Sticks & Stones by Steven West
Steven West may be a new addition to West 3rd Street but he has quite a history in retail. West is a sort of Jack of all trades and works as a hairdresser, jewelry designer, antique dealer, and more. His store Sticks & Stones By Steven West sees him rooting his many talents in one place, providing a venue for him to design and share goods he’s collected from all over the world. He’s hoping it will be the beginning of a new chapter in his life.
“I thought I needed an outlet for all of this,”he explains, seated on a lush couch in the middle of the store. “I didn’t want to be a hairdresser anymore and I have a collection of antiques and arts that I have collected for at least thirty eight years. This space became available after previously being owned for fifty years. I came by and thought that this was the space. I negotiated to get it and here I am.”
Sticks & Stones comes from West’s years of experience store owning in the nineties: he owned several stores while living in Mexico, from Puerto Vallarte to San Miguel De Allende. “It was just incredible but doing business in a third world country is like having your teeth removed without any novocaine: it’s very difficult. I eventually moved back here, closed all the stores, and started doing hair again. I was the in-room hairdresser at the Beverly Hills Hotel, for VIP clients. I worked at Cristophe’s and did hair for millionaires and billionaires.”
“I wanted to get back into the store though,”he says, alluding to what pushed him back into retail. “I had gotten my jewelry into Madison’s and Umberto’s and a lot of different stores, many of them hair salons too. I just got tired of going and trying to sell and managing accounts. I was still manufacturing jewelry out of my house too and working out of a studio space next door.”
Thus, Sticks & Stones opened. West and his goods have been on West 3rd Street since November of 2013 and he’s quickly carved a specific aesthetic of multi-cultural items, new and old. There are shelves of antique glasswares and wood carved African masks. Small paintings overlook delicate statues of Buddha and there are many cases and many arrangements of his sparkling jewelry.
You’ll find a wide variety of pearls too. “That’s one of my specialties,”he says with a wink. “People don’t realize I specialize in pearls.”
“It’s so different having a store in Los Angeles,”he says. “There are so many different places to choose from and so many talented people: you have to stand out. In Mexico, I had to drive six hours before I got to another city. Six hours through the jungle!”
“But here, on West 3rd Street, we’re all like a family,”he explains. “We all support each other. It’s a great group of people and there are some amazing stores on the street. It’s really good to have everyone working together. It’s only going to get better too.”
“The store is going to keep growing and going too. It will take time for people to realize that we are here. We also do repair of jewelry and we have antiques and art: we cover a lot of bases! Hopefully the store will grow and get a steady clientele coming in and build from there.”
“I think West 3rd Street is going to get better and better,”he adds. “There are so many great people on this street!”
DEFINING THE STREET
West 3rd Street is a small enclave of hip, new shops and eating places. Not a lot of people know about it but word is getting out. It’s a hot, upcoming place.
WHERE THEY GO
The Little Next Door…Fonuts…Joan’s On Third…Freehand: those are all fabulous places!