Tortoise General Store

Last week I stopped into Tortoise General Store on Abbott Kinney in Venice Beach. This little altelier is owned by Keiko Shinomoto and her, furniture designer husband, Takuhiro.  Although it's based in traditional Japanese design, it's incredibly chic and modern. I could have stayed in there for hours. Filled with beautiful, simple + functional designs; it's such a showcase of what really, good design should be.

Maybe it's because I have 'no kitchen' [ a galley kitchen with minimal storage ] that I'm always drawn to things that work with such effeciency while maintaining a strong industrial design integrity.

These mugs are incredible to hold. The river rock handles are smooth to grip and I love the juxtaposition against the glassy porcelein. 


Lyle, Lyle Crocodile mugs. They had a few other animal mug shots but this was my favorite......

This bag was made of something plastic-ey. woven, so it was strong. Sort of like a bag you'd buy potatoes in. 

I was too distracted and forgot to read the description as to what it was in its former life. But it's awesome and would make for a great gift bag for a plant, a place to keep your gardening tools, or a shoe keeper for outside of your door [ if you're one of those, 'shoes off ' households causing your guests to ask, 'why' ]

This one? genius. I have the ugly, plastic filter that sits on top of a mug for a one cupper. But it really doesn't work 100%. This is perfect for a 2 cup morning brew. And it's so pretty.

TGS recently opened the back house of the building [ which I would move into. now. ] it, too, is filled with great textiles and this fantastic table and benches. [ again, with the smooth polished against the roughhewn ]

Light weight, gauzy scarves would be the perfect wrap on a Spring evening by the beach.

These bottle openers might win the prize for best design. Aren't these beautiful? little functional sculptures.


there's no lack of humorous, pretty gifts, tucked away on shelves.

I walked out with several of these, Tenugui cloths :

The cotton pieces  can be cut into napkins or left as is, and used as dishtowels. Within about 3 washes they become as soft as flannel.  The challenge is figuring out which pattern to choose.

I left with a Greek Key pattern [ which I'm using as napkins ] and the navy polka dot seen below.

208 Abbot Kinney Blvd. Venice, CA 90291 (MAP)
TEL & FAX: 310-314-8448

Noon-6pm Sunday
11:30am-6:30pm Tuesday to Saturday
Closed on Monday


Anonymous said…
I love this store. We have a few dozen pieces of Tengui as napkins. Just cut them in half and they are the perfect everyday napkin. They do get super soft and we are obsessed with them.

Also, I have a set of 12 HS (Hard & Strong) glasses from Tortoise that I bought after breaking every last Bodum double wall glass. They truly live up to their name and we have had no scratches, cracks or breaks.
Every time someone is in from out of town, I start to describe Tortoise. If they don't immediately act interested I couch it, because I don't think I could handle it if they weren't impressed. The one down the street that has more furniture-y items is gorgeous. But this is a shopping store for sure. Thank you for the pics... I might stop by today!

72 and sunny said…
There were so many things that I wanted. It's the kind of place that makes you start dreaming of living in the space itself.

those Tengui things are the BEST. great for hostess gifts or for yourself. It's going to be a regular stop for me when on AK.
Unknown said…
Cool stuff. I love the fabrics/patterns of the Tengui. I love something beautiful that's not so dear you aren't afraid to cut it and use it every day.
Karena said…
Megan adore this atelier. LOve the coffemaker and all of the colorful linens!

Art by Karena
drollgirl said…
i have never been! i am going to stop by one of these days when i am on the west side of town!
Market Decor said…
Being a store owner myself, I love seeing other stores - this store looks great! What a cool mix of things they offer!

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