Sugar and spice fill shelves of new boutique


Artist Jenny Grumbles has branched out into interior design with the opening of Uptown Country Home.

The 540-square-foot specialty shop at 933 Silverado St. carries a plethora of items including decorative furniture and accessories. The store bills itself as having one-of-a-kind decorating pieces and “small accents that make a big difference.”

Grumbles’ shop is a California-style, beach cottage mix. Gracing her walls are Grumbles’ own impressionist-style acrylic paintings that feature loose brush strokes emphasizing light and color.

“It’s my passion for home decorating,” said Grumbles about her new shop, which she characterized as “very girly.”

Among the many items carried in Uptown Country are linens, candles, hand bags, chandeliers, rugs and lots of accessories. There is even a baby section and a tabletop section.

Grumbles refers to her inventory, which she finds rummaging through flea markets and antique stores, as trash to treasure.

“I definitely have something for everyone,” she said, “from $2 to $2,000. People can come in and get a little gift or they can order a king-size bed.”

The idea behind Uptown Country is to spotlight a hybrid form of interior design. “It’s definitely a mixture,” she said, “of beach cottage and feminine, girly chic.”

Grumbles comes by her vocation naturally. “It’s hereditary. I was raised by by mom and grandmom who were both crafters.”

According to Grumbles, her best-selling painting is a work called “Beach Babies.”

“I definitely needed to have a home decor section that would work well with those paintings,” she said.

Grumbles grew up in Southern California but spent summers and her college years in Dallas and Atlanta. She obtained a degree in broadcast journalism and studio art from Southern Methodist University. Since then, in addition to opening Uptown Country Home, she has painted and founded J. Grumbles Studio. Her work is represented in art galleries and stores in Atlanta, Dallas, Newport Beach, Palm Springs, Laguna Niguel, San Diego and Balboa Island.

Uptown Country’s grand opening was April 16.

So far, the best-selling items at the boutique have been antiques. Customers like the homespun quality of the merchandise, much of which is made by Grumbles’ mother who lives in Dallas and makes things like pillows or decoupage prints.

“She can make you anything you want,” said Grumbles, whose mother’s designs are marketed under the label Frantiques.

Uptown Country carries two lines of furniture that customers can order in any style or color.

“People can come in here and say, ‘I need a red armoir,’ ” Grumbles said. “And I can give them a red armoir. I can find it for them.”

Grumbles said she did her homework before getting into business, spending about a year writing a business plan, lining up financing and finding a suitable site.

“I definitely wanted to be an an upscale, boutiquey area,” she said. “This was the perfect spot.”

She also likes the hometown feel of La Jolla. “Everyone who comes in is a friend.”

The new boutique’s logo is “Love your home.”

“That’s the big thing,” said Grumbles. “I want everyone to be able to be in their house and love it, like I love it here, love everything about the floors, the furniture and the walls. I want to be able to accommodate everyone who wants to love their home in the way they want to.”

Uptown’s hours are 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.

For more information, call (858) 456-4483.