accounts for 35% of business.
“We are a little unique in that we’ve gotten to the point where we are big enough to order our own brand,” Dreibelbis said. “We carry a lot of our own products, not just T-shirts, hats and sweats like some people. We also do swim shorts, women’s clothing and a whole line of flip-flops for men and women.”
And despite the growing trend toward online sales, Dreibelbis said Quiet Storm has remained competitive.
“We are able to compete with this change through our private label …,” he said. “Since we are cutting out the middle man, we can offer quality and pricing that nobody else can. We are also getting started with online sales, which is really growing.”
With 11 brick-and-mortar locations from Delaware to Florida, Dreibelbis noted that Quiet Storm is now the second largest surf shop on the east coast.
“We got up to 26 stores at one point and then the recession came along and that cured me of that,” he joked. “Now we – me and Rehoboth Beach partners Dale and Kelly Loeser – have 11 stores.”
Dreibelbis said most of the company’s growth has occurred over the last five years. During that time, he said Quiet Storm has opened six stores.
“It’s definitely been a roller coaster ride,” he said. “Right now, things are great, and I think we’ve found a really good formula to give people what they want at a reasonable price and make a fair profit.”
Dreibelbis added that each location caters to every member of the family.
“We want to be the fun family place, not a shop where you walk in and are intimidated,” he said. “This is a place where everyone can come in and feel comfortable.”
Besides plans to open more stores, Dreibelbis said he and partner Brendan Hanley are also introducing a new Pure Lure fishing brand to the resort. Pure Lure apparel can be found at any of the three Quiet Store shops in Ocean City.
“We know the fishing market and clothing business and we are really excited to get it started,” he said. “We are starting a wholesale brand from right here.”
Despite the store’s growth, Dreibelbis said Quiet Storm continues to call Ocean City its home.
“Ocean City is my anchor,” he said. “When business goes up and down, Ocean City has always been good to me.”
He also recognized his wife, Nancy Cantello, for supporting his dreams.
“She has been unbelievably supportive,” he said. “She works way harder than I do, and she’s been an enormous addition to my life and my business.”
Quiet Storm locations can be found on the Boardwalk at North Division Street and on 75th and 123rd streets in Ocean City and at two locations in Rehoboth Beach. Additional locations include Delray Beach, Fla., Key West, Fla., Hilton Head, S.C., Myrtle Beach, S.C., Virginia Beach, Va., and Towson, Md.
For more information on Quiet Storm Surf Shop, visit quietstorm.com.
“We feel like we have a lot of product,” Dreibelbis said, “and a lot to share with the customers.”