Dressed for Adventure

July 2024 View more

By Jeff Banowetz

In downtown Naperville, Trails & Tides pairs fashionable with functional for outdoor lifestylers

Inside Trails & Tides

It was nearly 40 years ago that entrepreneur Loren Beadle made his first trip to—and fell in love with—the South Carolina coast. He was captivated by the city of Charleston, the beautiful beaches, and the natural terrain of Kiawah Island—so it should come as no surprise that his Naperville store, Trails & Tides (120 Water St.), reflects that Southern charm and love of the outdoors. “We were wowed from that first visit,” says Beadle, who spent the first two decades of his career in retail consulting. “Kiawah Island wasn’t developed much then, but we would see it grow into what it’s become now.”

Beadle contributed to that growth by opening his first outdoor store on the island 19 years ago. He and his wife, Amy, who lived in Wheaton and raised their daughters there, eventually began splitting their time between Kiawah and the western suburbs. When Naperville’s Water Street Development was founded, he saw the opportunity to debut his first location in the area. “When we first opened [in October 2016], the store was called Southern Tide, and it carried basically that one brand of apparel,” Beadle says. “They’re based in Greenville, South Carolina, and we had become pretty close to that company. We would eventually bring in Patagonia, Yeti, and a few other brands, and that’s when we rebranded as Trails & Tides,” he says. “Our view now is that we’re half trails, half tides. Think of us as featuring coastal lifestyle products.”

Trails & Tides also recently added Free Fly, an apparel company focusing on fly fishing. “They’re smaller—nowhere near the size of a Patagonia or even Southern Tide. They’re based in Charleston and have some really nice products. We carried it in [our South Carolina stores] first and then brought it to Naperville. That seems to work well for us—trying things on Kiawah and then bringing them to Naperville once proven.”

Outside Trails & Tides

He’s content to keep the number of brands the store offers relatively small, focusing most on quality. “We’re happy with our brand mix,” he says. “We love the quality of our two large suppliers and the smaller ones we’ve picked up. These are not cheap products that you’re going to find elsewhere. It’s wardrobe-quality, outdoor-lifestyle apparel.”

The store focuses on clothing for men and women, not kids. While dog-friendly—employees put a water bowl outside daily for dog walkers—it stocks limited pet products. “Southern Tide makes a dog bowl, and Patagonia makes a dog leash and collar, but that’s about it,” he says. “We carry those, but we’re not a pet store.” You’ll also find some (human) footwear, sunglasses, hats, scarves, coolers, bags, drinkware, and other accessories.

Trails & Tides isn’t the Beadles’ only business on Water Street. Loren and Amy also own SixtyFour Wine Bar & Kitchen, which they opened after years of enjoying wine as a hobby. “It was always something that we liked, and we started collecting wines and visiting wineries,” Beadle says. “After we established the outdoor stores, we thought it would be fun to work with wine. We’re lucky that we’ve been able to work on things that make us happy.”

That includes continuing to split time between the Naperville and the South Carolina coast. “We’re able to take advantage of the best of both worlds,” he says.


Photos: Jen Banowetz