Originally opened in October of 2010 on the side block of 67th Street right off Myrtle Avenue, the shop’s new home still bears the awning of Leonardo’s jewelry store, but has become a popular spot for teenage boys who stop in after school.
Owner Miguel Perez carefully selected the neighborhood when he first opened the business.
“I chose Glendale, because it has been home for a while,” he said. “I've raised my two children here, the people are very nice and the neighborhood is great. At the same time, it needed my kind of business.”
Since Mikey Stylez reopened its doors, local middle schoolers have found a place where they can shop on their own.
“Every two weeks I come, check out new hats and buy them,” said Anthony. “It’s on our way from school, so we check it out to see what’s new. The hats are always up-to-date.” At 14 years old, Anthony is one of the store's most frequent customers.
Boys like Anthony are the bulk of the store’s patrons. They pop in steadily after 2:30 p.m. on weekdays and peruse the shelves of snapbacks and fitted caps ($15-$30) that bear the logos of popular baseball, basketball and football teams.
Young customers walk in excited to spend their allowance and strike up conversations with employee Dionisio Melo over the hip-hop music playing in the background.
“The little money they do get, they come and spend it here,” said Melo. “And even if they don’t buy anything, they keep me company. We talk about sports and about the new shipments coming in.”
The clientele consider Mikey Stylez an outlet to buy up-to-date attire sans the big price tags. “They have name brand hats, like New Era, for low prices unlike hats from Lids that sell for $50 or more,” said Alexander. “You can get it for $30 or less here, and they have good quality hats.”
For Oscar, a 17-year-old loyal customer, the store provided all the essentials of his outfit.
“Half the stuff I wear is from these guys. They have everything I need, and I don’t even have to go further down Myrtle,” Oscar said. “They sell everything original, and this is the only store that sells this around here.”
A worker in a nearby deli, Oscar usually stops by during his lunch break to eye the new goods in anticipation of what he will purchase come payday.
The boutique also sells beanie hats ($20-$35), an assortment of shirts, hoodies, jackets and jeans in brands like Akoo, Playboy, Play Clothing, Lacoste, Levi and others ($25-$75).
Perez boasts the selection’s quality and ensures that his inventory reflects the newest trends. “I select everything specifically by my own taste,” he said. “I watch a lot of sports and I see different fashions, and I make it all come together.”
Still minus a new awning and phone number until the end of the month, Mikey Stylez has gained customers by catching the eyes of passersby and most of them think the store is new to Glendale.
“Most of the customers who come in, think we’re entirely new. I think it’s great, because when we were around the corner, hardly any people went there,” Melo said. “Now the majority of people who come in say they’re definitely going to come back.”
Perez hopes that his store, which is open seven days a week from 12 to 7 p.m. and sometimes later, will be an asset to the neighborhood.
“My store is different because it's affordable for the community, and it’s good quality,” he said. “It’s just great ‘stylez.’”