Tucked in amid the curiously disheveled apartment buildings of Echo Park, a quaint little shop sits. Warm and inviting, it beckons for you to enter in and become a part of it. Reminiscent of a New York City boutique, Driftwood lures you in, taking you out of LA and into SOHO.
David Browne opened the art gallery turned boutique roughly six years ago, with a transition melding the two ideas of art and shop somewhere in the middle. Thankfully he has kept his art inspired eye and his mind geared toward miscellany of unique and simple beauty through it all. Davids lovely sister Elizabeth is quite the gem, and helps out with curation and holding down the fort from time to time. And as luck would have it, she was working the day that Drew and I stumbled upon their rather inspiring shop.
I had seen it a few times before but never had a chance to stop. The sun was shining in a dreamy way, softly filtered through the clouds as we approached, the shop was open, we were wandering, and were, I think, meant to go inside.
The room, though small, is well stocked with items of use, purity, and ingenuity. Glasses made from recycled wine bottles, locally made light fixtures, intentionally selected apparel, and custom made totes that are certainly swoon worthy. At first passing Drew and I decided to hold off on any purchases until we move into our new apartment. We said thank you to Elizabeth for her help and turned to go. Something about the quaintness of the shop lingered as we stepped outside. I went to the curb to take a photo and as the shutter closed, I looked up and felt compelled to go back in… there was more to this little shop than meets the eye and I simply had to know its secrets.
Elizabeth greeted us with a warm smile and was more than willing to answer my questions as I wandered the store snapping photos as I went. We talked about her travels over seas and her nearly completed Art History degree. As well as the absolutely stunning quilts that she makes and sells at the store (works of art in and of themselves).
She told me how the boutique formerly held its residence at Sunset Junction in Silverlake, but due to some tomfoolery they opted to move their shop back to its origins in Echo Park (lucky [and dangerous] for me, its right around the corner from our new home). Though the “new” store (hosted in their former gallery space) is smaller than their previous location, they have managed to keep it feeling spacious and inviting.
As we chatted, I asked her where their name came from; Driftwood isn’t exactly a name you see popping up all that often. Elizabeth informed me that “The name comes from the idea that life is filled with so many things, and they come and go, like driftwood in the ocean.” I found this incredibly poetic and pushed a bit further in hopes of finding out why they feel so passionately about what they do, and why they offer the very specific goods that they do, in their store. That’s when it happened. Elizabeth responded, “Well, I think it’s about what is here, having things that will enhance and curate your life.” At that moment I knew our venture into Driftwood was fate. They believe in the value of curation, of quality over quantity and I, of course, resonate fully with that mindset.
If you are ever in Echo Park, do yourself a favor and stop in to the quaint and curious, white, unmarked shop. I promise it will be well worth the visit.
*As of November 2013 Driftwood is no longer.