August 5, 2013
If there’s one thing the West Coast is good at, it’s making things from scratch. Visit Los Angeles and you’ll find the DIY movement has hit it big here, and even in a city where high-profile brands are revered, it’s the small-scale artisans who are gaining hype. Discover artisan Los Angeles with these five excellent boutiques. Showcasing the best handmade products by local artists, they offer eveything from jewellery and candles to organic toiletries and household goods.
Founded by a collective of independent designers and jewellery makers, Artisan LA provides a place for crafters to sell their products to the public on a scale that’s manageable. Over a dozen local designers are currently represented, including Dewi Designs, who sell earrings stitched from metallic threads, and Erica Clum, whose eccentric pieces incorporate keys and other uncommon shapes.
Artisan L.A., 4649 Russell Avenue, Los Angeles
Spitfire Girl began with a small idea: Kristin Schroder, now the founder and owner of the shop, began by making handcrafted wooden invitations for her children’s birthday parties. The concept grew bigger and soon she had developed a business around her one-of-a-kind creations. Now, Spitfire Girl sells her work as well as pieces by other Angeleno artists and designers both online and in its Los Feliz storefront. Items range from cheeky small-scale sculptures to printed flasks and everything in between.
Spitfire Girl, 1939 1/2 Hillhurst Avenue, Los Angeles
Representing over 125 local and national artists, Co-Op 28 Handmade is a temple to all things handcrafted. On offer are items as diverse as organic soaps, hand-thrown and -glazed mugs, and gold earrings moulded in the shape of shark teeth. As a bonus, a number of recycled vintage items are also available, from dresses and shoes to manual typewriters.
Co-op 28 Handmade, 1728 North Vermont Avenue, Los Angeles
Much-beloved Silver Lake-based Sumi’s was founded back in 2005 as a way for owner Sumi Siegel to sell her mother’s line of handmade purses and bags. Since then, the boutique has expanded to include scarves, flower vases, porcelain tea candle holders, and now, even its own line of jewellery; Emma Lou by Sumi’s.
Sumi’s, 3204 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
The super stylish ReForm School, founded by two friends with a passion for local and sustainable design, is practically a museum of local artists’ work. From hand-thrown stoneware plates by local potters to teakwood and tobacco scented soy candles, the items in this inventory make for perfect gifts. And if you’ve got the blues at the end of your trip, consider picking up a “My Heart Is In Los Angeles” mini print to tide you over until your next holiday.
ReForm School, 3902 West Sunset Boulevard, Los Angeles
Header photo: A selection of handcrafted jewellery pieces from Artisan LA © Artisan LA
Are you a DIY fan? Have you ever shopped at these handmade boutiques in Los Angeles? Or do you have any different places to share?
Written by Claire Bullen