I love when I stumble upon a cool local store with a lovely staff. That was my experience at The Golden State. What led me there was an email received from a friend about a tag sale being held in Golden State’s front yard. Since nothing is better than a flea market on a Sunday, and this was in my ‘hood instead of trekking to Pasadena for the Rose Bowl, I hopped in my jeep to check it out. First of all, any store with “a front yard” has already won me over. From the outset I was surrounded outside by laid back California furnishings, vintage decorating books, and cool artwork. It was enough to lure me into the actual store, and once inside I discovered a treasure trove of authentic California artisan gear, including slouchy tees, hand studded guitar straps, perfectly faded and washed denim, and handmade furnishings for the home. As a bonus, owner Stephanie Addis (a former fashion stylist) and her awesome employee are among the nicest people I’ve met. I was feeling a bit sluggish that morning after one too many margaritas the night before and wasn’t particularly chatty at first, but these ladies were engaging and easy, and an hour later I had set my purse down, taken off my sunglasses, and was discovering something cool in every corner of the store. I left with a four foot tall picture of girls in roller skates I found outside at the tag sale (random, I know, but I had to), and an amazing rose print covered notebook with hand bound pages by Paisley Label by Kerry Cassill for journaling. This store has immediately made the top of my list for holiday shopping. Not bad for a new neighborhood find.