Purveyors of Fine Goods opens in Santa Ynez
Lark Trading Company, which opened last month on Sagunto Street in the town of Santa Ynez, is “the culmination of 25 years of falling in love with creating and designing in my personal life — my home, my office, even my car,” said owner Starr Hall, who drives a Land Rover.
“I am super passionate about designing sanctuary spaces.”
The full name of the shop is Lark Trading Company — Purveyors of Fine Home Goods, and it specializes in furnishings, books, spices and provisions.
It’s also a showroom for one-of-a-kind items such as an antique English bread making table from the 1800s and a 150-year-old Spanish spice cabinet.
“I have collected unique finds from my travels around the world,” she said.
Spices, which are sold in bulk or bottles, include blends of beetroot and horseradish, lemon sugar, bacon salt and red wine and thyme pepper.
There are also Umami Ketchup and rose gold-infused wildflower honey.
“The ketchup is a best seller. I’ve had to re-order three times,” said Mrs. Starr, who told the News-Press she chose Santa Ynez for the retail shop “because it is special to me. I was raised in Santa Ynez. I went to high school here for a year and spent every summer working on my grandmother’s ranch and at her glue and crafting factory, best known for Aleene’s Tacky Glue. My grandma, Aleene Jackson, started the craft and hobby industry in the ’40s. My family had the first DIY show on cable television (TNN). It was called ‘Creative Living.’ ”
According to Google, the late Mrs. Jackson, who lived on a ranch on Refugio Road in Santa Ynez, was “a crafting industry trailblazer and educator who began her career in the 1950s as a florist, working in a hotel flower shop before purchasing her own store at the age of 20.
“After a few short years, Aleene grew her business into a floral supply store, where she also taught classes on flower making, floral arrangements and more. Always one step ahead with a business-savvy nature, it didn’t take Aleene long to make a name for herself in the floral industry, between weekly television appearances, showcasing how to make floral crafts, stories in publications and classes at her shop that attracted people from all over.
“There was only one problem: Aleene needed a thick glue that could not only hold her floral arrangements together, but last as well. And because she couldn’t find one that met her expectations, Aleene created “Glue d’Aleene,” which she began using in her classes. The tacky white glue became so popular that she started bottling and selling it, eventually modifying the name to “Aleene’s Original Tacky Glue.”
A unique feature of Lark Trading Company is the book club, which will contain a monthly box with items curated by Mrs. Hall around the topic of a book.
“Next month’s book will be ‘Driving Over Lemons: An Optimist in Spain’ by Chris Stewart, the former drummer for Genesis who bought an isolated sheep farm in southern Spain,” said Mrs.Hall. “Included with a copy of the book will be a hammered copper paella dish with a vintage paella spoon and a paella recipe along with three ingredients from Spain — saffron, paella and paella spice mix.”
Packed in a wood crate box, the items cost $300.
“The copper paella dish alone costs $200,” said Mrs. Hall, a youthful- looking grandmother of one, who is married to Dr. M. Jude Egan, an attorney who also has his Ph.D. The couple, who live in Orcutt, are parents of four adult children in a blended family.
Since graduating from Temple HIgh School in1990, Mrs. Hall has had a variety of careers during which she traveled the world and wrote four children’s books and two marketing books.
“My life has been far from simple,” she said, adding, “Lark is more than a retail store. It is a place to connect with others and to find beautiful curations for your home, self and gift to others.
“It is that community experience that people crave and need while providing unique home and other self goods to make homes a sanctuary during these difficult times.”