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Stabiles gifts overcomes city snag to grow

The Stabiles truck, with unique gifts and home decor items, has now been able to add a storefront site in addition to its rolling showroom. That vehicle started the process for owner Sam Guzman.

It is often seen in the Funk Zone, waterfront and in downtown.

The City of Santa Barbara has been reviewing its street vending regulations but Stabiles says it found a way to operate safely and without impacts to the areas where the truck is parked.

After some push back from the city in early discussions, the truck has proven to be a viable business and a launching point for a future sales sites.

Today it was on Yanonali Street near wine tasting rooms. Guests that came in generally stopped because of the items hanging on the door or the sign that welcomed them up the two step entrance.

Inside there were hand made rings, necklaces, small plant hangars, clothing and household items. Many are made locally, but all, even those made outside of the area, are generally small batch products with information about the designer.

Guzman recently also worked out a shared space with the Eco-Friendly Cleaners at 127 W.. Canon Perdido Street. The site will have more items for sale, a larger display area, a working shop for product design and repair and a site for classes.

To get to this point, Guzman says he had to keep his dream alive from the back of his sales truck, work out issues with the city and find a place for his store.

“Operating businesses like mine have existed since the early 1900’s. What we are doing it is the old school way of starting a business,” he said.

He hopes the city works with him on the policies ahead because he’s had a lot of red tape to overcome.

“I actually did the right thing and went to the city and try to get licensing and they would tell me it wouldn’t be feasible. And they told me no…a lot,” Guzman said.

In the future Guzman hopes to have at least another truck in Ojai at times and the San Luis Obispo Farmers Market.

He has also been asked to speak in a class on the truck vendor business at California Lutheran University.

For more information you can visit Stabiles online.

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