September 2, 2014

Pebbles in Topanga

 

PHOTO BY ANNEMARIE DONKIN, MESSENGER, 2012

Pebbles in Topanga

Pebbles owner Ann Lombardo offers hip, custom made clothes for women and children as well as handmade gifts and jewelry from local artisans.

From the road one can see the bright rows of colorful women’s tops and frilly girls’ dresses fluttering in the breeze outside of the charming blue-and-pink- striped shop in Topanga.

A wood sign declares, “Clothes for Hip Women and Kids.”

Once inside, the abundance of cuteness overwhelms the senses — racks of colorful girls’ and boys’ clothes, soft baby things, colorful hats, toys and adorable gift items everywhere.

Down the steps in the back of the shop are rows of soft, chic and feminine looks for women, alongside unique one-of-a kind handbags, jewelry and hand painted scarves.

Even the name sounds happy, bubbly and very cool.

Pebbles, the eclectic women and children’s boutique that first opened in Santa Monica, now boasts a second location in Topanga.

“We love it here,” said Pebbles founder, Ann Lombardo. “It’s different from Santa Monica. People love the novelty, they find it a little more artistic.”

Lombardo emphasizes that in addition to her own line of children’s clothing, she also offers unique gifts, hand painted cards, unique picture frames, candles and jewelry by Topanga artists.

Pebbles in Santa Monica

With the support of her husband, Vince, Ann opened the original Pebbles as a small boutique on Main Street in Santa Monica in 2004

In the midst of it all, she had her son Lucas in 2004 and her daughter, Lucy, in 2005.

Inspired by her two children and her own sense of style, she quickly became the “go to” shop for stylish women and local celebs on the Westside.

It was then that Ann turned her success in picking style into her passion for creating it.

Happy and ebullient as her personality, her own designs show a love of vibrant color, whimsical embellishments and an unexpected mix of fabrics and embroidery.

Through word of mouth, Ann and Pebbles became famous in circles of stylish women around Los Angeles as an undiscovered treasure — but little did they know that word had traveled fast.

In fact, Pebbles can count Julia Roberts, Meg Ryan, Angelica Huston, Halle Berry and Robert Downey, Jr. among its loyal clientele.

Ann was at one time content with selling unique designs from around the world but in 2008 she launched her first line for kids and it was a huge success.

She says her soft, terrycloth rainbow- striped pants for boys are her number one best seller.

“At my store in Santa Monica I have a quote on my window that says ‘Always make it magical,’” Ann said. “When I see that it always makes me smile!”

Designing Woman

Ann got her start in retail and design early through the influence of her mother, Carol Ann Hokanson.

“She was the number one dealer in early American antiques in the Southwest and was extremely knowledgeable in Early American quilts and majolica, an early pottery from Spain dating back to late 17th century,” Ann said. “She had an antique store in Scottsdale, Arizona for many years named the “Neighbor Lady's Antiques” and from an early age, “my mother and I would travel to various antique shows and flea markets around the country where I cultivated my love for unique treasures; that is why in my designs I try and make my clothing unique and colorful with a twist of whimsical.”

Pebbles in Topanga

Her husband, Vince, is just as upbeat about their newest canyon venture and helps come up with clever ideas to enhance the shop.

“We have lived in Topanga for nine years,” Vince said. “Ann thought at some point, a local Pebbles shop might be a fun idea, especially if she could offer after- school and weekend activities for small children.”

Certainly since opening six months ago, Ann’s cute roadside shop has become quite the attraction, offering hip, custom-made clothes for women and children, as well as handmade gifts and jewelry from local artisans.

Outside, in back of the shop is a charming wooden deck that sits just above the creek, a grassy yard, fairy crossings and a teepee.

“Topanga is a magical place. We want to have storytelling out here,” Vince said. “We want to have parties, a lemonade stand, children’s crafts and small kids types of events.”

Pebbles Topanga, 111 N Topanga Canyon Blvd Topanga, CA 90290, (310) 455-0909. Pebbles Santa Monica, 2400 Main St., A2, Santa Monica, CA 90405, (310) 314-6472 or online at www.pebblesclothing.com.