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Shop Local Boutiques: Craft and Folk Art Museum

Sep 2, 2011

by rachelelizabethjones handmade and vintage goods

Rachel Elizabeth Jones works in the Craft and Folk Art Museum Shop doing a little bit of everything. Featuring unique, handmade work by local artists and international fair trade artisans, the shop reflects the museum’s dedication to stretching the definition of art and championing the human touch. Rachel manages the online shop and helps coordinate events like global bazaars – but her favorite part of her job is researching and writing stories about the artists the museum works with.

The Craft and Folk Art Museum Shop is an L.A. gem located on the first floor of the dollhouse-like museum, nestled among the sleek buildings of Miracle Mile. Small but mighty, the museum has been at the forefront of blending traditional folk art, outsider art, and alternative storytelling since 1965 — and our museum shop is known locally as a hotspot for one-of-a-kind treasures handmade by Los Angeles artists, independent makers and designers, and global fair trade organizations.

[Clockwise from top left: Red Grasshopper print from RococcoCoLook Into My Chalcedony Ring from AmorOrquidea; Icicle oval earrings from sonyarasi; Porcelain mug from bellajoy; Recycled cardboard cuff from butternutsquash]

Our shop’s eclectic mix of jewelry, textiles, housewares and art books is curated by Yuko Makuuchi. For me, every day is like Christmas. One day it’s a package from India filled with recycled tin lanterns and ornate block print stamps, the next it’s meticulously fashioned silver from an artist who grew up 20 minutes away. We’re always finding new artists, especially when looking for items that relate to the museum’s exhibitions. Just recently we ordered gorgeous insect prints from RococcoCo – they complemented our Jennifer Angus show, “All Creatures Great and Small,” perfectly!

[Clockwise from top right: Flourish sterling silver earrings from aprilkawaoka; White rhino model from CardboardSafari; Three piece necklace from StaceyMillerUNL]

We’ve also just become home to a crash of rhinos, thanks to Cardboard Safari. The show “Love and Other Audacities” by Ann Weber shows us how cardboard salvaged from dumpsters can become something archetypal, monstrous, humorous, or even cute. Rambling Robbie lets everyone experience the joy of transforming flat, ordinary cardboard, too – and he’s just plain cool. We also love the cardboard bracelets by butternutsquash; our customers can’t get over the fact that they’re water resistant!

[Clockwise from top right: El Toro teacup from KoideStudio; Bronze and sterling dahlia earrings from eilen; Sunflower hooks earrings from SBJewelry; Hole in my heart earrings from StaceyMillerUNL; Graffiti print wallet from RecordWallets; Baby geode earrings from ateliermila; Green ball and chain terrarium from Wendiland

One thing we’re especially known for is our jewelry. People come in looking for wearable art that’s well made and can’t be found anywhere else. Some of my favorite work is by Eilen Stewart, code name eilen. A Russian-born ceramicist and jewelry designer, Eilen recently released a line of succulent jewelry made using the lost wax casting technique. The succulents come from her Los Angeles garden, and the pieces are truly exquisite. I feel like a rugged desert princess wearing Eilen’s dahlias.

Craft and folk art is inherently interdisciplinary; merging methods, mediums, and cultures is not only accepted, but makes the work more interesting. Designer Stacey Miller uses crochet, a textile technique, to fashion her delicate necklaces and earrings. And we all go crazy for Sasha Bell’s modern tribal earrings — the geometry and size of her pieces are bold, contemporary, elegant, and not in the least bit overwhelming.

Do you know of a must-visit local boutique? Tell us about it in the comments below.

Shop Local Boutiques Series | Shop Local on Etsy


  • FranceGallery

    FranceGallery said 10 years ago

    This looks like a fun place to visit. Wish I was closer!

  • Mclovebuddy

    Mclovebuddy said 10 years ago

    i love that museum and the remaining art deco and regency architectural gems and museums that dot the strip. great article!

  • FranceGallery

    FranceGallery said 10 years ago

    This looks like a really interesting shop to visit. Only wish I was closer!

  • myvintagecrush

    myvintagecrush said 10 years ago

    I could lost in there for a while!

  • FranceGallery

    FranceGallery said 10 years ago

    Looks very interesting. Wish I lived closer!

  • sparrowgrey

    sparrowgrey said 10 years ago

    Great stuff! I love the local shops around my town.

  • MayKnart

    MayKnart said 10 years ago

    How did I not know about this place?! I'm in L.A. Thanks again, etsy, for leading me to some great finds!

  • squid21r

    squid21r said 10 years ago

    Such wonderful finds! really wish there were more places that showcased eclectic pieces like this!

  • breadandroses2

    breadandroses2 said 10 years ago

    Venues like the Craft and Folk Art Museum Shop are invaluable for both artists and patrons of the arts. Reminds me of the former Sylvia Ullman's American Craft Gallery in Cleveland that closed in 2007 after going strong for 42 years. Still so sadly missed. Her encouragement made an indelible mark and I am so grateful for her vision. Happy L.A. has a place like this. Great post.

  • rarebeasts

    rarebeasts said 10 years ago

    Amazing pieces.

  • SweetandDandyVintage

    SweetandDandyVintage said 10 years ago

    I'm stoked the National Folk Art Festival is in Music City this year! Can't wait to go! Great article!

  • lovefolk8

    lovefolk8 said 10 years ago

    Beautiful pieces! Yay for folk art!!

  • paramountvintage

    paramountvintage said 10 years ago

    what an amazing location! i love the eclectic collection of artists.

  • butternutsquash

    butternutsquash said 10 years ago

    I ♥ CAFAM! I'm honored to be included in such talented, beautiful company.

  • LittleWrenPottery

    LittleWrenPottery said 10 years ago

    Love your picks, I'm really digging geometric patterns at the moment!

  • SilverandEarth

    SilverandEarth said 10 years ago

    Amazing pieces!!

  • blessedvintage

    blessedvintage said 10 years ago

    A very neat store! blessings

  • KristyLynnJewelry

    KristyLynnJewelry said 10 years ago

    Great pieces, I love shopping at local shops!

  • CarminaBearana

    CarminaBearana said 10 years ago

    Love this Museum! A MUST for craft-lovers visiting Los Angeles. Across the street from other great museums & easy to get to by bus.

  • mylenefoster

    mylenefoster said 10 years ago

    I've been to that district many times and I'm sorry I missed it. Next time, for sure I'll visit. For LA though, folk art and craft would be different from let say, the southwest. It could be misleading to people who wouldn't know any better.

  • MootiDesigns

    MootiDesigns said 10 years ago

    Great store. Love it!

  • SimpleJoysPaperie

    SimpleJoysPaperie said 10 years ago

    Rachel must have such an interesting job!

  • TheScarfTree

    TheScarfTree said 10 years ago

    I love that Coral and Fish bronze bowl! Beautiful! Same with the cardboard Rhino's! Thanks for the article!

  • MadeinMogotes

    MadeinMogotes said 10 years ago

    What a beautiful shop. Which I was nearby!

  • MaidOfClay

    MaidOfClay said 10 years ago

    I was just in there not too long ago after a visit to LACMA, which is right across the way. Definitely worth the stop.

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 10 years ago

    I'm honored to be part of this unique and beautiful gallery! Thank you Yuko!

  • sonyarasi

    sonyarasi said 10 years ago

    Thank you Rachel very much too!

  • KnitKnit

    KnitKnit said 10 years ago

    I visited this museum earlier this year - a really wonderful museum & shop! One of my favorite stops on my visit to LA.

  • accentonvintage

    accentonvintage said 10 years ago

    Very lovely blog and beautiful pieces! Would love to visit!

  • TheIDconnection

    TheIDconnection said 10 years ago

    I love the tea cup, has a country folk feel. Great read Monica

  • pinksnakejewelry

    pinksnakejewelry said 10 years ago

    What a terrific Place!!! Wonderful Creations!!!

  • DustyRoseDesigns

    DustyRoseDesigns said 10 years ago

    visited the museum long ago...must go back! thanks for the reminder!

  • StudioZen

    StudioZen said 10 years ago

    Oh this looks like a wonderful place!

  • FiveSproutsStitching

    FiveSproutsStitching said 10 years ago

    Those are some wonderful pieces. Great work.

  • BestDressedJewelry

    BestDressedJewelry said 10 years ago

    Gorgeous...we all need to take time to visit these places of beauty. It will clear our minds and open us to all the beauty around us!

  • momijistudio

    momijistudio said 10 years ago

    I used to live just a few blocks away from the Craft and Folk Art Museum and Shop. It was always such a pleasure to stop by and see all of the beautiful handicrafts.

  • LavenderField

    LavenderField said 10 years ago

    This is very nice. Too bad I'm so far away.....

  • Trenza

    Trenza said 10 years ago

    Wonderful article! I have never stopped by but now I am definitely going to pay them a visit.

  • Iammie

    Iammie said 10 years ago

    Cool! Love them all.

  • AliceCloset

    AliceCloset said 10 years ago

    I'm soooooo far away from this great shop But it is great and very lovely!

  • RareDesign

    RareDesign said 10 years ago

    Awesome, wish we something like that here!

  • MegansMenagerie

    MegansMenagerie said 10 years ago

    Beautiful! If I was closer I would be visiting! Looks amazing =)

  • SpiceofLifeDesigns

    SpiceofLifeDesigns said 10 years ago

    My favorite local boutique is Homespun - They carry over 130 independent artists, about half are local and a good portion are regional. And I'm super excited because it looks like they just won a Pepsi Refresh grant (votes are finalized on the 20th) so they can open up workshops and teaching space, too! The shop owner Amanda Mauer-Taflinger has pretty much revitalized the DIY Modern Craft movement here in Central Indiana.

  • idledoodle

    idledoodle said 10 years ago

    The shop/museum looks fabulous, a lovely idea to bring all these beautiful eclectic pieces together..

  • girltuesdayjewelry

    girltuesdayjewelry said 10 years ago

    Love all of the great creations here!

  • redhardwick

    redhardwick said 10 years ago

    Cool stuff! Thanks for sharing!

  • rmoralespottery

    rmoralespottery said 10 years ago

    Great article and beautifully featured items. Thank you for the exposure and for highlighting the Museum.

  • SweetiePieCollars

    SweetiePieCollars said 10 years ago

    Place looks amazing! I am going to make sure and visit the next time I come to L.A.!

  • ruthshapiro

    ruthshapiro said 10 years ago

    I wonder if they carry contemporary folkart Judaica! It's definitely a fantastic place!!

  • vintagepeddler

    vintagepeddler said 10 years ago

    This is beautifull ,next time I go to L.A Ill be sure to visit !

  • TheNightjar

    TheNightjar said 10 years ago

    Great! Can't wait to go!

  • ateliermila

    ateliermila said 10 years ago

    CAFAM has a beautiful gallery. I'm honored to be included among such talented artist.

  • wendiland

    wendiland said 10 years ago

    It must be so exciting to feel like everyday is Christmas, since it is my favorite holiday of the year! This is such an intimate little museum to do shopping for your loved ones while enjoying the unique works at their exhibition. All the picks are soooooo lovely, I want them all!

  • wendiland

    wendiland said 10 years ago

    Thank you for featuring my Ball and Chain spiky ornament terrarium here! :)

  • bellajoy

    bellajoy said 10 years ago

    Thank you for including my country mouse city mouse mug! I love the CAFAM!

  • asileoriginals

    asileoriginals said 10 years ago

    Thank you for the info about the museum. I am very excited to go!

  • janiceartjewelry

    janiceartjewelry said 10 years ago

    I love that gallery and museum. They have great classes as well. It is an LA Gem, along with the Brewery, Barnsdale Art Park, Bergamot Station and so many other hidden Los Angeles art venues/treasures.

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo said 10 years ago

    wow, fabulous. I have one for you to check out - it's Bohemia Tucson, in Tucson, AZ. :)

  • busterandboo

    busterandboo said 10 years ago :)

  • JillianReneDecor

    JillianReneDecor said 10 years ago

    Wow! I wish I still lived in CA... I will definitely spread the word - what a gem! Best wishes!

  • ElenaMary

    ElenaMary said 10 years ago

    Do not miss ARTFUL in Santa Monica on ocean park blvd. Between 17 and 18 streets ..a treasure chest of handmade creations!!

  • choisette

    choisette said 10 years ago

    why do i know where the 'museum of death' in l.a. is, but not this clearly awesome place? i definitely need to get out more.

  • dahliahousestudios

    dahliahousestudios said 10 years ago

    Wonderful fun!

  • Parachute425

    Parachute425 said 10 years ago

    Love our Chicago museum gift shops!

  • burnedfurniture

    burnedfurniture said 10 years ago

    Great article and pictures! I love Blue Cloud Gallery in Somerville, MA and Cambridge Artist's Cooperative in Cambridge, MA!

  • KMalinka

    KMalinka said 10 years ago

    Great gallery!

  • bedouin

    bedouin said 10 years ago

    Rich in culture and history. The mark up prices are well worth the purchase when documentation shows where a portion of the funds go. Fair trade is a big word these days ~ its nice to know that institutions hold up their end and give back to the artists whose work they sell.

  • KoideStudio

    KoideStudio said 10 years ago

    It is my honor to be included in your shop! Thank you, Yuko and Rachel!!

  • JoMacJewels

    JoMacJewels said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful Museum shop! Would love to be able to visit, alas, too far away. So glad to read the article.

  • chewytulip

    chewytulip said 10 years ago

    If I ever get out to LA...I'm definitely visiting this place! Locally, my favorite place to visit is the Peters Valley Store and Gallery. It's located within a national park in northwestern New Jersey - a surprisingly beautiful area to visit, even if just for the natural wonders. And bears. Lots of black bears. :) They also run some really awesome art workshops during the summer!

  • AmorOrquidea

    AmorOrquidea said 10 years ago

    I love CAFAM! We had the best time at their Global Baazar. I totally recommend it to those in the area of LACMA. Thanks for the addition of Amor Orquidea Jewelry to the blog! I love it!

  • EmiliaFaith

    EmiliaFaith said 10 years ago

    Very nice !

  • masquerading

    masquerading said 10 years ago

    I recently visited with a coupon I got on livingsocial or dailycandy or one of those. Its such a lovely place. Not only their giftshop but also their exhibits. I will certainly be going again.

  • soranagallery

    soranagallery said 10 years ago

    If only I lived in Los Angeles again....thanks. Jena

  • katrinaalana

    katrinaalana said 10 years ago

    Great pieces!

  • sasquatchsara

    sasquatchsara said 10 years ago

    I would highly suggest looking into Twilight Artist Collective in West Seattle WA if this hasn't already been suggested!

  • EgyptianInspirations

    EgyptianInspirations said 10 years ago

    What a wonderful idea. I could spend many hours browsing places like this. Just wish there were more of them x

  • valburgesscollage

    valburgesscollage said 10 years ago

    I have been told that the Walker here in the Twin Cities sources from ETSY. Wouldn't it be great if there was a world wide movement to support the arts in this manner.

  • MrRaccoonsempire

    MrRaccoonsempire said 10 years ago

    LA always has so much to offer, im glad to know of another great museum to visit there.

  • mozaicgirl1

    mozaicgirl1 said 10 years ago

    I would love to own/operate a shop like this...what fun!

  • moojoo88

    moojoo88 said 10 years ago

    What a great shop! My son lives in LA and I'm going to make him buy my christmas present there!!!!! and maybe more....I should be out there sometime this year and will definitely stop by at this shop...:) LA is fabu and has so many great shops.

  • jikits

    jikits said 10 years ago

    i'm an l.a. based artist and never knew about this place... until now!!! must go asap! wonderful article and some new favorites here

  • DecadenceandDecay

    DecadenceandDecay said 10 years ago

    Lots of fave here!

  • jodieflowers

    jodieflowers said 10 years ago

    Great finds!

  • kararane

    kararane said 10 years ago

    hi Rachel- what a fun place to be & work*! really enjoy all the vibrant colors + hand~made = Love

  • TandJsoaps

    TandJsoaps said 10 years ago

    Great shop! I love when museum shops include work by local artisans. The Albany Visitor's Center has a wonderful little shop here in upstate NY.

  • pillowfactory

    pillowfactory said 10 years ago

    they really do things right down at the cafam. I love that place and their etsy craft nights are pretty sweet too..


    ARTEPEL said 10 years ago

    great shops ... too far to visit them ! we are in Genova - ITALY , but thanks for letting us in from the distance :)

  • redemptionart

    redemptionart said 10 years ago

    I <3 folk! Thank you!

  • FeltNatural

    FeltNatural said 10 years ago

    sounds like wonderful place!!!!

  • MishaGirl

    MishaGirl said 10 years ago

    Oh my....right in my own backyard and I had no clue! I will definitely plan a visit to the shop. Thanks for posting!!

  • notApplicable

    notApplicable said 10 years ago

    LoVe the DahliA eaRrinGs & comPaSS nEckLace!

  • RawBoneStudio

    RawBoneStudio said 10 years ago

    I remember eating lunch at The Egg and the Eye restaurant upstairs many moons ago. Wonderful that it's still a vibrant museum.

  • rajasthanhandicraft

    rajasthanhandicraft said 10 years ago

    Great post! Love the stuffs..........

  • gemterra

    gemterra said 10 years ago

    This is wonderful! We do have a similar Gallery here on the East coast in Sharon,CT Called “The Bodhi Tree” where all of the work is made by local artisans—only, Everything is one-of- a-kind and handcrafted. This type of gallery is a first in our little Northwest corner and a fantastic opportunity for artists to exhibit and sell their creations. The store’s website is ```gemterra

  • kathyoinspirations

    kathyoinspirations said 10 years ago

    A must see local gallery very similar to LA's shop is the Gallery at the Museum of Contemporary Craft in Portland, Oregon ( a wonderfully eclectic selection of handmade items too good to resist!

  • Courtney5918

    Courtney5918 said 10 years ago

    Sigh,,,,, I wish I was there xo

  • eftuhia

    eftuhia said 10 years ago

    you are so lucky to be there........amazing stuff

  • themadcapheiress

    themadcapheiress said 10 years ago

    What a charming location! And such a gorgeous and eclectic shop. Carefully and expertly curated. I love it!

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