The intimate, gallery-like jewelry boutique Arp, co-owned by Bill Hermsen and Joany Lee, debuted in 2000 on West 3rd Street in West Hollywood. Thirteen years later, on Dec. 31, the shop known for its artisan jewelry shut its doors.
May 1 marked the official reopening of the shop, renamed August and reimagined by Hermsen, now the sole owner.
"The presentation is completely different," says 45-year-old Hermsen. "Arp was a little more austere; things were a little more rarefied. I wanted August to be warmer and richer, taking a lead from the name; it's a reference to the month, which I always associate with warmth and relaxed luxury and indulgence and travel… I [think of it as] a progression of Arp. I am interested in furniture and design and have my eye on much more."
Before relocating to Los Angeles to work for local fashion brand Dosa in 1998, Seattle native Hermsen studied textile development at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York, working part time at the TriBeCa store of famed jeweler and home accessories designer Ted Muehling.
"The studio was in back, so you could hear them hammering and crafting the collections. That's where I became completely obsessed with studio jewelry, pieces that are handmade," says Hermsen.
August showcases eight artisanal jewelry lines in custom-made white oak and bronze cabinetry designed by Hermsen, who has taken interior design classes at UCLA and worked part time for two years with local interior designer Cliff Fong. On display are wares by Los Angeles jeweler Lisa Ziff; Austin, Texas, jeweler Isabel Borland, and New York-based designers Lola Brooks, Rosanne Pugliese, Nicole Landaw, Muehling, Maria Beaulieu and Gabriella Kiss (who have both worked with Muehling). Pieces range from $140 to $20,000, and all lines are exclusive to this boutique in Los Angeles.
Also in the mix are Muehling's Biedermeier-style candlesticks for heritage hardware company E.R. Butler & Co. ($145-$1,200); decorative animal figures and Muehling's collaborative designs from 18th century German porcelain house Nymphenburg ($240-$3,840); and a new collection of small verre églomisé ("gilded glass") mirrors and coasters by New Yorker Maureen Fullam ($250-$1,000).
Where: 8311 ½ W. 3rd St., West Hollywood
When: Noon to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday; closed on Sunday.
Info: (323) 653-2600, www.augustla.com