In Santa Monica, a beast of a boutique has been unleashed on Main Street. And by beast, we mean phenomenon, a bright white luminosity that lures you in from the palm trees and ocean breeze like a moth to a flame. Upon entering the white interior, you feel like a levitating presence observing the rare uniquities and glints of gold sparkling inside the jewelry cases. It is a breathtaking experience of the senses, a creative hub, a marketplace of makers, an inspiration to anyone with a penchant for beauty or the bizarre—all with a little bit of magic sprinkled on top.
“I used one single word as inspiration to create this space. Invisible. I wanted everything to be translucent, seamless, light and airy.”
There’s truly nothing like Love Adorned, and nobody quite like Lori Leven, the mother of this cabinet of curiosity. With two successful stores in New York (the first born in Nolita, the middle child in Amagansett), Lori decided to trust her gut and spread the love to the Left Coast (now, introducing her baby in Los Angeles).
Actually, scratch that. Lori has three successful businesses in New York, including the precursor to Love Adorned, New York Adorned, a tattoo and piercing parlor with an impressive line-up of needle artists (like Kris Magnotti and J. Colby Smith). Combined, these boutiques are a perfect blend of hard and soft, with fine jewelry designers such as motorcycle enthusiast Nick Potash and the whimsical Polly Wales, a bridal favorite, all interwoven with a tinge of classic tattoo culture.
Almost twenty years ago today, Lori opened New York Adorned during a time when tattooing was illegal in the city.
“My only other real love was jewelry, so I opened up a small jewelry store as a front for the tattoo shop in the back.”
So how did that evolve into the reputable Love Adorned? A favorite amongst serious collectors? Of the most stylish people?
“Tattoo artists are purists. They didn’t like to share their space. It was time to split the business. So I opened Love Adorned. I wanted to be able to expand and represent the artists and craftspeople in my life, my friends from traveling the world.”
It’s true—Love Adorned is not just a boutique. It stands for something more. Like a culture. A culture of humans who spend their short time here making with their hands, or fascinated by those who do.
And she provides an exquisite space to support this culture, a true patron of the arts.
Lori is a well-traveled treasure huntress, a femme fatale of the collector’s world. In her travels, she seeks the unusual and utilitarian—lifestyle goods that serve not only as beauty, but also as tools with a purpose. She is about quality above all. Every piece of ceramic has a story behind its creation, every hand beaded Macaw feather, a history. Her Instagram provides a clear glimpse into her vibrant mind.
Her philosophy? “Uplift the creators. Only sell things that have a purpose. No fluff. Only unique, art-driven, heirloom quality goods.”
Did we mention the vintage jewelry collection? French gold necklace chains circa 1890. Navajo silver and turquoise squash blossoms from the 20’s. A scarab beetle necklace made of red coral, diamonds, and gold from the Egyptian Revival Movement. Told you so, straight magic.
As you browse through Love Adorned, you feel the bewitching mystery of not only this wonderland we call Earth, but of the human mind, creativity, and the beauty we are capable of.