Brass Tack is a highly curated combination of US Made, Fair Trade and Vintage goods that embody the philosophy of unique living and homemaking. It is nestled in the heart of downtown Laguna Beach, celebrating the city's roots as an artist colony. "Laguna Beach has always attracted eclectic people from all over the world and the shop reflects the beautiful diversity of our neighbors," says owner, Melissa Kanarek. The shop inventory is authentic, limited and interesting filled with Melissa's global buying trips, flea market finds and small brand representation from within the US and abroad. The shop is first and foremost a labor of love and secondly a business. Always in that order and always about the experience and the customers above all else.
Melissa first founded Brass Tack in 2015 and ran the little shop featuring upholstery services on Forest Avenue for three years. She got her start studying traditional furniture upholstery in London. "I love that traditional upholstery is all about what is inside and the steps no one can see once the fabric goes on," she says. "It's about the time, care and skill required before it gets in front of the client. It all matters." Melissa emailed couture London upholsterer Aiveen Daly after seeing a bespoke 'Moneypenny' chair in Vogue. Melissa started as her apprentice and ultimately became creative director. "My days were filled with an incredibly colorful clientele, installations , all-nighter workshop deadlines and day trips to Paris and Morocco for sourcing," she says. "I learned a ton, perfected my skill and squeezed every drop out of my time overseas." Although she is a long way away from her British design roots, Melissa finds Laguna Beach is home to an eclectic group of people who 'get it'. In addition to a fantastic eye, the people that are drawn to the shop value the story behind the furniture and accessories. How a piece is made and who makes the things we purchase can add or very much detract from the beauty of the piece."
On January 1st, 2018, Melissa partnered with Kristin Winter to open a space three times the size of the original shop and incorporate more vintage and global furniture, increase local artisans and seek out new global talent. The new space also provides a large back room behind the sliding barn doors for trunk shows, pop-ups, think tanks and more. Kristin brings knowledge of the town as both a long time local and active volunteer. She also received her Master's in Journalism from NYU and brings a new and exciting skill set to the shop.
"We are a female owned and operated venture and feel passionate about creating opportunity within our town and the items that stock our shelves," Melissa says. "We refuse to compromise on style, soul or story. We can't wait to meet you."
Melissa and Kristin both live in Laguna Beach with their husbands, kids, dogs and coffee addictions.