Mark McDermott

Wicked+: Hermosa Beach’s accidental retail store [GIFT GUIDE]

Wicked+: Hermosa Beach’s accidental retail store [GIFT GUIDE]

Brian and Colin Cooley are accidental retailers. Wicked+ General Store, the brothers’ storefront on upper Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach, began as an office for their marketing and PR firm. The brothers were formerly based in Atlanta. They fell in love with the South Bay, and Hermosa particularly, on frequent business trips to the LA […]

 Ed Pilolla

Hermosa Beach Soap Company: A passion for soap [GIFT GUIDE]

Hermosa Beach Soap Company: A passion for soap [GIFT GUIDE]

Kara Keller began her own handmade soap company in the wake of the sudden death of her mother Sandy Keller three and a half years ago. “You spend too much time at work to not really love what you are doing,” Keller said. “Life is too short.” Keller enrolled in a beauty and fragrance program […]

 Ed Pilolla

Gum Tree: Blooming with handmade gifts [GIFT GUIDE]

Gum Tree: Blooming with handmade gifts [GIFT GUIDE]

Lori Ford and her husband Will owned and operated a restaurant and bar in New York City that was open until 4 a.m. But Ford, who grew up in Manhattan Beach, always wanted to have a store on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach.

 Esther Kang

ARTOLOGY: Cupcake beanies for babies [GIFT GUIDE]

ARTOLOGY: Cupcake beanies for babies [GIFT GUIDE]

It was the summer of 2007 and Carol Paden had recently lost her corporate job. She was five months pregnant with her second child. “It was during the time that cupcakes were really in, with Sprinkles coming out and everything was cupcake, cupcake, cupcake,” explained Paden, a Manhattan Beach resident and mother of three. So […]

 Esther Kang

Kate & Oli: Cards with a kick

Kate & Oli: Cards with a kick

About a year ago, Katie Hanson was looking through a book about sea life with a little boy she was babysitting when they came across a particular blue starfish called Linckia. “And the kid just kept saying, ‘Aw, the Linckia are in love,’” Hanson, 27, recalled with a smile. Any other babysitter would have tousled […]

 Ed Pilolla

Bamboo Sunglasses: Going green in shades [GIFT GUIDE]

Bamboo Sunglasses: Going green in shades [GIFT GUIDE]

Jonas Musson came up with the idea of bamboo sunglasses about three years ago when he noticed a line of sunglasses made from exotic woods. “I thought it was a great idea, but I was surprised the company was using exotic woods, instead of something more environmentally friendly,” Musson said. “I am not an eco-extremist, […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Writer finds new life in his hands- Potter Ron Arias

Writer finds new life in his hands- Potter Ron Arias

Ron Arias, a 71-year-old L.A native and world traveler, has his own Wikipedia page. A former People magazine journalist, Arias spent most of his life chasing heavy-hitting stories of struggle, celebrity and triumph. He is most famous for his stories of survival and for traversing many of the most dangerous areas of the world. He […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Time warp with trains- Model Train Workshop

Time warp with trains- Model Train Workshop

Santiago Aulet has been a train modeler his entire life and eventually worked building train models for the movie industry. Now, he spreads his knowledge of tracks, trains and towns to others interested in getting involved in the small-scaled hobby. A Redondo Beach resident, Aulet started “Model Train Workshop” in 2012 in response to a […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Spring rings- Amaloa “So Unique” boutique

Spring rings- Amaloa “So Unique” boutique

Amaloa Bonvecchio, a highly-acclaimed fashion designer from Venezuela, moved to the South Bay from a life of high-couture Miami fashion in 2011. She took her knowledge of catwalk fashion and translated that to a small unique workshop, gallery and boutique centered on one-of-a-kind natural pieces. Recently she sat down for a creative work session and […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Shag carpets inspire smooth ride- Shaggo skateboards

Shag carpets inspire smooth ride- Shaggo skateboards

Founded in 2009, Shaggo Skateboards takes the rolling experience of a board to another level with the added comfort of colorful carpet-topped boards. Company founder Jeff Atkinson made a carpet board for himself when he was a kid, and three decades later did the same thing for his kids. “The neighbors said, ‘Where can I […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Signs bring beach close to home- South Bay insignias

Signs bring beach close to home- South Bay insignias

Bryce Toney and Genna Boatright know how to recycle. Toney, the owner of “Curious…” in Hermosa Beach, who is also a furniture maker and wood wielder, often found his workshop littered with extra pieces of wood. He didn’t want to waste them, so he brought them to his shop. Boatright knew just what to do […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Hammitt bejeweled- Vintage inspired bling

Hammitt bejeweled- Vintage inspired bling

When Stephenie Hammitt, the founder of locally-based handbag line Hammitt Los Angeles, saw a vintage bracelet a friend found at an antique store in Georgia, the wheels started turning in her head. She borrowed the bracelet and inspiration started flowing for a new jewelry line to complement her popular rivet-styled handbags. “I just loved how […]

 Chelsea Schreiber

Denim made for men- Deep Pocket Jeans

Denim made for men- Deep Pocket Jeans

While working together, they found themselves chatting about jeans, denim and the lack of a quality shopping experience for men. During the conversation, Mercer asked Borgatta, “Why don’t they make jeans for men? Real, American-made jeans with deep pockets?”

 Chelsea Schreiber

Sculpture molds minds- Ocean-themed chess set

Sculpture molds minds- Ocean-themed chess set

Chess set maker Suzi Dalmau began sculpting in 1999 as a way to leave her computer-focused sales representative job behind and get more involved in the real world. Her sculpting skills expanded from clay sculptures and plaster castings of her sculptures to foundry cast bronze and cold cast bronze work.