Thus far, 2017 seems to be good for business in La Jolla, with jewelry stores, nail salons, interior design firms and art galleries (to name a few) opening from Bird Rock to The Village. Here’s the lowdown on a few:
Under new management
Ligne Roset: KAZ Design Group, an American-based company specializing in interior design and architecture, acquired La Jolla’s Ligne Roset interior design store in January at 7726 Girard Ave. and is building a Poliform showroom within the showroom.
“We focus on residential, commercial and hotel/resort developments. Our company offers a vast variety of products of the highest quality in interior and exterior furniture, kitchens, closets, doors, baths and lighting,” said Amir Kazerani. “KAZ Design Group came in a few months ago, we purchased the existing Ligne Roset business and we are adding Poliform to our inventory. A few months down the line, we are going to add a bathroom line. We want to create a one-stop shop to purchase our products and see the (interior design) services we offer. We can do everything from doors, flooring, knows, fixtures, closets, etc.”
Ligne Roset offers interior design assistance, and Kazerani said several designers and architects bring their clients because of the firm’s “modern, contemporary, very functional and sophisticated aesthetic.” (858) 876-2138 or ligne-roset.com/us
iNails/Perfect 10: Perfect 10 Nails, formerly iNails salon at 7523 Fay Ave., opened in January next to the Vons parking lot. With the takeover comes a more upscale experience and spa services. “My girlfriend and I were looking for a good upscale location for a salon. She previously had experience in Vail, Colorado, which is a similar clientele to La Jolla,” owner Bruce Mitchell explained. “So we’re offering the same basic services that were there before, but we’re adding more spa-type experiences with our treatments, such as more massage options and scrubs.”
Specialty services such as facials, eyelash extensions, eyebrow tinting and permanent makeup are available by appointment only. A descriptive website with services and prices will be live “any day now” at lajollanails.com
Timeless Treasures: When Suzanne Deeb Naboulsi — La Jolla resident and environmental scientist-turned-jewelry designer — acquired Timeless Treasures fine jewelry at 7703 Fay Ave. in January, it was a dream come true. She said she always wanted a jewelry business, but the circumstances were never quite right. That all changed this year.
“My family moved to La Jolla after my son was accepted to The Bishop’s School … I would eat at The Cottage restaurant (across the street) and would look at this store and thought about buying it. A month after we moved here, this business became available for sale … and I didn’t even think twice about it,” she said.
The store now carries a diamond collection, gold collection, Italian-inspired pieces, custom jewelry options, and offers jewelry and watch repair, cleaning and polishing, stone matching and restringing of beads.
Timeless Treasures is also the exclusive carrier of a jewelry line by Nina Nguyen. “She deals with all natural stones,” said Deeb Naboulsi. “She takes the stone and does not change its features in any way. She casts the metal casing to fit the edges of the stone and doesn’t smooth the stone to fit the casing. Sometimes, with a pair of earrings, they will be slightly different and I like that. It’s quite beautiful.” (858) 454-1929. timelesstreasuresjewelrystore.com
The newest addition to the La Plaza La Jolla shopping center is Brilliant Earth jewelry store, which sells ethically-sourced bridal and fine jewelry. The store is open by appointment and for walk-ins, beginning April 7.
Brilliant Earth San Diego showroom manager Jesse Strot said, “Our mission revolves around making the jewelry industry as transparent as we can and fostering change toward a more ethical culture. We go beyond the Kimberley Process (an initiative to stop the sale of diamonds from sources that financially support violence by rebel movements) and make sure diamonds and gems come from sources that adhere to fair labor practices.”
A portion of Brilliant Earth profits goes to countries impacted by the diamond trade, and funds educational and environmental causes in Africa and other areas. The store will provide a variety of jewelry types — rings, necklaces, bracelets — at a variety of price points. Pieces can also be custom made.
Said Strot of the decision to come to La Jolla, “San Diegans, in general, are socially-conscious people, and the La Jolla mindset meshed well with our mission. Having a store here is a great fit for the brand.” 1 (800) 691-0952. brilliantearth.com
Gracie James Artful Living
For Gracie James, owner of Gracie James Artful Living, spreading the word about local and international artists is of the utmost importance. Her 7938 Herschel Ave. storefront offers interior design services, home décor items, clothing and jewelry.
“I had a business 10 years ago, and everything was kept very secret. Now it’s the opposite, people want to know everything and share everything,” she said. “I love telling them about the items, what they’re made out of, who made them, where they’re made. We have a sweater in stock right now (and the sale of those sweaters) helps villagers in Peru live a happy life. I love telling people about things like that. I like to educate through representing these artists and sharing that knowledge.”
The store has been open since late 2016 and offers specialty items by a select pool of artists. “I bring them and their work in and showcase their pieces. If someone came in and had a blank space in their house, they could purchase something from our showroom or we could connect them with the artist who would create a custom design for them,” James said.
“If someone is looking for something different … there are so many things you can find here. I’m not trying to be everything to everyone, but collectively, we have some beautiful things,” she said, adding that she chose La Jolla for her store, because “The Village has its own little, very special type of community. I love all the stores here and the locals. I shopped in La Jolla for many years and always loved the weather, the people and the tourist presence.” (858) 291-8041. graciejames.com
During the five years the PROGRESS home-goods store was open in San Diego’s South Park neighborhood, it was considered a local favorite. It has several great reviews online (some expressing disappointment at its closure), with one reviewer calling it “Anthropologie meets West Elm.”
Owner Bruce Jaynes closed the previous location in 2015, and is opening a new location at 5648 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock on April 1.
“I was born and raised in Pacific Beach, so I know Bird Rock well,” he said. “It is a very well established retail area. The shops here are fantastic. There are great anchor stores, and I can add to the experience without stepping on anyone’s toes, because nobody in Bird Rock is doing what I do.”
He describes his offerings as “Mid-century mixed with a Scandinavian influence.” They include cards, gifts, books, bags, blankets, décor, furniture, candles, soaps and more, at an accessible price point. Jaynes said gifts start at $10.
“My hope is this would be the go-to place for gifts, and a place for the community to shop and hang out,” he said. The store will be open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. (858) 291-8040. progressbirdrock.com
La Jolla Louvre gallery
To highlight the labor-intensive oil paintings of artist Josh Serafin and surfboard artist Shanna Tweedy, the La Jolla Louvre gallery opened at 7629 Girard Ave. on March 10. “Shanna and I have always loved art, and she’s an incredibly talented artist,” said co-owner U.S. Marine Corps Captain Myles Tweedy. “We were always spending time in La Jolla and seeing what the local artists were doing. We see a lot of fine art in La Jolla … but everything we have here at the gallery is an art form that doesn’t really exist elsewhere.”
Using a method known as reverse-tempered glass painting, Serafin creates ocean-inspired pieces by laying a layer of colored oil on glass, backwards. He lets it dry and then paints another layer. In between, he cleans up the lines or gives the image more definition. He also uses metallic leafing to create an underwater, glistening effect. One piece in the gallery took three months to make, Myles Tweedy said.
Further, Shanna Tweedy’s pop culture- inspired surfboards are also on display. “It’s more of a retro, fun, pop art style. They are still usable surfboards, so people could take them out into the ocean if they want,” she said. Some of the prominently placed surfboards include images of the 1990s cartoon Darkwing Duck and an image of Marilyn Monroe in a Los Angeles Lakers uniform. Shanna also works by commission.
Going forward, the Tweedys would like to “dedicate one wall to local children’s art, maybe have a ‘child of the quarter’ when kids can submit their art and have it hang,” Myles Tweedy said. “If people come in and check it out, they will see that the art Josh is doing is unrivaled and how talented Shanna is,” Myles said.
Gallery hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, closed Monday. (760) 421-7377. lajollalouvre.com
iSweat Lodge opened at 5709 La Jolla Blvd. in Bird Rock in October 2016, to provide a place for infrared heat body wraps and vibration exercises, which owner Kat Pytka says offers “a laundry list of benefits for the body.” The heat-based program helps elevate the body’s internal temperature for calorie burning, detoxification, increased blood circulation and more. The regimen begins with a 10-minute “whole body vibration exercise,” which involves standing on a platform that vibrates, causing the muscles to contract.
“It helps build stability and balance while getting that massage feeling. I incorporate into the sweat lodge experience because it preps the body by warming the muscles and getting the blood flowing,” she said.
Then, participants get tucked into the heat wrap, which is more similar to a sleeping bag than an on-the-skin wrap, and lay down on a table, 50-60 minutes. “The first 30-40 minutes are really warm and cozy, and people think nothing is happening, but then those last 10-20 minutes get more intense,” Pytka said.
In that hour, the body’s core temperature raises, which increases the heart rate for a cardiovascular exercise (without leaving the table) and Pytka said a participant burns 1,200-1,500 calories per session. Other benefits include muscle relaxation, detoxification, lowering blood pressure and soothing arthritis pain.
“People come in for different reasons,” she said. The iSweat Lodge offers different pricing options, including buy-one-get-one free packages and monthly memberships.
A native of the East Coast, Pytka said she chose Bird Rock for its “neighborhood” feeling. “I love north Pacific Beach and the Bird Rock area, being from back East, I’m used to the smaller neighborhoods where everyone knows one another, which you don’t see much of in California,” she said. “I love La Jolla, but Bird Rock has always had this great uniqueness, so I wanted to open here.” Hours are 1-9 p.m. Monday and Thursday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, 8:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, closed Wednesdays. (877) 70-SWEAT. isweatlodge.com
Green Flip Flops
Made in Brazil and sold in Bird Rock, the United States headquarters for Green Flip Flops is at 5719 La Jolla Blvd. The store opened earlier this year. Owners João and Daniela Bailey were not available for comment, but an employee said they chose Bird Rock because they live nearby.
The shoes are 100 percent recyclable, made with soy- and sugar cane-originated renewable plasticizers, with an active grip and slip-resistant sole. The colors and designs are exclusive. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m, Monday-Saturday. Women’s shoes sell for $18, men’s for $20. (858) 210-8209. firstname.lastname@example.org
Gloss Hand Spa
Taking the conventional nail salon experience to the next level, Gloss Hand Spa opened at 7553 Girard Ave. in January. The salon offers conventional services, with add-ons such as hot-stone massage and specialty polish (gel) and packages of combined services. Rather than individual stations, manicures are given at a table and pedicures in deluxe spa chairs, said manager Tu Pham.
“We also have a ‘dry bar’ to dry your hands and feet. We use an air purifier to reduce dust and the chemical smell sometimes found in salons,” he said. “We are the only ones using a nail-polish shaker, so when a polish has been sitting on the shelf for a while, we shake it up so the color is properly mixed. This reduces chipping.”
The salon uses hotel-grade towels kept warm in a temperature-controlled box rather than heated immediately before use. Pham also prides himself on additional sanitation measures, including medical-grade disinfecting equipment for anything that is re-used.
“It’s the same equipment your dentist uses to clean tools,” he said. “We use porcelain bowls rather than plastic because plastic tends to carry more germs. We are very conscious about cleanliness and hygiene.”
The salon also features organic scrubs and lotions bought in small batches. Certain services include a complimentary glass of wine or beer to patrons age 21 and older (served in glasses) and coffee or tea is available in mugs. Salon hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday. (858) 412-4450. glosshandspa.com