If good things come in small packages, Brass Tack in Laguna Beach is a great place toshop. Next to the post office on Forest Avenue and fronted by a charming brick patio with two woven chairs ($425 each), it’s the creation of Melissa Kanarek, 39, an upholsterer raised in Orange County and trained in London. Kanarek opened her 450-square-foot space in April and filled it with coveted new, found, vintage, and rehabbed treasures.
One recent day, a blue velvet vintage Norma Kamali dress ($95) hung near displays of new hand-dyed T-shirts ($30) and Hollywood Fodder sweater cuffs ($38). She mostly buys from small vendors or at flea markets abroad. Whether it’s a vintage settee she refurbished ($2,995) or always-in-stock Wary Meyers Candles ($28), she looks for items that “enhance everyday life” for her eclectic and design-conscious customers. “In this artists’ community, I wanted a functioning workshop that also served as a lifestyle boutique,” she says. From intricate brass bottle openers ($28) to locally made pillows ($55 to $95) to colorful retro Conway electrical extension cords ($72), Brass Tack offers the small things that make a room look complete. “The name comes from the idea of keeping things simple,” she says.
“The brass tack is the finishing detail in my craft. It’s all in the details.”
384 Forest Ave.