Category Archives: Venice Beach Shops

These posts are about shopping in Venice Beach California!

Vegan Scene: Westside’s First Completely Vegan Shop, Event Space Lands In Venice

By Mariella Rudi

When Santa Monica native Amy Rebecca went vegetarian at age seven, then vegan at 15, the practice of giving up animals for food was always about animals’ rights. After all, she rescued birds with broken legs, had pet chickens, and cats and dogs were her best friends (she jokes that she’s currently in a domestic partnership with her rescue dog, Isadora). But over the years, as she grew up and became more health conscious, veganism had begun to take on an entirely different role in Rebecca life: as a career.

“At least with veganism, part of it is an ethical decision and the other part of it is more people will come once there’s a market for it,” Rebecca said inside the multi-purpose white and neon 1,600 square foot space. “There are two elements of change.”

Rebecca, the owner and founder of Vegan Scene on Main Street, caters to every circle of vegans and veg-curious for her 100 percent animal product-free and cruelty-free retail and event space, along with on-trend cooking, and fitness classes.

As the creator of the Instagram account #VegansofIG, Rebecca started facilitating meet-ups around the city as a kind of vegan networking. Then the national tour came, where she hosted gatherings from all walks of vegan life. What she found during this tour was a lack of social space for vegans to adequately party and connect. She could either go to a bar with all her friends that wasn’t vegan or vegan-friendly or throw an event at a vegan restaurant but sacrifice the vibe.

After all, vegans like to party, too – that’s how Vegan Scene was born.

“I essentially created a place that I want to hang out all the time,” Rebecca said.

Though Rebecca’s two niches have always been fashion and events, Vegan Scene incorporates so much more into their business model.
“Just for my own sanity, I don’t like doing the same thing everyday. I like mixing it up and experimenting with things,” she said.

Cooking classes are taught by SporkFoods, a gourmet vegan food company based out of L.A. (with fans like Emily and Zooey Deschanel), in Vegan Scene’s spacious open kitchen. The brand uses humor and education to drive home the idea that vegan cooking is entirely within reach, which is the driving philosophy for the shop itself.

“There are a lot of restaurants, but at the end of the day when you go home, what do you make? There’s so many plant-based options, but if people have really only known how to cook at home with meat, eggs, dairy, let’s teach them how to do it,” Rebecca said.

There are also fitness classes – high-intensity cardio, Pilates, yoga, and barre – which focus on wellness and well-being as much as it does on abs, booty, and squats. They’re small, intimate classes hosted right in the middle of the retail and kitchen space, replete with a floor-to-ceiling mirror and locker rooms.

If you need to grab a new pair of yoga pants or shirt, it’s all sold right there, too.

“We put a lot into carrying active wear that’s cute, made in the USA, sustainable, that kind of thing,” Rebecca said.

From the dresses to the hats to the handbags and Kai beauty products, it’s not just vegan or eco-friendly – it’s what Rebecca herself uses and wears. Vegan Scene has curated and handpicked a stylish retail space similar to an ultra-eco-conscious Kitson.

“I know personally that I will always go above and beyond to find things that are vegan because the alternative is not an option. But I don’t know if everyone would have that same commitment to it even though it’s a matter of lives,” Rebecca said.

The solution to tapping a vegan market that satisfies even non-vegans, was to make the fashion shop and demonstration classes accessible, cool, and fun for everyone.

“It’s about making that consumer not having to sacrifice style,” she said.

The store fancies itself “a vegan Studio 54 with more quinoa,” and having just launched the shop to the neighborhood with an at-capacity party on Friday, July 31, Vegan Scene is in Venice for the long run. Their next bash is an all-vegan “Big Lebowski” party on Aug. 29, with vegan White Russians, of course.

Rebecca has big plans for Vegan Scene, hoping to eventually expand it into a nighttime bar and daytime café. As for now, she’s busy trying to accommodate all the various groups of vegans that exist today.
“Vegans are like democrats,” Rebecca said. “We’re all different, we just have this one thing in common. But there are little groups. There’s the fitness, plant-strong ones. There are the foodies. There are the fashion-interested vegans. And then there’s just like social vegans who like to go out.

“There’s a plant-based diet, but veganism is a lifestyle.”

Vegan Scene is located at 610 Main St., Venice.

For more information about Vegan Scene or to sign-up for a cooking or fitness class, visit veganscene.com or call 310.448.2650.

Timbuk2 is Coming to Venice

Timbuk2, a pioneer in messenger bags and urban gear, is opening a spot at 1410 Abbot Kinney. As a personal note, I have 2 of their bags, one of which I got over 10 years ago, and the other about 5 years old. Both are still going strong (and dry) after daily use in the rain forest / ocean environment of Costa Rica’s Caribbean coast over the last 7 years. There’s the unpaid personal endorsement for you, here’s what their PR sent us:

Timbuk2’s new 680 sq. ft. store is located at 1410 Abbot Kinney Blvd. in the sunny Venice Beach neighborhood known for its vibrant, eclectic mix of independent boutiques and trendy restaurants. Timbuk2 has partnered with award-winning architecture and design firm Gensler and LA-based architects Dax Studio to bring the Gensler designed community-oriented vision to life.

The shop will showcase Timbuk2’s entire product line of more than 100 styles of bags and accessories, including an interactive custom workshop where customers can design a one-of-a-kind messenger bag, backpack, shoulder bag, tote or accessory made to order in their San Francisco factory. Timbuk2 Venice Beach will also launch its own in-store bike share program in August.

 

AUST Markets and Summer Celebration

Tomorrow (Sunday, May 25th) AUST is bringing together Venice artisans and merchants for summer festivities at their location on 1617 Abbot Kinney, from 12-6pm.
IMG_4757

The lineup includes:
SOLÉ, offering a special price on their bikes at the AUST. Markets for $250.
PET ADOPTIONS in the afternoon (looking for foster and forever homes!)
Local Venice designers doing a market stall, such as RUBIN’S APRONS and RIALTO JEAN PROJECT.
Food and drink, including freshly cracked coconuts!
And — since a summer celebration really ins’t complete without ice cream — a pop up Ice Cream bar by NICE CREAM.

Delicious!

Epic Yard Sale Weekend | Two Events

If you like yard sales, this weekend is going to be epic for you. Sunday is the second annual Huge Venice Yard Sale (when we last heard from organizer Laurie Woolner, there were 67 73 homes on the map and more coming). And tomorrow, Saturday, there’s a yard sale that promises mint juleps and margaritas with every purchase. Details below!

Huge Venice Yard Sale – 50+ Homes May 4th 9-3pm East of Lincoln – W of Walgrove – S of Rose – N of Zanja Hosted by local Real Estate agent Laurie Woolner aka “Tiny…but Mighty”.  Lots of families & lots of good stuff! Starting point for maps, etc. 2136 Walnut Ave. Directional signs & maps will be posted throughout the neighborhood. More info or call 310.699.0980 Huge Venice Yard Sale Venice Derby Day Yard Sale this Saturday, May 3rd from 9am-3pm!!!! 729 Milwood Ave (between Oakwood and Shell) Mint Juleps and margaritas will be available with purchase!!! We just moved in and have TONS of great stuff that we need to get rid of including: – Furniture (couch, mint condition queen sized mattress, desk & chair, end tables, lamps, nightstands, dressers, etc.) – Women’s Clothing (Free People, Citizens of Humanity, J Brand, Ray Bans, Anthropologie, Baby G, Nike, Urban Outfitters, etc.) – Art – Home Goods (dishes, pots & pans, towels, sheets, wine rack, rug, etc.) – Bose Speakers – Men’s Clothing – Youth Sports Gear – DVDs & Books – Costume Jewelry & Purses All items are only available to purchase starting Saturday morning- NO EXCEPTIONS!