Newport shop owners curate the unexpected

The store owner unlocked the jewelry case and lifted a ring to the light.

“This is a raw, untreated black diamond from Santa Monica,” she said to a visitor. “That’s something you don’t see every day.”

Presenting such an unexpected element is the business philosophy of Alchemy Works, a brand known for its heirloom jewelry made by local designers, plus home accents, clothing and accessories.

Three years after opening Alchemy Works in the Arts District in downtown Los Angeles, husband and wife Raan and Lindsay Parton have ventured to Newport Beach to open their first Orange County store.

The airy 1,300-square-foot space in Lido Marina Village, a recently renovated shopping destination, features concrete striped flooring hand-painted by a local artist, custom fixtures, wooden tables and two glass cases highlighting vintage estate jewelry and leather accessories.

The store, in a 1940s-era black house that sits in front of the harbor, will stock not only ready-to-wear items, accessories and fragrance collections but also a selection of decor — vintage and contemporary — curated by the couple.

“My husband grew up in Santa Barbara, and he is nostalgic about California’s golden era and what used to be here,” Lindsay Parton said. “We saw that in this area and recognized that it didn’t have as much of independent retail that it should have.”

The boutique, which is divided into two rooms, was designed to be like a well-appointed home with contemporary designs mixing vintage furnishings and collected objects.

A floor-to-ceiling midcentury shelf system holds books, candles, office accessories and leather shoes made in Mexico.

Brands such as handbag label Vere Verto, Weiss Watches and Victoria Morris ceramics occupy wooden and glass displays.

Black-and-white prints from 10 contemporary photographers, including Will Adler and Morgan Maassen, are for sale in the new shop.

The location also features Orange County’s first Warby Parker showroom. The American brand of prescription eyeglasses and sunglasses partners with nonprofits to provide a “buy one, give one” model, in which for every pair of glasses sold, a pair is distributed to someone in need.

Alchemy Works also is home to Apolis, a lifestyle brand of apparel and accessories founded by Raan Parton and his brother Shea.

The line, which originated in Los Angeles, forms manufacturing partnerships with nonprofits in Uganda, Peru, Bangladesh and Nepal.

At Alchemy, Lindsay Parton said, a shopper can find pieces ranging from $10 to $4,800.

“We want to have that approachability here because we’re very community-driven and want everyone to have a space to shop,” Parton said. “It’s a fun new home.”

Alchemy Works is at 3408 Via Oporto, Newport Beach. Store hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Thursdays and 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Fridays through Sundays.

For more information, call (949) 438-1183 or visit

Twitter: @KathleenLuppi