Arts & Entertainment in South Pasadena

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The resident sleuths at Book'em Mysteries tend to a grand archive of new and used crime and mystery fiction. The friendly staff can assign new case files to eager gumshoes in hardcover ($25–$30) or paperback ($6.95–$15.95) from a wide lineup of authors and presses. Meanwhile, used books ($2–$8) line the shelves with only trace evidence of their previous owners. Readers looking to go further in-depth with their investigations can join one of the store's reading discussion groups, attend the frequent book signings, or search for book ideas in their neighbor's trash.

1118 Mission St
South Pasadena,
CA
US

Paul Mitchell The School - Pasadena offers its students 6,000 square feet of learning. Experienced instructors guide students through every snip, curl, and highlight as they hone their skills sculpting new hairstyles. In addition to styling services, the school offers facials, body waxing, and makeup applications, so clients can look good for daytime jaunts, evening outings, and dates with their pillows.

201 E Bay State St
Alhambra,
CA
US

Signature service: Guitar lessons
Established: 2008
Reservations/Appointments: Required
Staff Size: 1 person
Average Duration of Services: 30–60 minutes
Pro Tip: Students must bring their own guitars.

236 W Main St
Alhambra,
CA
US

All big movements start small, but many would be surprised to learn that Ten Thousand Villages—a nonprofit and retailer with 390 outlets nationwide—began out of a car trunk. In 1946, Edna Ruth Byler started the organization out of her car, taking a name from a quote by Mohandas Gandhi, who said, “India is not to be found in its few cities but in the 700,000 villages.” Her willpower and determination allowed her vision to grow into a nonprofit that today supports more than 130 artisans in 38 developing countries. These artisans' wares go on sale at the organization's nationwide retail outlets, which brim with items including jewelry, home decor, and refrigerator cozies.

Everything is made using environmentally friendly processes, and every artisan is paid a fair wage. The money raised from sales goes to supply the artisans—who might otherwise be unemployed or underemployed—with education, food, housing, and healthcare. The organization has risen to such stature that it won the People’s Choice Award for Green Business of the Year in 2005, and has acted as one of the founding members of the World Fair Trade Organization.

567 S Lake Ave
Pasadena,
CA
US

FrameStore's craftsmen have created more than 250,000 custom frames in the store’s 35-year tenure, designing pieces that now adorn the walls of prestigious institutions such as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, the Ritz-Carlton, and the Walt Disney Company. Professional designers guide FrameStore’s clients through the 2,200 moulding options that can accent paintings and treasured items while adding style and elegance to rooms. The store’s craftsmen then fashion pieces to patron specifications, outfitting frames with classic or museum-quality glass that blocks UV rays from bleaching out images or censoring pictures of the moon. Every piece goes through a 16-point inspection before it is given to patrons, and the team averages a seven-day turnaround on all of its projects.

504 S Lake Ave
Pasadena,
CA
US

Teeming with curios and game-changing treasures, The Folk Tree specializes in the one-of-a-kind work of artisans and craftspeople from Mexico and cultures around the world. Dress up desks, end tables, and museum-quality cinder blocks with wooden carvings, clay figurines, pottery, and other objects d'art made with expert craftsmanship and high-level sorcery. Memorialize beloved armadillos of your childhood with an elaborately painted carving from the family of Pedro Ramirez ($68.50 and up), or make conversations with your walls seem normal by decorating them with coconut masks ($16.50). Shadow boxes ($26.50 and up) integrate three-dimensional tableaus and written text to satirical effect, and black-clay lanterns (starting at $9.50) combine an alluring sheen with tamed fire. T-shirts are also available to help keep customers as artfully ornamented as their décor.

217 S Fair Oaks Ave
Pasadena,
CA
US