By Lee Belote at The Virginian Pilot

In the summer of 1968, South Moon Under started as a surf shop selling screen-printed tees and swimwear in Ocean City, Maryland.

The store’s founder loved surfing and named the brand after a novel of the same name with the theme of how the moon affects the tides and behaviors. Now, the store has grown into a coastal fashion boutique that has expanded its footprint up and down the East Coast from Connecticut to Florida. In May, the store opened its 28th location in Town Center of Virginia Beach.

“Town Center of Virginia Beach was appealing to us because of the opportunity it provided both in terms of filling a hole in the swimwear market and the incredible partnership we saw with Town Center,” said Keri Nwosu, director of marketing at South Moon Under. “They do tons of events and community building that we really loved.”

The new store occupies 2,000 square feet filled with a large assortment of swim and resort wear. The boutique sells premium denim, special occasion dresses, jewelry, bags, shoes, loungewear, candles and other coastal fashion attire. Popular brands include Paige, Rails, Farm Rio, Agolde and L*Space.

Since the store opened, store manager Jahiada Ferris said the swimwear and dresses have been the bestsellers with denim coming in a close second.

“We finally have swimwear in Town Center,” Ferris said. “We’re ready to phase into the summer with swimsuits and will put you in a dressing room for an hour to cater to your swimwear needs.”

She said the store rotates over 200 brands of swimwear, and new shipments arrive daily. South Moon Under, known for their exceptional service, is also pet-friendly. The boutique offers dog treats and has a water bowl at the entrance.