With thoughtful merchandise and a keen eye on craftsmanship, Aum & Garden blossoms in Sherman Oaks.
- Written byLinda Grasso
The word “aum” refers to a sacred Hindu symbol that represents oneness with God, essentially the merging of the physical with the spiritual. And that is precisely why the owners of Aum & Garden chose it for the store’s name. Bathed in natural sunlight and brimming with artfully displayed sanctuaries, moss-covered pots and other appealing home and garden decor items, the space also includes a small yoga studio where classes are held several times a week. Without getting too “heady” … there is indeed something of a metaphysical vibe here.
“We feel like clients are gravitating toward nurturing their soul and owning things that bring them peace—like angels and incense. We want the store to be a sanctuary for things that are meaningful and offer solace,” co-owner Jerome Rogowski explains.
While out on buying trips to stock the store, Rowgowski favors American-made products and often finds himself attracted to the stories behind them. “We just found this woman in Pennsylvania who hired a group of stay-home moms who needed income and taught them the art of creating stained glass Christmas ornaments. We love that,” the former stockbroker shares.
Jerome, who owns the shop with Keith Horwitz, also has a respect for craftsmanship. Take the handmade clay Long Tom Pot, created and signed by the artisan Guy Wolff. Retailing for $85, Wolfe designed it from a historic painting. “No one makes hand-crafted pots like this anymore,” he quips.
The biggest sellers are the statuaries, which can transform “a non-descript outdoor space into a niche area with a distinct presence.” Whimsical garden art, like the glass balls sold here, is also popular. “It is a throwback, really, to Victorian times, when people would put something—often an oddity—in the garden to evoke conversation,” Jerome explains.
With blinged-out cones that can be custom-designed, it is easy to understand why Softcream in Northridge is one of the L.A. area’s most Instagrammed ice cream shops.
It’s surprising no one thought of it sooner—a pizza parlor near Los Angeles Valley College in Sherman Oaks. Luckily, Daniel Farrands, who has lived in the Valley for more than 20 years, has remedied the college-campus pizza drought. In December, Padrino’s Pizza quietly opened its doors, serving pastas and pies based on Farrands’ family recipes. […]