Accidental Retailers

Meet the brothers behind two of Hermosa’s trendy his-and-hers boutiques

Written by Michelle Lyn | Photography by Paul Jonason

Conceived by siblings with a creative background, Beach & Beverly co-owner Brian Cooley says, “In short, we’re two brothers who accidentally started a retail storefront out of our office space on Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach.”

Florida natives, brothers Colin and Brian Cooley, started out in the corporate world as an attorney and municipal bonds trader, respectively. After their father, a veteran salesman, passed away, they changed gears and dove head first into the music industry, doing PR for musicians and music events in Atlanta.

Years later, and life couldn’t be more different. In 2011, the general store Wicked+ in Hermosa Beach marked their first foray into retail, providing unique items geared towards men like shaving accessories, grooming products and coffee. A few years later, seeing a need for a boutique that catered to the wants and needs of today’s women, they opened Beach & Beverly just two doors down.

Located on Pier Avenue, Beach & Beverly features clothing brands like Amour Vert, Cleobella, Gorjana, LNA and Rory Beca. To accommodate the lifestyle of their Beach & Beverly clientele, the Cooleys also curate a selection of accessories, edibles, bath and home sundries as well as an inspiring collection of books and magazines. According to Brian, the Beach & Beverly customer is “confident, daring, flirty, fun, fuss-free and fashionable,” among other SoCal traits revolving around sun and sand.

By hosting fun events with stylists in the shop, the Cooleys seem to have their finger on the pulse of what the South Bay woman wants, while drawing on their former life experiences to know just how to promote it.

Beach & Beverly
135 Pier Avenue
Hermosa Beach, CA 90245
310.379.9630 |

Sustainable South Bay Style

Fashion and gifts—eco-minded and of-the-moment— abound at Grace & Greene

Written by Constance Dunn | Photography by Paul Jonason

At a corner in Riviera Village, just steps from the ocean, there’s a boutique stocked with clothes and accessories—distinctly South Bay in flavor with serious eco-conscious cred behind it. Men’s t-shirts are soft, sensible and sourced from red algae and wood pulp, ingredients that render them naturally anti-microbial and odor-resistant. There are flowing jewel-toned tunic tops that have been “upcycled” from vintage silk Indian saris, and color-drenched bikinis sourced from plastic bottles and fishnets.

Grace & Greene favors relaxed yet body framing silhouettes, fine fabrics and beach-friendly color schemes like soft whites, muted blues and grays. “It has to be comfortable. That’s one of our requirements,” says buyer Sarah Oliver. “The other is that it has to be fully sustainable. It can’t be halfway there. There’s a lot of labels that do 50-percent eco, and we’ve cut those out.”

In case one equates eco-friendly with lacking in style, a spin around the place reveals plenty of chic, along with a bevy of singular gifts, from elegant pendants fashioned from sea glass and crocheted, surfer-girl hats to a display of darling all-organic cotton onesies and socks for baby.

Grace & Greene
1612 S. Catalina Avenue
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Inspiring Beauty: Soolip

Soolip founder Wanda Wen sparks conversation with her newest pursuit.

Written by Jenn Thornton

L.A. tastemaker Wanda Wen is a case study in following your bliss. Armed with a background in fashion, an eye for artistry and a mind for business, she opened her classily curated West Hollywood paper-arts boutique, Soolip, in the midst of the Digital Revolution—a gutsy move that proved visionary, with a boldface following and spinoffs, from A Soolip Wedding to the Wen-penned The Art of Gift Wrapping. Now, in her first foray to attain luxury brand status for Soolip, Wen turns her exquisite touch on developing a new line of scented candles to bring a little more allure to the home.

untitled-14-2How did your early inspirations translate to Soolip?

The beauty and intelligence of nature has always inspired me, paper too. Ever since I was young, I loved exchanging and embellishing Valentine’s cards and family photo albums. It was always in my blood.

As a businesswoman and an aesthete, how can paper inspire the way home and office space is utilized?

Today, we live in a world fraught with email, E-vites and E-cards, Facebook messaging and digital technology. While there’s no doubt about the great benefits of electronic messaging, nothing captures a moment better than putting pen to paper. The handwritten note is making a comeback in the business world as the single-most effective way to engage a client, as it indicates investment.

Did Soolip’s other ventures spin off organically from the boutique?

Yes. Soolip Weddings came out of what I felt was a need in the wedding
industry to curate a collection of the best of Los Angeles, along with a certain aesthetic level, and an inspired way of doing business. From this luxury showcase grew client interest in my styling [for] actual weddings and adding the
Soolip touch.

What are you working on now?

A new line of candles—my first step into the lifestyle world, outside of paper. I’ve formulated the scents, concept and the packaging, and the line will be available on our website,, by this fall, as well as at select retailers.

Why candles?

I’m attracted to scent and how it transports people, and am naturally responsive to sensory and tactile elements, as all humans are. That’s the reason why people gravitate toward paper, because it is tactile and touches our senses. It’s also a way to package the Soolip brand into something that is accessible to many.

There’s a romantic, time-honored quality to everything you touch. How do you keep it all modern?

For me, it’s about staying true to my aesthetic with always a nod to nature. I’m a modern woman living in a modern time, so the burning of a candle, writing a letter, taking time for oneself—to me that’s the new luxury. Soolip is a luxury brand, but not what many may still be hanging onto, where it’s about flash and bigger is better. The new luxury I refer to is about time-honored experiences and quality. That’s my vision.

How do you balance art and commerce so beautifully and successfully? 

I grew up within a family of entrepreneurs, which taught me about work ethic. And I knew that business would take me where I needed to go. Being passionate about what I do has always been most important to me. Now that Soolip is 20 years old, I’m ready to leverage the value of the brand.

What do you hope Soolip’s legacy will be?

I want to see Soolip as a premier luxury brand, moving the luxury consumer to
see luxury in a way—time-honored and mindful. I see it as aspirational and touching many facets of design. The gift that I want to leave is to inspire others to see beauty in the simple and the unexpected, connect people back to nature and to themselves, and to foster the celebration of those who work with their hands and hearts.