It’s time for another Brand Focus where we take a deeper dive into streetwear brands. This week we had a chance to sit down with Jason Huggins, the creator of the time-honored, family-owned, San Diego-based 5&A Dime.
Let’s start at the beginning, Jason, when did you first launch 5&A Dime?
My sister Darcie and I launched our shop/store in 2005, so we’ve been at it a little over 15 years.
How about the name 5&A Dime. What does it mean to you?
Back when we started it was pre-hipster but we kinda had this idea that we could make our store resemble a nickel and dime bodega store from back in the day. So 5&A Dime it was. Then the sub cultures like Datsun 510 guys and people from Oakland 510 area code jumped in. Things like that. All because of the name.
Tell me a little about your background in streetwear.
I’ve been into streetwear as long as I can remember. I used to work at Pacific Drive Skate Shop in Pacific Beach. I also worked for MP3.com. We’re all about alternative music, skateboarding, surfing, car subculture and fashions that stay ahead of the curve.
Any struggles being a brand based in San Diego?
One thing that’s difficult is this is a transplant city. Meaning not a lot of people are from here. They transplanted from other places. People are here because of college or they are in the military then they graduate or get transferred. That’s probably why the Chargers and Padres struggle. Not too many people have an affinity for San Diego like we do. As a family owned business we wanted to be invested in the city.
Any brands that inspired you back in the day?
Some that come to mind of course are Alphanumeric A#, The Hundreds, Crooks & Castles. The stuff that got us started.
Any current brands doing things the right way?
I like to support San Diego brands. One that I really dig is Mondaysuck. If we’re talking bigger names I’d say The Hundreds are doing things the right way.
Is there a signature item that put 5&A Dime on the map?
I’d have to say it’s our SD Faithful Cap in the Padres former navy with orange colorway. Kinda fitting since we were in East Village and now that’s where Petco Park resides.
Let’s talk about your move for a minute. Why did you switch locations?
Well the last thing you’d expect is to be evicted during a pandemic right? Well it happened to us. It really was kind of a blessing though. Parking was extremely limited and that building was falling apart. Plumbing issues…etc. Our new location is actually ideal for us. We own a cookie company too so this is a warehouse with a kitchen so we’re able to run both businesses out of one location. The new address is 5725 Kearny Villa Rd Suite H. Oh and we have plenty of parking!
What’s the secret for having a long sustainable streetwear brand?
We should have quit a number of times…LOL. But since this was our family business we kept asking ourselves” What if?”. Sure we weren’t exactly killing it, but What if? You never know what could or will happen. Pride comes and goes in this business you just have to adapt. I mean we started at a time where you had to spend $20K on a website. We did hand written receipts. Back then you had to put an ad in the reader or the newspaper. Now we’ve made the transition from POS to Shopify and are partnering with unique platforms like TheDrop.com. Technology has really changed the game.
What’s coming next for 5&A Dime?
We just dropped a few styles I like to refer to as basics. Some new, some not but this is the clothing you want to wear when curling up on the couch with a good book and some tea. We’re also going to start making regular drops on the 5th and 15th of each month. Offer up classic and new styes. Keep things fresh. We also have something in the works for Groundhog Day. We’re huge Bill Murray fans. Look for that soon.
So there it is. 15 minutes with Jason Huggins from 5&A Dime. Now let’s take a look at more of the goods.