Modern community center born in Cardiff

CARDIFF BY THE SEA — Twins Ash Francomb and Kris DeGranzio have enjoyed much success in their 42 years: Francomb as a fashion designer whose bikinis were featured in the 2005 swimsuit edition of “Sports Illustrated.”
DeGranzio as a professional photographer with credits that include shooting the annual swimsuit issue for “Surfing Girl” in Hawaii two years in a row and the Rip Curl campaign in Kauai. 
They also collaborated in designing the graphics for sportswear for the girls division of Billabong.
Most recently they partnered in two businesses: Ash Francomb Made in California vintage surf and yoga clothing line and PCH 101 Studio, a California tropical-inspired design studio.
Their latest venture is Green Flash, a modern community center in Cardiff that celebrates the local art, music, yoga and surf culture.
“It’s a place for people to meet and connect,” DeGranzio explained. “People connect today, but it’s online. Real people are doing real things together here. They are getting face time again.”
The idea for the center arose last summer when the twins were looking for a venue for a two-day art show they wanted to produce titled “Blue Realm.”
Ultimately, they couldn’t resist signing a lease for the space, which boasted a stunning ocean view.
Since then, they have hosted six thematic shows, one showcasing the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico and another the Cardiff campground. In addition to their work, they have exhibited the art of other prominent artists including Susan Wickstrand Roche, Kevin Roche, Skye Walker, Barry McGee and Thomas Campbell. There is no admission to art shows.
They also utilize the space for Green Flash Yoga, which is headed by popular yoga teacher Lauren Duke. There is no charge for lessons; the program operates exclusively on donations.
To generate money, Francomb and Degranzio rent the space for corporate events. They also started hosting their own parties, drawing crowds of up to 500 guests.
“In our other ventures the ‘people’ quotient was missing,” DeGranzio explained. “Our parties are really fun and they give North County a unique social outlet that was missing before.”
Plans are under way for a regular dance night with a deejay and café night with an open mike for poetry recitations similar to those of the Beat generation in the 1950s. The twins are also contemplating offering guitar lessons and art classes for children.
The sisters grew up on Wind ‘n Sea Beach in La Jolla. They lived in New York for several years, working in the fashion industry, prior to returning home.
“We are drawn to the relaxed, natural vibe of North County,” DeGranzio explained. “Cardiff is a quintessential surf town community — perfect for a surf art gallery.”
The sisters say the name of their community center was inspired by their mother, who used to tell them at sunset to “look for the green flash.”
In August, Marta Karwowska joined the team at Green Flash, handling sales and assisting with the production of art shows and events. Often a portion of sales go to charities such as Greenpeace.
Currently on exhibit is Green Flash’s first yoga art show titled, “Transpire.”
Green Flash is located at 111 Chesterfield in Cardiff. For more information, visit greenflashartshop.com or greenflashartshop.tumblr.com or call (858) 342-3031.

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  1. local engineer-hipi says:

    500 guests!?! at Chesterfield and 101? What’s that, 400 cars?!?
    Let me guess…
    perhaps the parking problems that crowd out locals and block emergency vehicles that are so bad we recently had to hold a workshop on how to solve them – we heard they were not always there, but when they were they were horrendous…
    Perhaps our party-giving gals have been a source of this…
    How can the City provide a license and permission in a small local community for a business that is going to so adversely impact our quality life? Did they or the girls consider creating provisions and minimal impact requirements (‘take public transport or walk/bike’)?
    Please gals, tell us how you are not turning us into Orange Co.?

  2. local engineer-hipi says:

    [moderator: please remove prev comment, it has errors]
    500 guests!?! at Chesterfield and San Elijo? What’s that, 400 cars?!?
    Let me guess…
    The parking problems that crowd out locals and block emergency vehicles… that are so bad we recently had to hold a workshop on how to solve them… that we heard they were not always there, but when they were they were horrendous…
    Perhaps our party-giving gals have been one source of this…?
    How can the City provide a license and permission in a small local community for a business that is going to so adversely impact our quality life? (oh, yeah, Stocks’ fake ‘community park’ (regional sports facility))
    Did the City or the girls consider creating provisions and minimal impact requirements (‘take public transport or walk/bike’)?
    Please gals, tell us how you are not turning us into Orange Co.?

  3. local engineer-hipi says:

    [moderator: please remove prev 2 comments, they have errors]
    500 guests!?! at Chesterfield and San Elijo? What’s that, 400 cars?!?
    Let me guess…
    The parking problems that crowd out locals and block emergency vehicles… that are so bad we recently had to hold a workshop on how to solve them… we heard they were not always there, but when they are they are horrendous…
    Perhaps our party-giving gals have been one source of this…?
    How can the City provide a license and permission in a small local community for a business that is going to so adversely impact our quality life? (oh, yeah, Stocks’ fake ‘community park’ (regional sports facility))
    Did the City or the girls consider creating provisions and minimal impact requirements (‘take public transport or walk/bike’)?
    Please gals, tell us how you are not turning us into Orange Co.?

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