One of Rockville Centre’s newest clothing shops, 808, located at 19 South Park Ave., hopes to go hand in hand with the village’s large nightlife scene. It recently reopened with a newly designed interior.
Robert Kasna, a resident of the village and first-time business owner, always wanted to run a clothing store, and with his partners, launched the 808 brand. The shop also features designs from Long Island brands. Patch recently spoke with Kasna about his venture.
How would you describe the clothing and items here?
I have friends who are into urban clothing but they’re very stylish. I’m corporate, because I work for Electrolux in my day job. I kind of wanted to bring an urban influence into corporate, suburban clothing to give it something that no one else has ever seen.
We’re calling it functional fashion. What that means is comfortable clothes, stylish, something you can go grab a coffee in the morning or go to happy hour. Maybe something to go to work on casual Friday.
It’d be perfect for the nightlife around here.
Exactly. Anybody who goes for happy hour around here? Perfect. You’ll be nice and comfortable. We also have stuff to go to yoga class or look like you’re going to yoga class.
Who is the target audience?
We’re going for that 18- to 50-year-old woman that likes yoga or to relax afterward and hang around Rockville Centre. Or the men that hang around town and go to the places around here. If you’re going to the city, sure, but just not a very fancy restaurant. Very casual. We’re the south shore, so we can’t be too expensive.
Do you see a lot of competition from online and big retail?
It’s really me and the stores in town trying to pull people from the malls. If the stores do well here, the surrounding areas will do better. The people who work in the stores here will get paid better than a Kohl’s or something.
There’s a need for corporate stores, but there’s too much of it. You go there and buy clothes and if you save $5 and $10 on a piece, it goes to another state or another country. I always like local business.
What do you offer here?
Something a little different. The name, 808, is based on a bass drum. That’s a part of the music you can feel. If it’s missing the bass, it’s kind of flat. When we put 808 on the clothes, you’re feeling the clothes. It has to be comfortable and stylish.
What other brands do you carry?
We also have Crooks and Castles. They started off just like me, with a store. They didn’t know what they were doing. They figured a way and brought up some local vendors. Now they have clothings shops all over LA. Now the clothing line is reaching out to the rest of the country.
We do that too. We have clothing from AtSlopes from Westchester, the King of New York from Baldwin, Stolen Goods from Rockville Centre, and Infinite Society.
What are some of the other challenges of running this store?
Trying to keep everyone happy with a limited amount of space to show clothes. You can’t go out and buy everything. You have to be precise with what you pick out and make sure everything you pick is going to reach somebody and grab their attention. Even if you don’t sell it, it has to be interesting and quality. One bad thing can be hidden. But a few can make your whole store look bad.
Would you like to add anything else?
I really do think we have the nicest store in town.