Like so many desert transplants, Jeff Witthuhn fell in love with Palm Springs after vacationing here in 2015. By year’s end, he and his partner had relocated permanently and “love, love, love living here.”
With years of retail experience — he started at age 17 folding clothes at the Gap — launching his own store was the next logical step. Peepa’s, recently opened in Palm Springs’ bustling downtown core, is a “lifestyle experience,” he says. “It hits on all the things that I really love: home décor, art, apparel, and greeting cards. I used Instagram to find unique products,” including art by Michael Turchin (Lance Bass’s husband), Coal and Canary candles, and graphic tees from his own private brand, David Mason.
The store name stems from Witthuhn’s childhood in Wisconsin: “When I was a little boy, I couldn’t pronounce my Gs, so I made up nicknames. I called my great-grandpa ‘Peepa.’” Witthuhn was his great-grandparents’ “little sidekick” in their craft workshop, so he vowed to name a store after them one day.
“The most exciting part of starting the business is seeing it come to life,” he says. “From Palm Springs City Hall to the Chamber of Commerce to other local businesses reaching out in support, it’s been a great experience.”
VIDEO: Jeff Witthuhn named his retail busones after his great grandfather.