Dhia and Firas Rabiai opened Kamsah, a new decor store devoted to handmade artisan goods from around the globe, to let shoppers experience travel without leaving the comforts of home.
The goods were selected by Firas, who traveled through small villages in his native Tunisia in search of distinctive items for their first collection. "We're looking for people who want to buy the story behind the products they buy," says Dhia, a television producer. And the brothers hope the store will prove that handmade artisan goods can be affordable.
Kamsah is their first retail endeavor, and they hope to share two collections per year, beginning with the goods from Tunisia.
Working with two interior designers, the Rabiais edited the collection to incorporate lighting, linens, kilim rugs, ceramics and accessories. Look for colorful hand-painted ceramic dishes and bowls, mouth-blown glass tumblers, hand-woven baskets, versatile foutas starting at $35, and wool and angora decorative pillows ranging from $80 to $420.
The narrow space is welcoming — customers will be offered Tunisian tea and sweets while they shop — an eclectic diversion from the hip clothing stores and restaurants that populate the lively Melrose Avenue shopping district. And in an effort to give back to the artists they represent, the brothers plan to donate 10% of all proceeds to philanthropic programs that empower women and youth in developing countries.
Kamsah, 7618 Melrose Ave., Los Angeles, (323) 879-9955; www.kamsah.com. Open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.