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Hoopla!

Dec 9, 2014

Hoopla_azLori and Scott Webster have left the “Webster” enclave on North Lake Avenue and opened up their own brand of “good things” emporium on Fair Oaks Avenue called Hoopla!

The exclamation mark is deliberate and indicative of the shop’s atmosphere and the owners’ personalities. Even as we were visiting, we heard a customer remark Lori, “My grandmother used to always say ‘hoopla.’ It’s a good name.”

Hoopla! stands on the west side of Fair Oaks Avenue in Altadena in a fairly nondescript block. But the warm lemon-yellow, maroon, and royal blue signage beckons one to park and come in. (As the area is not chocker-block full of stores, parking is painless—it’s a gift!)

 

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Inside, prepare to narrow focus and concentrate because jewelry, stuffed animals, racks of greeting cards, and more are everywhere. There is a lot to see. And yet, the shop feels cozy with an open and airy feel. The products are eclectic and many of them from local artists and vendors. We could have  spent a small fortune just on cards (i.e. Kären Bagnard!).

 

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A Christmas tree fills the front window and a mantel holds reindeer, Santa, white owls, and angels—we definitely would like to purchase the angel with the wooden head, torso, halo, wings, and a mere metal frame as the bottom half of her body, which looks like early Americana folk art.

 

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Hoopla! sells scarves, framed art, pottery, and sculpture. This is across the aisle from stuffed animals, stuffed animals in little quilt purses (like pocketbook pets, but without the whining), a row of Despicable Me minion lunchboxes and Frozen lunchboxes. Perhaps best of all are Wow-Wee’s set of Once Upon a Zombie Dolls. Snow White, Sleeping Beauty, Cinderella, Rapunzel, Bell, and the Little Mermaid have been re-imagined in the newest fad—zombies. Blue lips, black lips, extra large eyes with dramatic “eyeshadow,” uneven hemlines that we suppose are to indicate the wear and tear of being buried underground, and…facial scars. (Why Rapunzel has these suture-like scars spreading from the corner of her lips we’d rather not know.)

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On the walls are photographs, drawings, and paintings….

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The middle of the store is a pantry-like area with various teas, sauces (Jamaican, mole and cascabel), fair trade Rishi loose teas, and salsas from the Sierra Madre Grocery Company. Beyond the Olive has products here, as does John Kelly Chocolates and Crazy Bitch Tea from herbalist and “wholistic” kinesiologist Lynn Higgin. A few shelves hold handmade soaps and fragrances, another ceramics and sculpture.

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Hoopla! also carries local authors, such as Petrea Burchard who wrote Camelot & Vine and her newly released Act As If, and books by Pasadena publisher Prospect Park Books.

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At the back of the store are classic P.O. boxes with the A-J star—though now modified to be opened with keys, originally a “letter” combination was used.

Classic P.O. Boxes

 

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Lori and Scott are the linchpin that makes it all work. Their easy-going, friendly nature make this community store exactly that. It’s enjoyable to walk into a place where people are greeted by name and conversation is casual and person—because people actually know one another. And the products for sale are fun, silly, thoughtful, lovely, practical—and quite often local.

Hoopla!, 2591 Fair Oaks Ave. (near Harriet), Altadena 91001. Hours: Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m.-6:30 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tel.: 1.626.797.1135. ShopatHoopla.com.

 

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2 Responses for “Hoopla!”

  1. Rose says:

    Lori and Scott are the epitome of caring, thoughtful small business owners. They care that the products they carry are products that will delight their customers; they care about using locally sourced products whenever possible; they care about the community and the events in the community. They care about the people in their community and do all they can to serve not just their customers, but the larger community by sharing information about various city events.
    Hoopla! is an enticing gem of a store, created with love, sweat and tears by two wonderful people.

  2. Hoopla! is a wonderful store, Lori and Scott are dedicated to Altadena, and I’m grateful to be part of it.

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