When it comes to high-quality linens and towels, Martha Smith Fine Linens in La Jolla carries only the best. Brands such as Scandia and Matouk Milagro top the line of goods. Storeowner Michele Babcock is the San Diego dealer for Scandia down bedding, and sateen and percale sheets. In addition to Scandia, Babcock also selects her bedding from 10 other high-end sheet vendors, including Matouk Milagro of Portugal, maker of Egyptian cotton sheets (sateen and percale), throws and baby blankets. Matouk also makes the finest of towels that provide fluffy, soft, cotton absorbency. Matouk towels are well known for their zero-twist yarn that helps prevent snagging.
“While Matouk offers about 12 different brightly colored towels, white and ivory are still the most popular choices for both towels and sheets from all the makers,” Babcock said, “I stock the most popular sheets in the shop, but I can order any maker’s colors, prints and monograms for customers.”
Martha Smith Fine Linens also offers luxury women’s sleepwear, including pajamas, nightgowns, robes and slippers suited for the taste of her clients in the 40-70 age range. Babcock features the luxuriously comfortable French brands Marigot, Canat and Teccia, Calida, and the Canadian line Frou Frou. Her shop also carries lush robes by Kashwére in pastels and natural tones.
At several tradeshows each year, Babcock said she shops for cotton, linen and silk pajamas and nightgowns in the colors and prints she likes (lighter colors in the spring, warmer tones in the winter) and “with both my blonde and brunette customers in mind,” she said.
Her shop’s collection of decorative bathroom accessories features cosmetic bags, tissue boxes, soap pumps, wastebaskets, picture frames and mirrors. Gift items include Supracor mitt scrubbers, luscious triple-milled Mistral soaps, and fragrant lotions, bubble baths, room sprays and body and home scents from Antica Farmacista.
Babcock said that when she purchased the shop from the original founder Susan Richardson in 2006, she brought 25 years of retail experience working for Sak Fifth Avenue to Martha Smith Fine Linens. Richardson opened the shop in 2000 and named it after her grandmother who gave her a love for fine linen.