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Now Open: Zouk Los Angeles

Zouk is the tale of two sisters… having only the best of times. Jenny Best and Katharina Tagliaferro, two Swedes with purpose and pizzazz, have always loved traveling together to far off places. Based in Los Angeles, and Australia, respectively, Jenny and Katharina’s love for travel, artistry, and charitable pursuits inspired them to open their truly unique new boutique, Zouk Los Angeles.

Zouk can, of course, be found on Montana Ave., Santa Monica’s Mecca of the marvelous and unusual. The store itself is almost like a portal or a magic wardrobe that transports you to exotic lands filled to the brim with the finest goods from each corner of the world…  Moroccan candles, Turkish towels, Indian pillows, Peruvian alpaca wools, Portuguese ceramics, Thai ice buckets, Swedish jewelry and art… And that’s just a fraction of the bevy of goods found at Zouk. Vintage wares abound, as well as revamped and recycled fabrics, mirrors, and Persian rugs. Plus the shelves of the spacious store are made with re-purposed scaffolding planks. So cool.

Everything in the store is a one-of-a kind gift for someone special. It’s your choice if you tell the recipient you just got back from a trip to Thailand, or clue them in on your new find in sunny Santa Monica. I vote the latter, of course, because it’d be good karma to share this place.

The best part of Zouk, however, is charity. For every item that you purchase, Zouk will donate 3% of the selling price to a charity of your choice. Inspired by international, national, or local causes? Zouk has it all on its charity list—Green Peace, World Food Program, Heal the Bay, and Ocean Park Community Center—beautifully inscribed on the enormous chalkboard above the register. Chic and philanthropic.

Here’s the thing about Zouk—I want to live there. Seriously, I want to bring my laptop and lounge the day away on their lush couches and cushions with imported pillows, in one of their baby-soft bathrobes. With portraits and fabulous artwork adorning the walls, and cases of fantastic ethno-awesome jewelry… what more could you ask?

So next time you find yourself meandering along Montana and you wander into Zouk, and you see a funny brunette girl smelling the bath salts on the coffee table, and reading Luxe Guide books about Singapore and Indonesia—that’d be me. I’m a fan.

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Zouk Los Angeles
(310) 260-1230
1311 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, CA 90403

About the Author, Annie
Annie is a recording artist/writer who delights in personal alchemy, whimsy, & quantum physics. She can often be found drinking tea, eating cake, or changing the world. She blogs about the delicacies of daily life in the city of angels at www.cityofannie.com

All pictures taken by Buy Local Market photographer, Da Xu.

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Now Open: Stacia

I am always on the lookout for the new and beautiful—you might call me a fashion sleuth—and there’s nothing I love more than a new clothing boutique. Boutiques are so much more personal and welcoming than big department stores. They are like the indie-bookstore to a big Barnes and Noble.

So, surely, you can imagine my delight when I walked into Stacia, which just opened last month, perfectly situated just off Montana Ave. It’s bright, airy, and cheery—a perfect light, white canvas to showcase its vibrantly colored sensuous clothing. With gladiolas on the center table, and turquoise lanterns and green apples as accents, you feel like you’re walking into a well-designed zen beach lounge, that just happens to have silky soft clothing all around you.

Equally as delightful is that all of Stacia’s clothing is made from sustainable fibers, and most is made from 100% bamboo, which is washable—no dry-cleaning!—and can last for at least 3-5 years if cared for properly. (Who’d have thought the food of pandas could make such a soft, luxurious knit? I was in tactile heaven!)

The mastermind behind Stacia is, of course, someone named Stacy. Stacy Johnson, a true islander at heart—she was raised both in Hawaii and Alaska, creates what she describes as a “1970s surf culture, beach aesthetic… retro, but contemporary” line. Stacy’s no stranger to the world of fashion—Stacia has been in business since 1999, as a successful global wholesale business, selling to over 300 stores.

Stacy came to Santa Monica for a better quality of life after the birth of her first child. Now, a mother of three, Stacy and her family love being close to the beach, plus, now she finds herself right smack dab in the middle of her clientele. In Santa Monica, every day her target customer is walking down the street, unlike New York, where she had been living, where easy, breezy beachwear isn’t as commonplace.

Stacia is primarily known for its rich colors and fibers. Each piece has a unique pattern due to the space dye technique used for the line. Depending on how the pattern falls, sometimes a piece comes out with a stripe, chevron, or diamond effect.

The beauty of Stacy’s designs is that they are über-versatile. You can layer, layer, layer… You can pair ‘em with jeans just as well as a bikini. Her dresses are perfect for a lazy, Sunday afternoon at the beach, or dressed up with boots for an evening soirée.

Another major perk of Stacy’s new boutique is that she has pieces that you can’t find anywhere else… samples and/or tops that are discontinued, and there’s even a basket of the softest babies duds I’ve ever seen that you can only find at the store. Meaning you can get a one-of-a-kind piece, and usually at a lower price. Aloha!

I love Santa Monica, and evidently… so does Stacy.

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Special Offer: Mention ‘Buy Local’ and get 10% off at Stacia through the end of the week.

Stacia
(310) 393-7100
808 11th Street, Santa Monica, CA

About the Author, Annie
Annie is a recording artist/writer who delights in personal alchemy, whimsy, & quantum physics. She can often be found drinking tea, eating cake, or changing the world. She blogs about the delicacies of daily life in the city of angels at www.cityofannie.com

All pictures taken by Da Xu for Buy Local Market.