Aēsop offers a wide range of natural hair and skincare products, fragrances, candles, and even items for pets that consumers have likely seen at commercial establishments like restaurants and hotels. Founded in 1987 and headquartered in Melbourne, Australia, the company has offices and stores all over the world. In 2003 the company expanded to direct consumer retail locations in malls and shopping streets like Larchmont. Folks at Aēsop told us they are hoping to open the Larchmont store early next year.
Even though there are eight stores in the LA area, we ended up visiting one while out of town. At the shop in Coconut Grove, Miami, the helpful sales staff told us the design of each store is slightly different, to reflect the neighborhood setting whether it’s a mall or a neighborhood shopping street. And Aēsop stores on neighborhood streets are, not surprisingly, performing much better than their stores in shopping malls.
The interior of the Coconut Grove store was dark and moody, in contrast to the bright sunlight bouncing off all the white buildings on the street. Apparently, all the stores feature a wash basin so customers can test out the various soap products. Each is handmade to fit the personality of each store.
A few doors south of Aēsop, Catbird, a well-known jewelry brand based in Brooklyn, NY will be opening next spring. The company was founded in 2004 by Rony Vardi, and it has gained popularity. Catbird’s jewelry is often characterized by its delicate and minimalist aesthetic, featuring dainty and intricately crafted pieces that are often inspired by nature and vintage designs.
The name “Catbird” refers to the expression “sitting in the catbird seat,” meaning being in an advantageous or enviable position. Founder Rony Vardi reportedly chose this name as a nod to the idea of celebrating the individuality and uniqueness of each person who wears the jewelry. The idea is that when you wear Catbird jewelry, you’re in a special and unique position, and the jewelry is a reflection of your personal style and story.
Catbird is particularly well-known for its stackable rings, which come in various styles, including delicate bands, gemstone rings, and unusual shapes. These rings are designed to be mixed and matched, allowing customers to create personalized and unique combinations.
The company prides itself on sustainability, claiming its jewelry is made from more than 95% recycled 14k gold and recycled diamonds to reduce the environmental impact of its products.
Many of Catbird’s pieces are handcrafted by skilled artisans, contributing to the brand’s focus on quality and craftsmanship. The brand offers a range of engagement and wedding rings that stand out for their unconventional designs. These rings often incorporate unique gemstones and unconventional settings, appealing to those looking for non-traditional options. They also offer customization options for many of their pieces, allowing customers to create jewelry that reflects their personal style and preferences.
The company invites customers to “get zapped” with their “Forever Bracelet™” “a classic, sparkly solid 14k gold bracelet custom fit and welded around your wrist by a Catbird jeweler,” according to the company’s website.
“We are the originals, and have been zapping since 2017! Since then, we have perfected the art of the zap and have welded over 150,000 Forever Bracelets! Personalize yours with charms, initials, and diamonds. It will have no clasp, creating a seamless piece that is truly yours. It’s there to sparkle and shine and make you happy! Come on in and get zapped!! No appointment necessary!”
Until it opens next year on Larchmont, you can find Catbird at Platform in Culver City.