Owner Myrna Naegle reflects on life, business
After 22 years on Avenida de la Playa, the Shoppe at 2210 will close as soon as the merchandise is liquidated; most likely by late August. Living above the shop since it opened in 1994, owner Myrna Naegle said it’s time to retire.
“It’s been a beautiful experience (running the shop),” she said. “My husband Dale used to say I loved to play dress-up downstairs and play house upstairs, and it’s true! The people I met became like my friends. The tourists would come from the East Coast and Arizona during the summer. In the winter, I’d have clients I called my snowbirds, who would come out here to get away from the cold.”
In addition to the visitors to La Jolla, she said the Shores’ “tremendous pedestrian atmosphere” gave her a steady flow of local patrons. “La Jolla Shores is eclectic. It’s charming. It has a flavor that is unique. It’s small scale and it’s a beautiful walk. You get to know people here. That’s why I loved having a shop here.”
Naegle said she intends to continue living in the unit above the store, and will lease the lower level — ideally to a business that allows her to keep her privacy, like a real estate agent or attorney. “Something quiet,” she joked.
But her path to her now beloved La Jolla Shores was not a planned one. Originally from Guatemala, Naegle said she first encountered La Jolla while on vacation with her first husband. “We lived in Arizona, where he is from, and we would come here for the summer,” she explained. “When we got divorced, having never liked the Arizona weather, I knew I wanted to come here.”
Then she met the man who would become her second husband, local architect Dale Naegle (deceased). “He was very involved in the community of La Jolla Shores. He had a love for the Shores that was so strong. He was so passionate about it and his dream was to have (what he called) a ‘Shopkeeper Home,’ where there is retail space downstairs and a living quarters upstairs,” Naegle explained.
As Dale built Shopkeeper Homes to show potential buyers and developers what the space could look like, Naegle would help her husband stage the ground floor like a clothing store. “My sister lives in Guatemala and she sent me these beautiful jackets I could use to create the boutique.”
Imagine her surprise when someone offered to buy one of the jackets! “I didn’t know how much to ask for them, or anything, because I had no retail experience,” she said. “But the clothes I was putting out kept selling, and then I had the chance to go to Egypt and I found some unique treasures there that I thought I could sell. So my retail career began. You never know what life will bring.”
When the Shopkeeper Home was built at 2210 Avenida de la Playa, Naegle said that’s where she wanted to live – and set up shop. Originally seeking out top-of-the-line, fresh-from-the-runway looks, Naegle traveled to Paris regularly to find designers. But as trends changed, her collections changed with them, and she transitioned to more casual, easy-going beachwear (all of which is on sale until the inventory is gone). Athough she said her clientele has been steady, it’s time to hang up the “closed” sign for good.
In retirement, she said she would continue her community involvement. “La Jolla to me is the most beautiful place. It’s alive here. People care and people work for the community. They are passionate about preserving what is beautiful about La Jolla,” she said, adding she would like to be a general member of some advisory groups. “One of the things I enjoy very much is being of service to the community, and doing things that help preserve its unique and beautiful charm. I was once a La Jolla Community Planning Association trustee and also on the La Jolla Shores Permit Review Committee … but as a general member, there is a lot more that I could do, and help wherever there is help needed.”