“The past is a foreign country,” author L.P. Hartley famously wrote in his book The Go-Between. Perhaps that’s why we hold on to the postcards…
After some planning, polishing, and wading through the ebb and flow of tides, two brand new shops have sprung up at Pine Tree Circle: YanaPuma and Kinship Station. These two businesses share the brick and mortar once home to Topanga Auto Shop, and Topanga Feed and Seed. When you enter this locale, you are greeted by a lingering nostalgia in the restored, wooden-paneled garage doors.
One of the first things that will catch your eye (besides the friendly roadside hand painted signage) is a breathtaking and meticulous beaded piece of Columbian indigenous artwork that hangs on the wall of YanaPuma. It seems to speak languages as ancient as oaks. Inside rests a copy of Peter Wohlleben’s ‘The Secret Life of Trees’ and the most intriguing collectibles. Kinship Station also offers treasures to covet and sensory stimulating wares and fares.
The arrival of these two shops has warmed the hearts of supportive friends in Topanga, who over the past several weeks eagerly awaited their opening day. It also sparks the curiosity of Topangans who once regarded this locale as a place of community, and those with an appreciation for handcrafted pieces will be so pleased. These gifts hum of nearby deserts and distant jungles as they’re wrapped up for you to take home. May I suggest giving ample time when stopping by (noting their hours and dates that are appointment only) to really take a look? Every thoughtful and unique item will appreciate a potential new companion that isn’t in a rush. This is a place to reflect and commune.
Hedi Nikbakht of Kinship Station has a strong appreciation for durability and craftsmanship and hopes to bring meaningful products to the community, and Megan Schoenbachler founder of YanaPuma (which translates to Mystical Black Jaguar) had a vision for her shop when she discovered the art of the Amazonian tribes. She was first intrigued by the knowledge these pieces possessed and conveyed and was struck by how quickly this knowledge can become lost if not properly preserved. YanaPuma aims to raise awareness about the Amazon and Indigenous from around the world.
Hedi and Megan have come together creatively in this endeavor and function as partners in the space. Both entrepreneurs believe in preserving the timeless tradition of handcrafted goods and they both seek the work of artisans from around the world. Within the shop they aim to weave these artisans narratives into how they present each and every gift, whether it’s for oneself, a friend or a loved one.
Hedi and her husband have lived in the canyon since 2008. She had experience working in many communities in the L.A. area, and collaborated with a number of stores outside of the canyon, however she always yearned to do something within our community.
She shares: “Our shop is our space to offer to our clientele items that have a story, with intention and meaning at their source. We make sure each piece we showcase was made with pure love and flawless craftsmanship (although sometimes we cherish flaws in some of our unique offerings). I believe personal daily rituals, and sharing space with one’s community are effective ways to keep oneself grounded through these unprecedented times. I believe surrounding oneself with things that were made with the love of the maker, and which represent a culture, a time , and a place inevitably lifts one’s spirits.”
Kinship Station and YanaPuma are open on Mondays and Tuesdays by appointment only. Wednesdays through Saturdays 11:00am-6:00pm.
106 South Topanga Canyon Blvd.