This is Us (and some extra stuff thrown in)

Perched on our Studio City front porch in 2004, Brian and I wondered what it would be like to walk our --then unborn-- child to Carpenter. Three years later we celebrated our daughters adoption at @arts_deli because they had become family to us, as well as our “go to restaurant”, and experienced our adoption process in real time.

Countless times in nearly 2 decades we have walked Studio City shopping and dining in locally owned businesses. Supporting them in part because we are a community but also because we loved what we found in each spot. This is our “small town” home nestled within the “big city.”

Last year I retired as a red carpet jewelry stylist at the same time Brian moved back from our 2nd home in Harvard, MA--where he had been working in the medical industry the past four years to be closer to his "adoptive" family and mother before she passed.

As we set out to drive across the country back to Studio City, we resembled a modern day Beverly Hillbillies short Granny’s rocker. Along the three-week adventure we talked about what I might do next. Brian was quick to point out that I don’t sit still well and maybe we should open a business. His first suggestion was a gym. After I finished laughing we moved on to an ice cream shop, followed by a litany of other options, but nothing resonated for us both. And we knew it had to be something that represented us both.

3,600 miles, 19 states, and some of the most captivating sites later… we decided to open a gift gallery filled with everything we had discovered over the past 17 years together. Items that made you smile, think, be inspired, and illicit an emotion as you experienced them a new.

Restrained Whimsy was founded in 2015--the last time I tried to retire but couldn’t sit still—as a dream of something we would do together. Coming from the medical and scientific background, Brian tends to be more reserved. I on the other hand come from visual design, styling, and fine jewelry which lends it self more often to “flair.” The name was a perfect blend of us both. Typically people’s response to the name is to smirk…followed by a look of “What does that even mean?” It means, to us, a place where logic and play meet. Both celebrated, honored, and embraced.

Name and idea in hand, the only place we wanted to set up shop was in Studio City, our home. From one end of the boulevard to the other, we looked at numerous possibilities till the realtor called one day and said he had a perfect place with lots of windows, great parking, and was within Studio City.

@restrainedwhimsy where we would highlight local artists as much as possible. Where we would offer new artist the chance to be in a store as they built their own business. Studio City was always our choice for a location, because it was our home, and they were our peeps.

Today, please remember our locally owned shops, even as you venture out cautiously or choose to stay home and shop them via Instagram or Facebook. These shops need us to survive, thrive, and keep our "small town" bustling. Who of us hasn't found ourselves at @emeraldforestgifts @serendipitystudiocity @bellcottage @classictoysstudiocity @maxwelldog or @mexicalicocina We are a community and our small businesses need our support. Please remember to support them where you can.