Coronado even has their own city flag, which showcases “The Crown City” in bright gold letters.
It’s like a right of passage for those living on the Peninsula to boast unapologetically about their town. It’s a way to establish individuality from downtown and each coastal town basks in the rays of its own culture. And Point Loma is no exception, being one of Southern California’s most historic areas.
But when Terrence Barthel moved to Point Loma three years ago, he noticed that the neighborhoods’ stickers and other signifiers were in short supply. In fact, they hardly existed at all.
“These things seem small, but they really give a town a sense of place and it was something Point Loma was missing,” said Barthel. “I thought to myself, “How do you take a special place that has all this amazing culture and build an identity for it that pays tribute to all the history and charm?”
That’s when Barthel decided to create Point Loman, an apparel and merchandise company focused on nourishing the community and rich culture of Point Loma. From T-shirts and hoodies to embroidered hats and even navy blue flags, Point Loman’s Peh El emblem is at the center of it all.
Barthel, who officially launched Point Loman this past February, drew his inspiration for the uniquely paired “P” and “L” logo from Point Loma’s coastal geography and maritime history. The colors represent Point Loma’s historic lighthouse and marina. The name, Peh El, pays tribute to the town’s Portuguese heritage and language’s pronunciation of the two letters.
“To be able to show your pride for where you live is important,” said Barthel, a Minnesota native who majored in history at Bethel University. “This emblem represents Point Loma’s most iconic features and my hope is that it, in a small way, preserves its past.”
But Barthel’s company is also working to preserve Point Loma’s future. Barthel created a Peh El sticker designed for cars, surfboards and the like. For every sticker sold, Point Loman donates $1 to the Village Anchor Lights Project, the Point Loma Association’s newest undertaking. To create a family-friendly heart of the Peninsula, PLA is planning a canopy of lights to be draped across two blocks of Rosecrans between Talbot and Cañon streets.
“Terrence is an impressive, talented young man who loves Point Loma and wants to help make it the best it can be – a mission he shares with our all-volunteer association,” said Clark Anthony Burlingame, PLA’s vice-chair. “As some of us turn gray, we need younger members, like Terrence, to continue the efforts.”
Barthel, now a PLA committee member and owner of a fast-growing company, first fell in love with Point Loma when he and his now wife had their first date at Sunset Cliffs. Barthel says he was captivated by Point Loma almost instantly and knew it would someday be where he called home.
“When you talk to someone who lives in Point Loma – and a lot of these families have for generations –there’s always this sense of ‘Why would we live anywhere else? It’s beautiful in every way,’” said Barthel. “Having my own attachment to the community makes me want to be involved and help it progress and stay just as beautiful as it always has. Soon, I hope to see many Point Loman flags flying high.”
Peh El stickers, T-shirts and flags may be purchased at pointloman.com.