Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Hahamongna Hoopla

Photo Attributed To SaveHahamongna.com

As most of you reading this are aware, the situation at Hahamongna Watershed Park has grown critical.  The County Of Los Angeles, in its infinite wisdom, has decided that this quiet piece of heaven near our foothills needs to be disrupted by huge, smoke-belching trucks hauling out debris from behind Devils Gate Dam, 400 of them a day, five days a week, for the next five years.

We can't say much more than what's already been said.  Please read (and listen to*) our friends Petrea Burchard and Karin Bugge have to say about this at this link for Petrea's post, and this link for Karin's post.  In both, you'll find a link to the Indiegogo campaign to help offset costs for the lawsuit against the County filed by the Arroyo Seco Foundation and the Pasadena Audubon Society. We urge you to donate - there are some great perks you can get if you do!  Hoopla! Emporium is delighted to be able to help out with a hyper-local and Fair Trade basket of goodies for the $150.00 donation tier, and we're beyond proud that it's been snapped up already!  Here's a picture of what's inside it:

This basket includes some wonderful Fair Trade items (the bracelets, the wood sculpture, the note cards and the perfume oil) and locally made products like the Pasadena-centric notecards from Julie Hill, exquisite jam from LA Farm Girl, wonderful olive oil from Beyond The Olive, and an Altadena-centric candle block made by Cheltenham Road.  Also included is some fabulous, organic body lotion from Southern California company, Glow*Ology (although their products are distributed by Demdaco, they are made in Carson, CA). We sincerely hope that the esteemed $150.00 donator enjoys all these great products, but more than that, we're just flat-out thrilled that someone donated that amount to the cause, and that we were asked to contribute!

Please do what you can to support the Arroyo Seco Foundation and the Pasadena Audubon Society in their efforts to fight what the County Of Los Angeles has planned for beautiful Hahamongna Watershed Park.  We can all get involved, however we're comfortable doing it - it doesn't need to be monetary, although that's certainly appreciated.  Word of mouth helps, too.  Tell your neighbors and your friends, because you never know where that will lead.  Here's a huge thank you from Hoopla! Emporium!
*Petrea has voiced a video explaining what's going on at Hahamongna, which you'll find on her post.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Holiday Love - Hoopla! Emporium's Picks For Gifting

Being the owner of a gift store is a lot of work, particularly around the holidays. We've read several industry articles lately in regard to the stress the holidays can bring, and how we storeowners can deal with it all. It's great information, but in all honesty, I don't find this time of year too stressful, I find it invigorating and joyful.  What fun it is to pull out all the holiday decorations, trim the tree, and anticipate all the new merchandise coming into the store!

It's all very exciting, but the thing we like most of all is discovering fabulous products for you that are made locally or regionally.  The talent that we have here astounds us!  From artists and authors, to food producers and gift or card makers, this is our partial list of our absolute favorites (which can change without notice, and often does!) -

  • Jus D'Amour The Essence of Love Perfume Oil by Perfumes Mercedes - hands down, our favorite new scent, created by singer, songwriter and performer Mercedes Ganon.  Included in this line are the original Jus D' Amour, its companion scent Sassy, and Legend Cologne for men.  Jus D'Amore is a timeless, romantic blend of fresh coco palm and aqualeaf accord, gentle violet, night blooming jasmine, Tahitian vanilla and deep sandalwood.  Formulated to coordinate with Sassy, a fresh and sexy blend of juicy sweet orange mandarin and vibrant grapefruit, exotic jasmine, bergamot and cassis, the two scents together are bliss!  Legend for men is an evocation of nature's combination of fruits, woods, and florals to capture that very distinct masculine flavor.  Notes include melon, black currant, citrus, green leaf, ozone, bergamot, jasmine, violet, wood musk, oakmoss, and sandalwood.  We highly recommend this as a personal gift to yourself this year! 
  • LA Farm Girl jams and jellies - this local specialty food product line is so delicious, we can't describe it well enough in words.  Because no matter how hard you try, you just can't smell or taste words, can you?  Rest assured that we've done the tasting for you, and can tell you how much we love them!  Not just for breakfast, either, these jams, most infused with wine or spirits, are so versatile in the kitchen.  From your holiday baking (Linzer cookies, anyone?) to a glaze for roast meats, we invite you to transport your taste buds this season! Currently in stock are Habanero Honey, Peppered Pineapple, Strawberry Sangria, Bourbon & Vanilla Berry, Fig & Sweet Marsala, and Sherry & Cinnamon Persimmon.  Caramel Tangerine, Cognac & Vanilla Cherry, and Blood Orange & Rosemary Mimosa are on their way in about a week or so.
  • The Safety Godmothers by Ellen Snortland and Lisa Gaeta - this book is a must-have for all young people, particularly females, and gives sound advice about personal safety without the preachy-ness. We love Ellen and Lisa's humorous tone in this book, as they interview young people who have been attacked, and survived, by using the tactics the authors recommend.  If you have a young daughter or son, or are a grandparent to either, this is our pick for you! It's not a sexy, beautiful, or delicious present, but don't let that deter you.  This is something that will resonate for years with your young ones and, help save a life if, God forbid, they are ever stalked or attacked.

We'll be back again soon with some more suggestions for you.  Until then, be well and enjoy the season!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Small Business Saturday Hoopla

Back in 2010, American Express created Small Business Saturday, to bring attention to the nation's independent mom & pop stores, and was inspired by The 3/50 Project.  Fast forward to 2014, and we find that Small Business Saturday has become a thing, an event that was grown maybe not so organically (American Express, a huge financial corporation, is behind this, after all) but it has given us small business owners a chance to be recognized.  For that, we are eternally grateful.  And although we like getting customers in the door on this day, we wouldn't be who we are unless we dedicated the day to another group that does great things in our community.

Take both Room 13s in our area, first at John Muir High School and then at Elliot Middle School. Overseen in North America by Pasadena's Light Bringer Project, these are complete art studios run by the students, who not only learn about art, but about the business of art, as well.  They are responsible for hiring their own Artist In Residence, who guides the students in their endeavors, and they make and sell products to keep the studios running. Tom Coston, who heads Light Bringer, has been named to Room 13 International's Board Of Trustees.  You might recognize the name - it's Tom and Light Bringer who bring us the fabulous Doodah Parade, and the Pasadena Chalk Festival, among other wonderful community oriented events.

If you know anything about Hoopla Emporium (and Webster's Fine Stationers prior to our move), you know that we love supporting our local artists and entrepreneurs.  Here we have an opportunity to support our budding artists, and entrepreneurs, so we'll be dedicating this day and 15% of our proceeds from it, to Light Bringer and both Room 13s.  Come see us on Saturday, November 29, shop around, meet some of the kids our donation will be supporting, and if you make a purchase, you'll get a little surprise they've made just for you! 

Scott and I wish you a warm and wonderful Thanksgiving! Hoopla will be open Saturday the 29th at 10:00 am - we'll see you then!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

It's Looking A Lot Like Holiday Time!

Welcome to the holiday season at Hoopla! An Emporium Of Good Things!  Of all the seasons, we love the winter holidays, for the warmth it brings, the camaraderie, and of course, all the hustle and bustle.  We are stocked and ready for you with the beautiful, the meaningful, and the tasty!

If you don't know it yet, Hoopla Emporium carries some great local and regional food products, from fair trade tea from Rishi, to shaped tea morsels from Tea Drops; to salted caramels from Le Bon Garcon, to fabulous jams, salsas, sauces, and spice rubs!  Some of our local vendors include Jabberwocky Smooth Jerk Sauces; Earl's Gone Wild pepper jellies and barbeque sauces; coconut sugar from Coconut World; mole sauces from San Angel Mole; full spectrum of sauces & salsas from Sierra Madre Grocery Company; shaped sugar cubes from Fantasy Sugar; lovely jams from LA Farm Girl; raw honey from Massey Honey Company; small-batch nut butters from Rock Rose Provisions; oils and balsamic vinegars from Beyond The Olive; and salad dressings/marinades/dipping sauces from David's Unforgettables.  We are adding to our selection of local and regional food products, and we think you'll be pleased with our healthy selection!

We have several new books from local authors as well.  We welcome to our bookcase new titles from Steven Gibson, Desiree Zamarano, Ellen Snortland, Anne Louise Bannon, and Randy Juarado Ertll. You are always welcome to come browse our book section, there are some wonderful books here!  We are hosting a meet & greet with author Anne Bannon, whose new book "Fascinating Rhythm" has just hit our shelves, on Friday, Nov. 21 at 6:30 pm!  We'll also be sampling some Beaujolais Nouveau, since Anne and her husband, Mike Holland, also author OddBallGrape.com.

 Hoopla Emporium welcomed several new vendors to the store this season.  There are great products from Wowwee, a Southern California company, along with offerings from Mixt Studio in Manhattan Beach, and greeting cards from Offensive + Delightful, a company in Los Angeles.  We also now carry Papyrus/Recycled Paper Greetings, too, as well as our local card makers, so you'll never leave without a card you love!  You'll find Ty Beanie Babies here, small stuffed animals from Douglas, kids' toys from Green Toys, Inc., and very popular lunch boxes and purses from the Tin Box Company.  Dog lovers will rejoice with a coffee cup from Demdaco, sporting their favorite breed, and magnets will delight, as well! 

Our favorite fair trade scarf patterns are in from Julian Imports in CA, and beautifully warm Pashmina's will keep the chill off. 

As always, we have a great selection of Willow Tree figurines and angels -

Scott and I wish you the very best this season, and we'll be waiting for you at Hoopla Emporium on beautiful Fair Oaks Ave.!

Monday, August 11, 2014


Hello, friends, another Monday has come and so it's time for a blog post.  Last week we discussed Sally Hogshead's new book, How The World Sees You.  In it, we posted a link and a password to take the perception test at no charge.  Did you try it?  We'd love to know what you thought - leave us a message and let us know your two defining traits and your archetype!  To have a little fun with this, here's what your archetype would be if they were named after super heroes:

Speaking of perception, we'd like to share someone else's blog post with you today, with a hat tip to our good friend Rose Eliff, who brought it to our attention.  The blog is called Momastary and the post, here, is called "Give Me Gratitude Or Give Me Debt".  It's a very uplifting post, and we hope you enjoy it!

Why would a retail store want you to read a post about someone who is consciously avoiding keeping up with the Joneses?  Isn't that what retail's all about, trying to get everyone in your store to buy the latest geegaw and gadget?  Most of them do, yes indeed they do.  We're a little different here at Hoopla.  We are An Emporium Of Good Things, and as such, carry products that are mostly sourced locally.  We have the largest collection of books written by people that live in and around Altadena.  We carry products like soap, tea, sauces, and caramels all made by local or regional folks.  Real people with real names, that you may bump into while shopping.  Greeting cards, art, music, wall decor, even pens made locally.  We carry fair trade gift wrap, bags, shoppers, scarves, jewelry, and journals.  Of the imports that we do carry, we carefully vet the companies to ensure that manufacturing laws and workers are not being abused.  No children were harmed in the production of our merchandise.  It's always a nice bonus when we find these type of companies locally, as well.  You see, we're a feel-good store, and we figure you can never get enough of a good thing, right?  You'll come in, there's no need for us to shout about how much better we are than your other choices, but cheering sections are always welcomed! 

So what does this have to do with perception?  It says we care - deeply and truly care about what you bring into your home.  We know you could buy products anywhere, so we specialize in finding products that not everyone has.  We know you could patronize any business, and we're very thankful you choose ours.  This is why we're so choosy - because you are!

With that said, we've got some great new garden items coming in from Regal Art And Gifts, a California company located in Concord.  There will be some great solar yard stakes and wind chimes that are just perfect for your late summer garden!  We can't wait until the fall yard decorations come in because they're so cool!  Here's a little peek of what's coming:

Dragonfly Bell
Solar Bubble Light Butterfly Stake

Solar Lantern
Hummingbird Bell
Coming soon - Halloween Yard Stakes

Remember, we also have beautiful Leoj Wishing Balls.  These are extremely well made (in the U.S.!) glass objects that soak up the sun's rays during the day, and glow softly at night.  Almost as wonderful as fireflies, these shapes will fascinate you!

Leoj Wishing Balls, Large & Small Spheres


That's it for this week, friends.  Have a great week, and we'll talk next Monday!

Lori and Scott

Monday, August 4, 2014

What Makes You Fascinating?

This isn't about us.  It's about YOU.

It starts with YOU.  It ends with YOU.

Intrigued yet?

Branding expert and leading authority on the science of fascination, Sally Hogshead, is launching her new book How The World Sees You on July 1.

To celebrate all of the new insights she's learned over the past decade of research, she has started Project Fascination, with a goal to show 100,000 people how their personalities add value.

To do this, she's given me a special code, BL-lorinscott, to give the first 100 people who use it her Fascination Advantage (tm) assessment for free!  This has never been done before, and will only last until they reach 100,000 more assessment takers!

And the best part is - they want this to be a chain reaction.  So when you take the assessment using BL-lorinscott, you'll receive 100 assessments to share with your circle for free, too!  That's $3700 of free market research at your fingertips!

So how do you take the assessment?  Simple.

Go to http://www.HowTheWorldSeesYou.com/You amd use code BL-lorinscott.  Once you've taken the assessment, Sally's team will load 100 assessments into your new account.  Rinse and repeat.  That's it.  Now you're ready to discover how your personality is custom built for certain situations, and which situations you should learn to avoid.  And it only takes 5 minutes (you can eve do it on your phone).

28 questions.  5 minutes.  A whole new way to communicate.

Remember, the best way to empower someone is to show them their own highest value.  Our goal together is to show people the very best of themselves - the qualities that makes them more successful, more authentic, and more fascinating. 

Remember that your code will expire once they reach 100,000 more assessment takers.  Don't this this $3700 value go to waste.  Take the assessment today and encourage your friends and followers to do the same!

Your Fascination Advantage Report is the first big step into knowing how your personality can be heard and remembered in an overcrowded market.  And sharing the assessment will help others do the same.  Find everything you need to put this knowledge into practice with your co-workers, close friends and significant other in Sally's new book, How The World Sees You.

Here's the first page of my assessment, where I discovered my two greatest advantages and my Archetype.  I'm Passion + Innovation, which equals The Catalyst.  Scott is Mystique + Innovation, which equals The Secret Weapon.  We'd love to know what you are!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Back In The Saddle Again, Redoux

Hi, there, friends, we're finally back to keeping this blog up, after moving and getting things set up in our new store!  In case you haven't heard, we found a sweet little storefront on Fair Oaks Avenue that we just love.  We've also taken advantage of the move to re-brand the store, so we're now called "Hoopla! An Emporium Of Good Things".  Although our name has changed, our core mission has not, and this move has only intensified our endeavors to highlight the many local artists, makers, and entrepreneurs our area has to offer!

That said, as I was perusing Facebook a bit earlier, I ran across this post from our friend, Bob Phibbs, The Retail Doctor, and felt it was something important enough for me to copy whole and post here.  This is a subject that I'm pretty sure you know is very intregal to our core mission, and I couldn't be happier that someone else thinks the same way!  I love that Bob says to commit to step it up (instead of leaning in), I love that he stresses communication, and I just adore that he asks that we build a better world.  We can do that, you know. 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

So Long....Farewell.....

Mother taught us long ago to keep quiet if we had nothing good to say, so it's been quite a while since we've posted here.  What was once  a weekly blog of exciting experiences at our store and informative posts about how we all can support our towns has been silenced.  Why?  The very thing that we've been writing about for years has happened here - the Webster's shopping complex has been sold to an investment firm in Beverly Hills, Greenbridge Investments, and WFS is not a part of their plans for the future.  Our last day will be on January 31, 2014.