A Brighter World is a name you can take literally after stepping into this multicolored, eye-popping shop.
It's downtown’s newest and only do-it-yourself tie-dye store where the customer can get as downright bright with their project as they wish or leave the entire process up to the professional himself, owner Jeremy Carlson.
Entering the brightly-colored store on Walnut Street is like looking through a prism, going to a Grateful Dead show or watching the scene in the Wizard of Oz when Dorothy lands over the rainbow.
Carlson's resume is all day glo: He did tie-dye at festivals since 1987 and followed the Grateful Dead for nine years and 350 shows in a row. Before and after concerts he sold the clothes that are to Deadheads what Brooks Brothers is to a New York lawyer.
Then he came back to earth at UCSC where he got degrees in international politics and women's studies in 1999.
This year, he decided to combine do-it-yourself and small business, a combo that has worked for potters and scrapbookers, but was untried for tie-dye.
“It really seemed like it was good for me and I am good for it,” said Carlson.
Customers can bring in and dye their own clothing or choose from a selection of 100 percent prewashed cotton items for sale. He also sells tie-dyed stuffed animals and larger ready-to-dye or already dyed products including curtains, towels, table clothes, and pillow cases.
Some of his favorites are Converse sneakers, Stetson hats, chef's jackets and aprons (popular because they camouflage stains).
“You could get red wine and blood on them at the same time and they would come clean and won’t even leave an outline of the stain," he said.
One big selling point are his tie-dye parties for kids, which are free for the birthday child and start at $10 for the other kids who dye what they want as part of the celebration. There is a separate room for cake and ice cream.
He's also hosting parties for adults who can create colorful shirts, hoodies, bandanas or bucket hats for prices ranging from $10-$60.
“The price is the same whether you do it or not," said Carlton. “The only thing is that you get to learn how to do it.”
People have brought in socks, leggings, dresses, yoga pants, and even shoe laces.
A Brighter World is at 119 Walnut St. at 831-469-4393 (831-HOW-I-DYE) or www.ComeTieDye.com