I’m beyond honor to share my favorite lifestyle shop in LA, Sonomama. They are responsible for my favorite ceramic mugs, hair pin, and the bag I tote to the Famers Market (though I’m coveting most everything in store).
The moment I walked into the shop, it was as if it had been designed and curated just for me. Literally down to every detail. I’m sure many with a similar aesthetic feel the same way. Not to mention the humble, pure, and serene energy of the masterminds behind Sonomama, Billie and Tootie, for they've truly created a space with absolutely unique offerings. It's sure to become your favorite too. I’ll let them explain the inspiration and intention behind this beautiful dwelling.
We’re both Virgos which we love because Virgos like Virgos. We’ve actually never met a Virgo we didn’t like! Our sun sign has some great advantages when it comes to running a small shop. We’re both pretty creative and detail oriented. Unfortunately we both missed out on the classic, over organized Virgo trait which makes staying on top of the business end of things a challenge at times.
Sonomama is a Japanese word that means “As it is” or “In its natural state”. That pretty much sums up the inspiration behind the store. We wanted to create a space that inspired us and others to simplify, slow down, and take a moment to comeback to themselves. Life, especially in LA, can be so fast paced and hectic, and that was definitely being felt in our personal lives. Sonomama represents a much-needed break from all of the “noise” we so often experience here in the city. When customers come in and say the energy feels really good in here, we know we’re doing something right!
We’ve taken a minimal and modern approach to the Wabi-Sabi philosophy to thoughtfully curate a selection of clothing and wares that celebrate the art and beauty of ritual, energy and natural elements. Our goal was to create a calm and inviting, conscious shopping experience. We’ve been in retail a very long time and one thing we’ve definitely learned is that less is always more which hopefully comes across in the overall shop aesthetic.
We have several rituals that we often use here at the shop to help keep us grounded:
We start most mornings by playing the chakra drum which really helps to set the tone for the day.
Before opening the doors, we rub all of our shop Buddha’s bellies for good luck. There’s also a stash of found and gifted, lucky coins and tokens that that sit next to the one near the door.
A little Monk Oil on the hands and temples can help center us on a busy day (If there’s a little extra we love to run it through our hair)
The shop itself was pretty monumental. We had a very distinct vision and every detail in our plan has come to fruition. We also had a list of inspirational people and brands we hoped to work with (including Lacy) once the shop opened and are grateful that we we’ve been able to make all of those connections. We had very specific product ideas and worked with some of our favorite local artists on exclusives like our Higher You Get Tee, Baby Buddhas, ceramic gourd mugs and our favorite Best Sweats!
We have some larger plans that we’ve added to our “List” but we’ll have to keep those under wraps for now :)
Sleeping outside- we both love to camp and try to get away and unplug whenever possible. Being outdoors under the stars always feels amazing and is the perfect way to clear our heads.
Sound - We’ve been hosting monthly sound baths with Forestkind which are unbelievably grounding. We feel so fortunate that we have this space where we can share special nights like these with our community.
Kritan Kriya - Billie has been practicing a daily Kritan Kriya meditation for the last 60 plus days and the benefits have been nothing short of incredible. I’ve noticed much more focus, calm and peace in my day to day life. It’s also really upped my manifestation game as I feel I’ve been much clearer in my ability to call things in.
Bonsai - Tootie and her husband have recently joined the sweetest Bonsai club with Senseis who were taught directly under American Bonsai master, John Naka. These gentlemen are well into their nineties and are so full of life! They are living examples of patience, balance and harmony, much like the art of bonsai itself.
Yemenicis - We’re so excited and honored to be Yeminici’s very first retailer! The classic, turkish desert shoe literally has grounding qualities. Connecting to the earth’s natural energy is best done barefoot but the thin, buffalo hide soles of the Yeminici are a close second. They are by far the most comfortable shoes that we’ve ever worn and we believe that’s why. (available in the shop only, not online)
There’s so many sweet places to enjoy here in Highland Park and neighboring areas. We would recommend starting your morning with a delicious lavender latte called the Arroyo at Civil Coffee. Next, try taking a hot yoga or aerial class at Kinship Yoga.
For the afternoon, pick up some sandwiches at Monte 52 and head to the Self Realization Center in Mount Washington for the most serene and beautiful picnic spot. Follow that with a hike through the nature reserve at Debs Park and visit the Audubon Center while you're there.
For a super casual bite, our go-to is Las Cazuelas for our favorite pupusas, piled high with curtido (a pickled cabbage salad that is out of this world!). If you’re looking for more of a night on the town, get dressed up and go to Birdie for dinner followed by cocktails at Good Housekeeping. Try the Magic City or The Flight Attendant.
Spend the next day SHOPPING! There’s a lot more shopping here in Highland Park than most people realize. Right here on Fig, there’s some fantastic vintage at Prelude And Dawn and Avalon. Visit Mount Analog to add to your record collection and The Quiet Life for some solid guy staples. There’s a ton of shops to visit on York as well but our favorite stop is Shorthand where we like to go when we need a cute stationary fix. They have all of the perfect odds and ends for keeping your desk organized which is a bonus for us since we virgos need all the help we can get in that department ;) And of course, last but not least, don’t forget to stop by SONOMAMA!