Home With The Beachcomber – Simi Valley, CA

As previously mentioned, I love Anthropologie, but not crowds. So whenever we feel the need to shop, my cohort Curious Laydee and I head out to the Simi Valley Town Center, an outdoor mall that’s usually all but deserted.

And a few months ago as we were about to enter our beloved faux-bohemian bazaar, she spotted Home With The Beachcomber just across the way. I hadn’t noticed a tiki store there before!

It’s a rather large space and it’s mostly filled with Hawaiiana stuff, like Hilo Hattie-type Aloha wear, prints of vintage air travel ads, and anything you can possibly imagine being printed with a hibiscus flower, palm tree or pineapple.

Not pictured here, but I did notice some nods to the modern tiki art scene—like framed Doug Horne prints. (You might recognize his art if you’ve ever been in our downstairs bathroom… ;))

There’s also a section devoted to the kinds of goodies you might bring back from a trip to the Islands, like coconut M&Ms, Waialua soda, Kona coffee, and chocolate covered macadamia nuts.

The name tipped me off that maybe the store is related to Don the Beachcomber, and they do actually stock their signature rum barrels, along with some hula girl mugs and the still ubiquitous Pink Panther themed ceramics designed by Shag.

I found further support of this possible connection in these Don the Beachcomber-branded mini tiki huts on display.

It was fun to browse, but most of the wares were a bit touristy for my taste. This would be the perfect spot to hit up, though, if you didn’t bring back enough souvenir gifts for people after your Hawaiian vacation. They’ll never know!

Home with the Beachcomber
1555 Simi Town Center Wy.
Simi Valley, CA 93065


Oceanic Arts – Whittier, CA

Inside a nondescript building in Whittier, less than an hour outside of LA, is the treasure trove of tiki that is Oceanic Arts. It’s basically a one-stop shop for anybody looking to build a home tiki bar or throw a big luau (though I suppose your second stop would probably be a good liquor store).

But supplying bamboo, lauhala matting and carvings to the masses is just the tip of the iceberg for them. They’re also responsible for the decor of landmarks like the Enchanted Tiki Room and the Tonga Room

Not to mention numerous films and television shows ranging from “Gilligan’s Island” to the “Pirates of the Caribbean” sequels to my personal favorite: “Saved by the Bell.” (A piece of paper at the front desk lists some of their many credits.)

There’s also sections filled with nautical items like port and starboard lanterns, cork floats, glass floats, rigging, life preservers and even mermaid figureheads. (Although some items are only for rent, and others are even just for show.)

Leroy Schmaltz started Oceanic Arts with Bob Van Oosting in 1957, after cultivating his talent for carving tikis in the style of…Oceanic art! Check out the book/catalog “Night of the Tiki: The Art of Shag, Schmaltz and Selective Primitive Oceanic Carvings” for more on their history.

And they’ve been running this business for more than fifty years! “Almost every sitcom will eventually have an episode that has some tropical setting in it….We’ll wind up doing it,” said Schmaltz in “Night of the Tiki.”

These shell and tapa lamps are just amazing, though alas, out of my price range. I can dream!

Here’s a little area where significant others can relax while the pocketbook damage is being done. (If Mr. Hockey hadn’t been out of town that weekend, you probably would have seen him here.)

The display cases are filled with tiki tablelamps and vintage and recent mugs, including one that commemorates themselves! These are just for admiring, though there are some Tiki Farm mugs available to buy in another area.

The warehouse is only open weekdays, plus Saturdays from 10 a.m.-1 p.m., so I’d suggest making it an early trip to ensure plenty of browsing time. I picked up a couple things for my tiki room, but probably the most useful purchase was their catalog ($10). It lists pictures and pricing for lots of their stock, so next time I can go in with a clearer idea of what I want and what’s in my budget.

Oceanic Arts Tropical Decor
12414 Whittier Blvd.
Whittier, CA 90602

Disneyland’s 55th Anniversary Art from Kevin Kidney & Jody Daily

A day at Disneyland is not complete for me without a visit to the Disney Gallery, and its new-ish, larger location at the end (beginning?) of Main Street makes it easy to drop in on your way out of the park.

Just adjacent is the Opera House lobby, where you can admire this incredible piece of Disney history. The plaque says that this is the park bench (from Griffith Park’s merry-go-round) where Walt Disney dreamed up the idea of Disneyland. I can also attest that that circa-1926 carousel is a magical place, indeed.

And on the topic of Disneyland’s origins, artists Kevin Kidney and Jody Daily have been designing a slew of things to celebrate the park’s 55th anniversary, such as this “Disneyland ’55 Paper-Sculpture-O-Rama” (much better pic at their link).

On these wrapped canvas giclĂ©es, it’s easier to see how each of the main themed areas are represented with symbols of attractions from when Disneyland opened in 1955. Some are long gone, but there’s still the Jungle Cruise, Tea Cups and Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride (a favorite of Mr. Baseball).

On this closer shot of the Adventureland one, you can see a Marquesan tiki next to the Jungle Cruise boat. You’re thinking The Enchanted Tiki Room, right? Wrong! (It didn’t open until 1963.) In Daveland’s collection of vintage Disneyland photos, you can spot this tiki propped up between two benches. (FYI, the store also had prints of the individual lands for about $30, though the stack I sifted through only had Frontierland.)

The Disney Gallery space used to be the Bank of Main Street, and the vault has been housing a couple of Shag’s original paintings from the Haunted Mansion anniversary. How neat! (And prudent, too, considering I think they’re priced at about ten grand each.)