I didn’t make it in time. On Tuesday, I stood in front of Kitson in the Malibu Lumberyard and it was dark, the doors were locked, and it had a sad, hand-made sign on the window that read “CLOSED.” Nearby Kitson Kids had already shuttered as well.
Mid-December the company announced that it was closing all of its California (and Oregon and Nevada) stores. Today, their website shopkitson.com reads “The Last Days are Approaching! Up to 80% Off.” But the site is under construction. There are two L.A. stores left but only for a day or two—the Melrose boutique is shuttering on Sunday and the Santa Monica Place location takes its last Instagram pic this weekend (Saturday or Sunday, depending, they said when I called). Financial woes and a celebrity heat index on a low simmer appear to be the cause for the closures of the once trendy boutique. I shopped at Kitson often, though, and this Christmas hit almost every location. I’ll miss my go-to kitschy gift store. Here are the Kitson treasures I will miss most (and alternative places to get them).
1. My go-to gift for my Catholic pals: A waving figurine of Pope Francis, which is powered by the sun (there’s a solar panel near his toes). You will now have to pick up the popular Pontiff (made by Kikkerland) from Amazon.com.
2. All that glitters is gone—there goes my carefully curated place to snag some sparkly TOMS. I have the same taste in clothing as a 15-year-old girl. If it is glimmers, it’s mine. You could always find a vast array of glitter-infused classic TOMS at Kitson. Now go to the source at toms.com, or see what they have on hand at the flagship store on Abbot Kinney.
3. Buh-bye, easy access to the Lokai bracelet (which contains water from Mt. Everest and mud from the Dead Sea—the highest and lowest points on the Earth). It was always a point-of-purchase deal in a basket near the cash register at the store at the Malibu Lumberyard. Now stay balanced through mylokai.com. Namaste.
4. My nephews all drink their cocoa and coffee out of Fred’s Fisticups, ceramic mugs with handles made to look like brass knuckles. I bought them at Kitsons all over town. They’re always good for a laugh, although one nephew is a teacher and can’t bring it to class. Bad Auntie. You can still come out swinging thanks to the Fred Web site.
5. Kitson always carried a large selection of Kai products—roll-on and spray perfumes, candles, lotions, and more. The fab gardenia-and-then-some-smelling scent, created by Gaye Straza, can also be found in select boutiques including Planet Blue in Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, and Venice, or at kaifrangrance.com.
So long, old chum!