201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832


201 E Chapman Ave, Fullerton, CA 92832



Vintage clothing store promotes sustainability, local art
Pictured from left to right: Co-founder Denise MacLean, CJ MacLean, Nicholas Pigeon, Gloria Ignacio, and Co-founder Dell Ignacio. (Photo courtesy of Elenora Waisanen)

For three decades, Denise MacLean and Dell Ignacio had front-row seats to Downtown Fullerton’s transformation into a diverse enclave and emerging creative scene.

Good friends and business partners, they decided to pave their own way and co-founded Unity Salon in Villa Del Sol in 1994.

“Fullerton is an amazing community,” Ignacio said. “It has a nice balance between artistic and traditional, and the people here are open-minded.”

Co-founder Denise MacLean wants The Collective to give back to local artists in the community. (Photo courtesy of Elenora Waisanen)

After the COVID-19 pandemic, MacLean and Ignacio noticed how empty the commercial area had become. Local artists and small businesses were suffering financially as a result of the quarantine. The activities that once got people venturing outside and made downtown feel alive, like Fullerton Art Walk and the Thursday Farmers’ Market, were being swapped for stay-at-home sweatpants and online shopping. 

MacLean and Ignacio envisioned a space that would revitalize Fullerton’s artistic community as well as welcome people of all ages. What better way to get people more excited, they thought, than gently-used clothes. In November 2023, The Collective was launched as a boutique offering vintage and “pre-loved” clothing and gift items.

Nicholas Pigeon, a Santa Ana College fashion student and musician, has lended his multi-talents to the boutique by helping source the clothes, becoming “master curator.” 

MacLean and Ignacio share their vision with MacLean’s partner, sales entrepreneur CJ MacLean, whom they affectionately refer to as “lord promoter.” MacLean has been organizing events, such as a chocolate and wine pairing, to generate traffic inside the store. Their vision soon became The Collective.

“We collectively want to create a space as a resource for the artistic community,” CJ MacLean said. 

“We were all cooped up due to COVID, so now I think people are really coming out of the woodwork and enjoying being together,” Ignacio said. “People can always shop online because it is convenient, but when they come to The Collective we want to create an experience that really engages them and makes them feel a part of the community.” 

Ignacio gives credit to her talented team which includes Christine Yarber, CJ MacLean’s sister, who helped curate the space as chief designer. Ignacio’s partner, Gloria Ignacio, spearheaded The Collective’s social media earning her the moniker “lady media.”

The Collective, which shares a door with the adjacent space, Unity Salon, soon expanded to offer one-of-a-kind goods from different countries around the world. 

Nicholas Pigeon, a fashion student from Santa Ana College, helps source the clothes. (Photo courtesy of Elenora Waisanen)

“Through a lot of research we’ve been able to connect with different vendors who have ethical practices we believe in,”  Denise MacLean said. “We try to support small businesses within the States, particularly female and minority-owned businesses.” 

These items often are handmade and sustainable, while promoting a good cause like gift bags made from recycled newspapers from India. The proceeds of these giftbag sales will go towards financing the housing and education of homeless youth in India. 

Showcasing sustainably conscious clothing and handmade goods, The Collective seeks to plug into the charms that make Downtown Fullerton unique.

“It is the experience we are looking to cultivate,” said CJ MacLean.

In fact, thanks to CJ MacLean’s efforts, The Collective will host local artist Michael McGinn’s work at Unity Salon on March 1. In the future, The Collective plans to be part of Fullerton Art Walk in March and wants to provide artists in the community a space to sell or share their work. 

The Collective is located at 305 N. Harbor Blvd, Suite 105 in Fullerton. Mon-Sun 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. You can also follow them on instagram @thecollectivebyunity


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