For two years, Mel Damascena, owner of the Coffee Mill in Rehoboth Beach, has been planning to open his own specialty boutique that would combine his interests in fashion, swimwear and photography under one roof.
“I was just trying to find the right space,” he said. “This space became available and I just felt it was the right space for it. It’s not that far from Coffee Mill. It’s open. It has everything I need.”
Damascena finally realized his ambition when he opened Brashhh, 1 N. First St., on Memorial Day weekend. He said the store reflects his personality.
“It’s things that I like. It’s my personality. I’m not trying to be anybody else. It’s things I like, things I wear,” he said.
The store carries vintage furniture, men’s swimwear, gifts, shoes and collectibles. Damascena said he also hopes to use the store as a gallery to display his beach-inspired photographs.
Damascena has been the owner of the Coffee Mill in Rehoboth Mews for five years; the shop itself is entering its 22nd season in business.
“Brashh means someone that is fashion-forward. That is bold. That likes to take risks, but sometimes also just wants to relax and take it easy,” Damascena said.
Clad in his colorful shorts and fedora hat, Damascena is an engaging presence who has been coming to Rehoboth for 15 years. He plans to split his time between the Coffee Mill and Brashhh, an arrangement that works itself out.
“It’s really busy there in the morning for breakfast, which is nice because I can come here in the afternoon,” Damascena said.
He’s been a photographer for eight years, and some of Brashhh’s merchandise includes vintage cameras.
“It’s been good,” Damascena said of the store’s reception. “What I want to achieve is to bring new things in. Always change things, have new products and try not to have the same things everybody else has. It’s a great chance. The door opened, and I took it.”
Damascena is planning hold a grand opening party for Brashhh at 6 p.m., Saturday, July 26. The store will be open seven days a week, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. For more information, call 302-227-3232 or go to facebook.com/brashhh.