Shopping in Pasadena


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  • Lather
    Emilie Davidson Hoyt's interest in natural beauty products can be traced back to a single bar of lavender soap tucked beneath her pillow. A memento from one of her father's business trips, the fragrant bar remained close to Emilie while she slept, comforting her with its calming aroma. Throughout her childhood, Emilie suffered debilitating migraines that made her ultrasensitive to the chemicals and fragrances typically found in cosmetic products. Her condition was so bad that one of her high school teachers predicted she wouldn't succeed in college or keep a steady career. Not only did Emilie graduate from college, she went on to found her own natural skincare company, LATHER, which initially only made olive oil–based soaps. Those soaps have since been mentioned in The New York Times, and the company has gone on to produce a full line of body, face, hair, and home products, which have appeared in other renowned publications. Emilie’s products nourish customers not only at three retail locations, but also at spas, boutiques, and hotels across the globe. LATHER’s holistic, organic-leaning products beautify users without synthetic fragrances, artificial colors, or animal testing, and contain paraben-free preservatives and sulfate-free cleansing agents whenever possible. They also serenade olfactory senses with essential oils, vitamins, and rare fruits and herbs, and now arrive in earth-friendly EcoPure packaging, which, unlike a mummy's “No Microbes Allowed” t-shirt, accelerates natural biodegradation. LATHER maintains environmentally conscious practices, such as an in-store container recycling program and donations to worldwide reforestation projects.
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    17 E Colorado Blvd.
    Pasadena, CA US
  • The Sewing Studio LA
    Cynthia Harvey has been designing fashion-forward ensembles since she was a kid. “At 9 years old I literally and figuratively looked up to my aunt, a professional model who made most of her clothes. She encouraged me to use the scraps of fabric to make my Barbie doll clothes and eventually my own clothes," says Harvey. Her interest in current trends led Cynthia to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising in LA, where she studied and eventually ascended to the post of professor. Though she's spent her time doling out fashion tips to the likes of George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, and Janet Jackson, it was her time as an educator that inspired Cynthia to cofound The Sewing Studio. She aimed to counteract a decline in local arts programs, due largely to the great popsicle-stick and glitter fire of 1996. She explains, “I wanted to offer fashion sewing classes that are fun and affordable, with an emphasis on looks inspired by current fashion designers." Her classes, which cater to the novice seamstress and advanced sewing student alike, achieve that aim. Led by Cynthia and other experienced teachers, the sessions range from introductory classes where pupils of all ages learn basics and stitch together totes or dresses to fashion design and sewing programs. Camps, workshops, and other learning sessions culminate in handcrafted apparel and accessories that students can take home and incorporate into regular wardrobe rotations.
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    107 S Fair Oaks Ave, Ste 107
    Pasadena, CA US
  • California Cactus Center
    A massive saguaro cactus towers over the entrance garden to California Cactus Center, shadowing a stone pathway surrounded by potted bromeliads with its sky-scraping height. The nursery deals exclusively in desert plants from around the world, stocking dozens of cacti species and other succulents and drought-happy botanical specimens. Inside the center, trays of tender succulents spread out over long tables as dangling strings of decorative rocks and glass sway gently above them. Dusted tones of lavender, sage, and scarlet-edged olive grace each leaf, and tillandsias—air plants that require no soil to live—sway gently within glass domes. Metal gates emblazoned with cacti lead to a section of clay and ceramic pottery, as well as decorations including brassy crescent moons and smiling suns. Outside, lily pads float in a peaceful pond as barrel cacti stretch their knobby heads from between agave plants, prickly pears, and prolific palm fronds. The nursery’s staff can guide patrons in any of their botanical pursuits, whether choosing the proper plants for their yard, maintaining their landscapes, or figuring out whether or not their saguaro actually likes wearing its sombrero.
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    216 S Rosemead Blvd
    Pasadena, CA US
  • Modern Music School
    Students in Modern Music School's international net of 70 locations get more than by-the-numbers technical training. Instead, the focus is on enjoying the art, and though the teachers are classically trained, their lesson plans home in on rock, jazz, funk, pop, or virtually any other genre. Beginners thrive in the laid-back, fun-first atmosphere, which encourages them to set their own pace on the path to stardom, both in practicing their instrument and in converting to an all-leather wardrobe. The school's highly individualized method readily lends itself to private lessons, and the band program not only helps fledgling stars strengthen their chosen style but also rounds up potential gigs when the group feels stage ready. Other performance opportunities are available at regularly staged concerts through the team program and every morning in students' own showers.
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    2982 E Colorado Blvd.
    Pasadena, CA US
  • Urban Outfitters
    For Urban Outdoor Skills staff Pascal Baudar and Mia Wasilevich, living sustainably is more than just talk. Baudar has been sourcing his own food since his childhood in Belgium, and Wasilevich—a self-taught chef—lives off her own urban garden. Together they run Urban Outdoor Skills, teaching their students self-reliance through classes where they pickle and can their own foods or make organic soaps from wild aromatic plants. Underlying every session is a bounty of expertise in foraging from the surrounding mountain wilderness: nettles and yucca become piquant sauces, seeds become breads and crackers, and flowers become wood-sprite birthday cakes.
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    340 South Lake Avenue
    Pasadena, CA US
  • Burkard Nurseries
    Since 1937, Burkard Nurseries has beautified gardens throughout Southern California with a selection of chromatic flowers, robust shrubs, and the supplies to keep them healthy. Though the nursery originally specialized in hybrid flowers, it now defies specialty with a wide range of plants including citrus trees, exotic bulbs, and an extensive list of roses. Third-generation owner Frank Burkard, Jr. also offers professional landscaping for public spaces, private gardens, and deserts envious of the ocean floor’s mysterious reputation.
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    690 N Orange Grove Blvd
    Pasadena, CA US

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