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Dixie Quality Made Goods in Long Beach, California

 

Someone once said, "Clothes don't make the man, the man makes the clothes." This treatise on substance over style might throw some people for a loop, but not Dixie founder Jon Tubbs. At his small haberdashery in downtown Long Beach, John and his shop manager Jose keep Long Beach’s blue-collar vibe alive by stocking a nice mix of mostly American-made shirts, jeans, boots and accessories for men and women who dress like they carry their lunch in a brown bag, even if most of their customers don't get out of bed ‘til 2 p.m.

I crack wise about Dixie’s slower moving clientele only because I used to live in Long Beach. In the early '90s this city by America's biggest seaport experienced a cultural and economic renaissance, with boutique operators and world-class chefs spearheading its rise from hip-hop enclave to hipster paradise. Today Long Beach is to Los Angeles what Brooklyn is to Manhattan: a vibe-within-a-vibe that trumps even über-hip Williamsburg with better parking, cleaner streets, hotter college girls and more diverse architecture.

Dixie proprietor Jon Tubbs could have emigrated to the Big Apple, but the one-time skate-industry player and Alabama native chose California’s sun-drenched shores to open shop, and for good reason. As a chopper fanatic from the dirty south, Tubbs knew the weather in the Golden State was more conducive to year ‘round riding.

 

 

While Dixie’s wares aren’t riding gear per se, the heavy denim pants and vests, rugged woven plaid shirts and heavy-duty work boots that line its shelves seem to be The Official Uniform for today's bikeriders. Silverback bikers who dress like Wyatt Earp probably know more jokes about today’s skate chic look than you can shake a ‘do rag at, but given the choice, there’s no comparison. The fashion aesthetic boutiques like Dixie are popularizing makes better sense than a lot of other chopper costumes we could imagine.

Most of us who work on motorcycles have learned the hard way why long sleeves, thick soles and tough trousers are de rigueur for garage and saddle time. Dixie and shops like it are simply bringing the tenets of fit, function and durability to the skinny jeans-wearing masses. Call it niche marketing or crass commercialism if you wish. I call it American entrepreneurial spirit, and Alabama's John Tubbs has it in spades.

I spent two hours with John learning about Dixie and his other SoCal boutiques. Here's what the slow-talking and fast-thinking southern gentleman had to say.

When did you open Dixie's doors? 2011.

How big is your store space? About 900 square feet.

What other apparel stores do you own or partner with in SoCal? Long Beach Trading Company and TriCo in Hollywood

What did you do before you moved to SoCal? I was a road rep in the southeastern USA for Sole Tech, Spitfire, Anti Hero, Real skateboards in '06 to '09. In 2009 I moved to SoCal to rep for Vans shoes. In early 2011 I left the industry to do retail. Before all of that I worked at Faith Skate Supply in Birmingham, Alabama.

Where do you find your materials and inspiration for Dixie's interior design? I find inspiration in day-to-day life. Things I like include antiques and motorcycles and all kinds of industrial stuff.

Describe the average Dixie customer. Our typical customer is a normal working-class guy. Some own bikes, some just want high-quality, good-fitting clothes. No hipsters!

Give us a list of your shop's top-selling brands. Dixie, FMA, Born Loser, Death Squad, Brixton, Loser Machine, Show Class. in accessories we've got Col, Buck and Case knives, and for pants we've got Matix, Tellason, Eat Dust, Sugar Cane, Ben Davis, Dickies and Brixton. We sell a whole bunch of men's and women's accessories, too: stuff like belts, hats, Hoven and Tres Noir sunglasses, you name it.

Any motorcycle-specific gear? Gloves, Biltwell and Daytona helmets, vests and jackets.

Jon shares info on store specials, coming events and other stuff on his blogs. Check them out here:

Dixie Boutique

TriCo


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Commented on 3-2-2012 At 02:05 pm
 

I love these boutique stores that sell American-made goods but I can't afford shit.

Commented on 3-2-2012 At 03:06 pm
 

digg just cuz my dogs named dixie lol

Commented on 3-2-2012 At 07:18 pm
 

Looks like quality stuff. Totally true about affording USA made goods. I'd love a pair of Made in the U.S Levi's...ain't happening on my current budget. Maybe I'll just by one pair and where the crap out of them. Gotta support somehow!

Commented on 3-2-2012 At 08:39 pm
 

This is In my neck of the woods. I rode past and was wondering about this store. I think i'll stop on in.

Commented on 3-2-2012 At 09:03 pm
 

Its good to see a store that supports. grass root chopper companys..

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 12:42 am
 

Probably a cool place and I'm glad that they support the scene and small businesses, but I get the feeling that either I couldn't afford anything in there or wouldn't be cool enough to get in the door anyway. To each his own, I suppose.

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 03:30 am
 

Look's like a cool place. Down here in north county San Diego I like The Captain's Helm.

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 03:31 am
 

I always buy my work boots in a boutique, that way I can just pop next door to have my nails done.
What the fuck has this got to do with choppers? Get real.

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 06:38 am
 

Dear Bonecrow, please feel free to write and illustrate a story that meets your lofty standards for realness. If it's entertaining and relevant, I'll pay you $250. Good luck and have fun!

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 01:36 pm
 

its all part of the culture. love it or hate it, this is where the culture is now. personally, i got my start in the industry right when the discovery bike thing was huge and i think its incredibly refreshing to see the support we as a culture are getting from small non motorcycle specific shops like this. i hope it sticks around for a long long time no matter how "not real" it is. go to an industry show like cincy or indy and talk to a hot leathers rep and see if what you hear from them is "real" enough. i bet youd change your mind in an instant.

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 07:19 pm
 

I like it. It is American grassroots business. I wish I had the brass balls to leave the machine shop and do what I want to do for a living (and be profitable)! Plus they have a freakin' cutie modeling their stuff. Hater's need not apply!

My dream it to work for myself and live comfortably. Congrats guys

Commented on 3-3-2012 At 08:25 pm
 

cool.....put the "Stars & Bars" out front....after all, it IS Dixie!! FTW, the General

Commented on 3-4-2012 At 07:29 am
 

Sounds like a pretty cool shop. I'll have to check it out if i ever ride out there.

Commented on 3-4-2012 At 06:20 pm
 

Looks as if I set some hackles rising. Firstly I’m not having a dig at Dixie’s boutique. Anyone with the courage to start up their own business and put the work in to make a go of it has my respect. Nor am I knocking what he sells or those who buy it. Secondly; Mr Halwade it was not my intention to imply that writing relevant articles was easy, it is something I can not do nor would I claim to be able to, but my lack of skill as a journalist as no bearing on what I think.

I regard the ‘culture’ to be about motorcycles, not dressing to get the right image. Can someone explain the difference between people buying the right clothes to give them the ‘regular-Joe’ look and HOG members buying pre-made cut offs at the local Harley boutique to get the ‘biker’ look or buying Sons of Anarchy sweat shirts to give them the ‘out-law’ look?

Dixie’s sell all USA made products and so supports American workers, that is great and I support local business where I can. OCC as a successful business also supports American workers, not just in it’s work shops but also in the postal service, shipping business, toy shops etc etc and yet the Chopper Cult forum seldom has anything but contempt for anything connected to OCC.

No doubt in a few years OCC, HD and SOA will catch up with the latest dress code and start filling their store fronts with check shirts and work boots and the ‘culture’ will join the ‘Wyatt Earp' look-a-likes in taking the piss out of anyone uncool enough to them.

Dixie’s is a shop that sells good quality clothes and if I’m ever in the area I’ll go and buy something but I’ll be doing so in the role of consumer not biker.

Commented on 3-4-2012 At 08:17 pm
 

I have several friends in common with John being from Birmingham, but we have never met. I think it's awesome what he's been able to accomplish while out west. I definitely want to check out his shops when I get to California to visit.

Commented on 3-4-2012 At 11:18 pm
 

Brown paper bag style, Wall Street sized wallets....

Commented on 3-5-2012 At 03:59 am
 

it takes a lot of cash to look that poor.

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