Let’s Get Crafty:
Top Arts and Crafts Stores in Woodland Hills
What we now know as “arts and crafts” was actually referred to as “The Arts and Crafts Movement,” which originated in Britain during the late 19th century and which was characterized by a decoration style reminiscent of medieval times. The artist primarily associated with this movement is William Morris, whose work was backed by writings from John Ruskin, and it placed a high importance on the quality of craftsmanship while emphasizing the importance that the arts contribute to economic reform.
In 2016, things are slightly different from the days when The Arts and Crafts Movement encompassed different types of design including architecture, typography, book printing, textile and interior design – modern day arts and crafts shops focus primarily on satisfying the needs of hobbyists exploring a modern-day lifestyle. And from knitting and beading to painting and more, the following arts and crafts stores in Woodland Hills celebrate this creative lifestyle in typical L.A. fashion.
Zoe’s Knit Studio, located at 18596 Ventura Boulevard in Tarzana, represents a place where crafts aficionados can gather and share their creativity, aided by a staff happy to assist guests with finding the perfect ball of yarn or anything else needed to complete a project. Beyond the shop’s luxurious yarn collection and myriad of arts supplies, Zoe’s offers a variety of classes and services including finishing and custom knitwear. As founder and owner of Zoe’s Knit Studio, Sule Kaya, originally hailing from Turkey, has made a career out of knitwear design, with both her mother and grandmother being expert knitters and crocheters. This lead to her attending a college in Los Angeles where she studied economics and international business until, finally, in 2007 she had the opportunity to work for an L.A.-based haute couture design duo knitting pieces for their line. This collaboration marked a huge turning point for Sule, as she began her career as an exclusive knitwear designer.
The Bead Lounge, located at 4873 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, is a full-service bead store offering everything from semi-precious stones and charms to wire and tools. The shop specializes in customer service first and foremost, with owner and designer Andrea Jones priding herself on representing more than just a bead store for the bead enthusiast – here, customers are walked through the process of selecting stones and designing their own pieces, learning how to assemble their own creations or, if preferred, leaving it to The Bead Lounge experts. Established in October 2005, The Bead Lounge boasts a very knowledgeable staff with regard to the latest trends and how to craft them, and patrons can even book private parties at the shop. For a one-of-a-kind arts and crafts experience in Woodland Hills, The Bead Lounge isn’t to be missed.
The Quilt Emporium, located at 4918 Topanga Canyon Boulevard, is often described by avid quilter enthusiasts as “a diamond in the rough of a Woodland Hills strip mall,” offering great “period” selections of quilting fabrics, well-priced fat quarters and an overtly friendly, helpful staff. This cozy, quaint-esque shop goes above and beyond the run-of-the-mill crafting hobbyist outlet by offering books, fabrics, tools and even classes – so if you can’t wait to begin your next project, be sure to stop in to The Quilt Emporium to get crafty.
Baron’s Sewing Center, located at 22635 Ventura Boulevard, is an imaginative and creative sewing shop featuring the latest in high-tech sewing and embroidering machines, sergers and beautiful cabinets for all new machines. The shop carries Bernina and Juki sewing machines and sergers, incorporating the most advanced technology as well as sewing/embroidery software with every purchase. Further, Baron’s holds a roster of classes in everything from beginning to intermediate sewing and serger classes to quilting classes, machine classes and an opportunity to create a wonderful throw quilt as designed by Elizabeth Hartman. If sewing is your thing, Baron’s Sewing Center is your place.
Continental Art Supplies, located at 7041 Reseda Boulevard in Reseda, is one of the longest-standing art materials retailers in Southern California. Family-owned since 1960, Continental remains the most prominent independently-operated store in the Valley with one of the largest selections of specialty papers in the Golden State, in addition to a formidable selection of brushes, gouache, watercolors, acrylics and oils. The shop stocks materials for students as well as the professional artist, and its airbrush departments are fully stocked with many popular brands of color and airbrushes. A newly-expanded “Urban Art” section boasts a huge selection of aerosols at competitive prices, as well as all of the major brands of markers, hardbound sketch books and paint markers. Whether you’re working in silkscreen or tie-dye, Continental Art Supplies has it all.
When it comes down to it, exploring good arts and crafts stores in Woodland Hills is like exploring Los Angeles itself – sometimes all the fun boils down to finding the really cool stuff you were never looking for in the first place. But no matter if you’re taking the kitchen sink approach – looking for everything from fabrics to buttons to pins to rubber stamps, and everything imaginable in between – or sticking with a smaller, more distinct project, be it all things beads or floral, any of these aforementioned businesses will get your creative juices flowing.