Design Shop Visit: ReForm School in Silver Lake

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March 12, 2010

Business as usual for ReForm School founders Billie Lopez and Tootie Maldonado means far more than simply managing their popular Silver Lake, California, shop. Whether exploring thrift stores for vintage finds, hosting a series of hands-on Home Ec. classes, or planning field trips to test out a new DIY-canoe kit, the duo successfully share their passion for unique goods with local (and loyal) customers and artists. With the addition of an online store, class is now in session for the rest of us, too.

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  Tootie Maldonado (left) and Billie Lopez have been friends since high school, but it was their years of shopping trips together after graduation that inspired them to open ReForm School. Now that browsing and buying are part of the job, they're able to stock the shelves with items that they would love to own.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Tootie Maldonado (left) and Billie Lopez have been friends since high school, but it was their years of shopping trips together after graduation that inspired them to open ReForm School. Now that browsing and buying are part of the job, they're able to stock the shelves with items that they would love to own.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Building a community around design was important for Maldonado and Lopez, and ReForm School has become a neighborhood institution promoting craft and artisan goods.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Building a community around design was important for Maldonado and Lopez, and ReForm School has become a neighborhood institution promoting craft and artisan goods.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  A textile mobile from Hillery Sproatt.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    A textile mobile from Hillery Sproatt.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Don't Give Up the Ship printThe dying words of Captain James Lawrence to the crew of his USS Chesapeake "Don't Give Up The Ship"  This was definitely our battle cry during the dog days of the recession and we produced this poster ourselves which is why it is extra special to us.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Don't Give Up the Ship printThe dying words of Captain James Lawrence to the crew of his USS Chesapeake "Don't Give Up The Ship" This was definitely our battle cry during the dog days of the recession and we produced this poster ourselves which is why it is extra special to us.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Miracles Embroidery Kit from Maxine SuttonMaxine Sutton goes the extra mile to make sure that everything she makes is from sustainable materials like organic & re-used fabrics. She has been one of our favorite artists for years now and until recently her work was only available as fine art. These kits are fun and affordable.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Miracles Embroidery Kit from Maxine SuttonMaxine Sutton goes the extra mile to make sure that everything she makes is from sustainable materials like organic & re-used fabrics. She has been one of our favorite artists for years now and until recently her work was only available as fine art. These kits are fun and affordable.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Rope Bracelets by Tanya AguiñigaTanya is a local Los Angeles artist and a great friend. Her work never ceases to amaze us. These rope bracelets are the perfect accessory and can make even the simplest jeans and t-shirt look fabulous  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Rope Bracelets by Tanya AguiñigaTanya is a local Los Angeles artist and a great friend. Her work never ceases to amaze us. These rope bracelets are the perfect accessory and can make even the simplest jeans and t-shirt look fabulous

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Soft Rocks by Tanya Aguiñiga.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Soft Rocks by Tanya Aguiñiga.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Amish Made ScootersProbably our most favorite find! These scooters really are made on a small Amish farm in Pennsylvania.Very high quality and a blast to ride. We love seeing our customers ride around town on them.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Amish Made ScootersProbably our most favorite find! These scooters really are made on a small Amish farm in Pennsylvania.Very high quality and a blast to ride. We love seeing our customers ride around town on them.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Homestead Print by Gregory BeauchampGregory Beauchamp is a Los Angeles artist and an amazing fellow. His words say it best "If you could drive from here and go all the way around the world...taking ferrys and ships where there are no roads and stopping every day to look around...this is what you would see". This print is so sweet...with the words "I LOVE MY FAMILY" within each home. Artwork is hand-transferred inch by inch over a long hour. Each piece is an original, slightly different from the last. Handmade, signed and numbered.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Homestead Print by Gregory BeauchampGregory Beauchamp is a Los Angeles artist and an amazing fellow. His words say it best "If you could drive from here and go all the way around the world...taking ferrys and ships where there are no roads and stopping every day to look around...this is what you would see". This print is so sweet...with the words "I LOVE MY FAMILY" within each home. Artwork is hand-transferred inch by inch over a long hour. Each piece is an original, slightly different from the last. Handmade, signed and numbered.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  The Incredible Rope MachineThis simple machine is one of our favorite items because it is so much fun. The Incredible Rope Machine is the fiber artist’s handy tool for making customized edge trims, accents for pillows, coats, and sweaters, and purse handles, jewelry, belts, and more. This simple-to-use tool allows you to fashion the just-right accent. Any size, color or texture can be used for the perfect rope or trim.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    The Incredible Rope MachineThis simple machine is one of our favorite items because it is so much fun. The Incredible Rope Machine is the fiber artist’s handy tool for making customized edge trims, accents for pillows, coats, and sweaters, and purse handles, jewelry, belts, and more. This simple-to-use tool allows you to fashion the just-right accent. Any size, color or texture can be used for the perfect rope or trim.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Wooden Button SetWe personally chose each and every button for our exclusive button set. Each button is hand crafted from environmentally friendly wood. The perfect addition to any scarf or sweater. They're just so pretty!  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Wooden Button SetWe personally chose each and every button for our exclusive button set. Each button is hand crafted from environmentally friendly wood. The perfect addition to any scarf or sweater. They're just so pretty!

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Ikat Fat Quarter SetAnother thing we are obsessed with are ikats and our fat quarter sets are a wonderful sampler of  some of our most subtle patterns. Can be used for quilting and other projects.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Ikat Fat Quarter SetAnother thing we are obsessed with are ikats and our fat quarter sets are a wonderful sampler of some of our most subtle patterns. Can be used for quilting and other projects.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Stainless Steel FustiOriginally used to dispense olive oil we use our fusti's for serving some of the best tasting water you've ever had. They look so pretty on a kitchen counter and are perfect for parties. Can also be used for wine. We mostly like em because they're so much nicer than those awful plastic water bottles.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Stainless Steel FustiOriginally used to dispense olive oil we use our fusti's for serving some of the best tasting water you've ever had. They look so pretty on a kitchen counter and are perfect for parties. Can also be used for wine. We mostly like em because they're so much nicer than those awful plastic water bottles.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Camera Obscura KitWe got these things at Christmas time and people just went nuts for them. The ancestor of all cameras, this hand-held camera obscura projects an image onto a screen inside the box. The wooden camera is supplied in kit form and has an authentic look and feel when assembled.  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Camera Obscura KitWe got these things at Christmas time and people just went nuts for them. The ancestor of all cameras, this hand-held camera obscura projects an image onto a screen inside the box. The wooden camera is supplied in kit form and has an authentic look and feel when assembled.

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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  Patio Garden Kit by Scout RegaliaOur apartment dwelling neighbors finally have a design savvy solution to all of their gardening needs. Plus, it's manufactured right here in L.A...Gotta love that!  Photo by: Brigitte Sire
    Patio Garden Kit by Scout RegaliaOur apartment dwelling neighbors finally have a design savvy solution to all of their gardening needs. Plus, it's manufactured right here in L.A...Gotta love that!

    Photo by: Brigitte Sire

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