Carlsbad Pet and Feed employee Karen Bentson poses at the checkout. She finds it to be rewarding to live in a community with such amazing people. (Photo by Juliette D’Eliseo)
Carlsbad Pet and Feed employee Karen Bentson poses at the checkout. She finds it to be rewarding to live in a community with such amazing people.

Photo by Juliette D’Eliseo

The Season for Shopping Small in the Carlsbad Village

Dec 17, 2021

In the Carlsbad Village, local businesses are getting ready for the holiday season. Many people shop in corporate stores for holiday shopping. Many don’t realize the benefits of shopping at local stores, especially during the holiday season to support their community. 

Last year, COVID-19 made businesses struggle and some even had to close permanently. Online shopping with companies like Amazon was where most people got their gifts, leaving local businesses out. This year most stores are open to visitors to shop again (with masks, of course). Lots of business owners enjoy being in the community and selling to locals.  

“We really appreciate the community around us and we are really happy to be here to help them,” Carlsbad Pet and Feed employee Karen Bentson said. 

A program called Gift Carlsbad is an event that is sponsored by the city. Locals can buy gift cards online or in a participating store and spend it in the village. If you purchase a gift card, an additional amount of store credit is added by the city. 

Here are a couple of businesses to shop at this holiday season.

Status Skateshop

Photo taken from

The Status Skateshop logo is a new sight to Carlsbad. Status Skateshop is beginner-friendly and open to all questions.

Status Skateshop

Brain Tracey is the owner of a popular skate shop in downtown Carlsbad called Status Skateshop. They have many types of items for any skater such as trick skateboards that you can customize, longboards for distance and travel, surf skates from Spain, fingerboards from Germany, handboards, kendamas, helmets, pads, clothing, hats, socks, stickers and even an electric one wheeler.

Before Tracey opened his store, he had a business called SkateXS for eight years. At SkateXS, boards were only created for kids ages 5-12. He opened Status Skateshop on Roosevelt Street in August of 2020. 

“Not only are we providing something for Carlsbad locals who want to skateboard, we have created a reason to come into Carlsbad,” Tracey said. 

Since he opened shop during COVID-19, masks were still mandatory. Tracey recognized the struggles the business had faced since people were not comfortable coming into the store. This prompted them to provide free masks to make visitors more comfortable.

Shopping at local businesses in Carlsbad is not only essential to helping local vendors but also supports local families. 

“When you shop locally you are helping a small family in Carlsbad,” Tracey explained. 

Lots of local businesses struggle because most people shop at big corporate stores like Walmart and Target in big bulk that ends up being low-quality in comparison to carefully crafted items at local businesses. Buying at big corporate stores can be harmful to consumers as well because things like skateboard quality are important to safety. 

“The biggest difference is quality,” Tracey said. 

Status Skateshop is open to all visitors, beginning or advanced in the sport, to check out their shop.  

“Sometimes Skateboard shops might have the reputation to be kind of a scary place, but we are very beginner-friendly and it’s an easy place to ask questions,” Tracey concluded.


Photo taken from

Light shines through the front window of one of the Flashbacks locations in San Diego. Flashbacks is a vintage clothing store with one location in Carlsbad Village.


Flashbacks is a thrift store on Grand Avenue in Carlsbad Village. If you want to clean out your closet, Flashbacks is the place to sell it.

According to a Flashbacks employee, more than 80% of their items are clothing. They sell jackets, shirts, pants, skirts, shoes, sweatshirts and more. 20% of their items are jewelry, purses, hair clips and even wigs. They have three locations: Hillcrest, Encinitas and Carlsbad Village. 

Flashbacks is known for recycling clothing which is really good for the environment

“I think shopping small is good for the environment and the community,” the employee said. 

During COVID-19, Flashbacks had to lay off 40 of their workers in all 4 locations. They had a chain called Lost and Found that unfortunately closed during COVID-19. The closure was a reminder as to why shopping small is so important. 

“It is really good for the community,” the employee said. “It’s important to shop small because workers are treated better.”

Trove Marketplace

Photo by Juliette D’Eliseo

Carrie Moore is the owner of Trove Marketplace. She is standing by all of her Christmas products for the holiday season.

Trove Marketplace

Carrie Moore is the owner of Trove Marketplace on State Street in the Carlsbad Village. Trove Marketplace has more than 50 different vendors that they support, selling a little bit of everything. From brand new merchandise, decor, furniture, seasonal and vintage clothing, live plants, jewelry and more. 

Before Moore had her shop, there was an antique mall where all of her vendors had stores which has now become the State Street Commons. Unfortunately, the antique mall closed down leaving all of the vendors without a store. Moore bought her shop on State Street to support all of those vendors. 

During COVID-19, Trove Marketplace never shut down with a primary role of distributing masks to the Carlsbad police department, the city council and hospitals. They also sold masks to the community. People would be lined up to pick up their masks. This prompted the beginning of their business. 

With rarities and a variety of goods to be found, local businesses are well-regarded for their unique touch. Some local businesses, like Trove, even sell homemade products from their vendors. 

“We really support local vendors and their products,” Moore said. 

Trove Marketplace does not often offer sales for the holiday season because many of their items are already set at a reasonable price. 

Trove functions as a community business, welcoming artisans of all ages to become a part of their initiative. One of their vendors is a nine-year-old girl that makes hummingbird hangers. 

“I always love hearing people come in and I will try to fit them into any section I can.”

Trove Marketplace is a friendly find with exceptional customer service. Their products are high quality, coming from many different types of people. 

“It’s really fun being in the community and meeting everyone and making new friends with our customers,” Moore added.

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