"Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
_ William Morris
, 19th century craftsman, designer, writer

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Shop: Bliss 101

Last weekend, my sister shared one of her favorite shops and personal "happy places" with me, Bliss 101 in Encinitas, California. She raved about their artisanal, often one-of-a-kind products and the cool vibe that comes from a retailer devoted to sustainability and giving back.  As usual, she was right.

Bliss 101 owner and human rights attorney, Helen Zeldes, opened the 3,500-square foot store last January building on the success and principles of her first shop, Global Creations and Interiors, in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

Located on California's scenic, coastal Highway 101, the store features paintings, sculpture, furniture and jewelry from local artists as well as home goods made of reclaimed materials sourced globally. Think: old telephone poles from Brazil, colorful Indonesian boats transformed into coffee tables, bed frames and benches. Like I said, very cool.

In addition to the store's strong message of fair trade and green economics, the merchandise has its own story to tell. Natural. Tactile. Organic. 

The biggest trend: texture. The kind of stuff you can feel with your eyes: rough hewn wood, nubby woven textiles, hand thrown pottery, smooth blown glass, braided sea grass, slick, cool stone, and piles of driftwood bundled artistically to create sea-salvaged tables.

A birch branch votive holder graces a tactile table dressed with starfish and shells.

The Beach Stone table Runner was  one of my favorite finds! Set with a multitude of candles -stunning!

Absolutely loved these sturdy chairs from colorful, reclaimed wood!

And did I mention how friendly the folks were here? It's worth noting that customer service is alive and well and smiling in Encinitas.



  1. Oh my goodness...now that is my kind of shop. What gorgeous goodies! So nice to catch up on your blog...it's beautiful Bonnie! And thank you for all the kind comments you have left me! xoxo

  2. Bliss 101 is an extraordinary shop and the owners are wonderful people. Anyone looking for a fun and unique place to shop won't be disappointed.

  3. Bonnie -

    I found your blog! And am enjoying it during down time at work. What were the prices like here?! Looks like a fun shop that I will be exploring in the near future!



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