Summerland Neighbors: Kevin Frank + Family
Kevin Frank and his wife, Katie, owners of K. Frank, the Montecito men and women’s luxury and designer clothing store on Coast Village Road, moved to Summerland six years ago after being attracted by the “small town charm and walkability.” It wasn’t until they toured their house that they became gob smacked by the incredible ocean views. The couple have three children and a new family best friend named Scarlett, a 10-month-old Bernese Mountain dog.
“My wife, Katie, and I both grew up in the Midwest. We moved to Santa Barbara in 2006 just before being married at Our Lady of Mount Carmel. We were living in Colorado at the time and wanted to find a home that continued to provide us with an active outdoor lifestyle and was naturally beautiful, and just the right size. We settled in San Roque, but as our family grew we moved to Summerland,” said Kevin.
The retailer cites a few of his favorite things about living in Summerland.
“At any moment the view changes. It really never gets old. It’s so expansive and the light is constantly changing off the islands. It just provides such a sense of space. The second thing is more practical. The proximity to Montecito and our store and our kids’ school is in Montecito, so we’re just minutes from everything.
The couple opened K. Frank in 2007 on State Street until they moved the store to Coast Village Road in the summer of 2016. Asked about how they are coping with the pandemic both professionally and at home, Kevin replied, “We’re used to evolving as a designer retailer. It happens every season. That’s one of the most engaging aspects of our business. We’re always examining how to adapt to and embrace trends while balancing that with our own perspective and how it relates to the place we live. That mentality helped us handle the challenges the pandemic has presented. The store has always been focused on a lifestyle concept and that played well as people changed their dressing habits.”
On the home front, being business owners allowed the couple to balance their family and work life and even find an upside to curbing their usual travels.
“The kids have mostly been in school but during their periods of remote learning, we’ve easily been able to trade off the responsibilities of the store and schooling.” Frank noted, adding, “Thankfully, they’ve taken to the remote learning very easily. They prefer attending school in person, but certainly enjoy Zooming in their pj’s all day!”
Despite missing traveling, the Frank family have discovered, just like Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz, that there’s no place like home.
“We love to travel and see new places, whether it’s tropical, mountains, or the big city. I certainly miss that the most these days. We always make sure to get some skiing in every winter as well. It’s something my wife and I grew up doing with our families and we love sharing that experience with our children,” but, he added, “Not being able to travel extensively has been one of the silver linings for us as a family. We’ve been able to take even more advantage of the incredible outdoor recreation here and it gave the kids the opportunity to get into surfing.”
With all the new businesses, might we see a K. Frank outpost in Summerland?
“We love the metamorphosis in Summerland! The main street [Lillie Avenue] feels vibrant and fresh and we enjoy patronizing all the new businesses. We’re not opening in Summerland, but I’d love to see a gourmet food market open,” Kevin replied.
Kevin expressed his thanks to the Summerland Citizens Association and is also grateful for the efforts by many that resulted in the recent oil well capping.
“The SCA does so much work that goes unseen by the community,’” he noted, adding, “The capping of two of the oil wells has made such a difference in the quality of the beach. It’s really made a huge impact on the how – and how often – we use the beach. We’re so thankful it’s finally being handled.”
All’s Well That Ends Well
Last month, someone drove into the Veterans Memorial on Lillie Avenue, destroyed the sign, ran into one tree, and was stopped by another tree. The Summerland-Carpinteria Fire Department found time to replace the wooden sign – in a better spot with some advice and bolts from Sonya Harris, Summerland’s garden angel, who appreciates their great efforts.
“It’s visible and it looks great!” she reported.
A Final Note
Good news on the ocean oil well capping front: two more wells will be capped in the second half of this year. Stay tuned for future news on that front.