SilverThorne Clothing: A Story of Survival
By Jon Vreeland   |   May 9, 2019

In July of 2017, Sarah Reed Farmer, now the owner of SilverThorne Clothing, crouched in a fetal position on the floor of her apartment while her boyfriend attacked her. “Stop, please stop!” she pled. The assault left Sarah with a severe concussion, Post Concussive Disorder (PCD), as well as left frontal lobe brain damage, tinnitus, […]

Get Fit with Gregory Athletic Performance
By Jon Vreeland   |   February 7, 2019

We’ve all said it, as athletes, as armchair cheerleaders and quarterbacks. That this is the year of my physical and salutary glory. I’m going to work out. I’m going to eat right, mold my body like a statue, make the stars on film look like hogs. I’ll get back into shape, and with sheer motivation. […]

Reef Restoration
By Jon Vreeland   |   January 10, 2019

Last October, aqua-hero and CEO of the Fish Reef Project Chris Goldblatt, with members of the team, invited a handful of journalists on a donated pontoon boat to watch the implementation of an artificial reef set in the shallow waters of Lake Cachuma. The Fish Reef Project strives to show that artificial reefs – a […]

Dive into the Divine with the innerU
By Jon Vreeland   |   November 29, 2018

In a world of more than 7.5 billion people, falling into a rhythm that takes futile energy and subtly deters our hearts and minds away from our most authentic inner-self is as common as a misleading commercial on that crafty screen called the television. Material acceptance from ourselves and our peers is the external happiness […]

The Woody Robinson Experience
By Jon Vreeland   |   October 25, 2018

In 1985, an unfamiliar face appeared at a Santa Barbara car dealership and demanded a job as an auto detailer. The man who moved from the San Fernando Valley convinced the owner of his skills and devotion when he donated three days of labor free of charge. Yes, Lynwood “Woody” Robinson landed the job. Then, […]

Chooket up and Bake Your Bon Bons
By Jon Vreeland   |   October 11, 2018

French culture consistently impresses American culture with art, poetry, literature, theatre, fashion, and architecture; but the French take their sweets and pastries just as seriously as Monet took his paintings. Every four years, France holds a “craftsman competition” called Meilleur Ouvrier de France (“Best Worker in France”). The contest is open to pastry chefs who […]

Ponds are Family’s Koi to Success
By Jon Vreeland   |   September 13, 2018

Originating in Japan, the Koi fish symbolizes fervid actions and attitudes of grace and obstinance, ambition, courage, perseverance, rewards such as prosperity, wealth, and happiness. In the Chinese legend, the Koi’s trip upstream, through cascades of water and to the top of a mountain to the Dragon’s Gate, and if the Koi makes the final […]

What’s in Store Behind the Door
By Jon Vreeland   |   August 23, 2018

In an old three-story building on the inner edge of the Funk Zone, a structure made mostly of red concrete bricks, lies a collection of antique, vintage, and modern furniture and decor, local art, handmade jewelry, unique artifacts and pieces acquired from small groups of collectors, artists, and designers, many of them right here in […]

Markdowns up at Indigo Interiors
By Jon Vreeland   |   August 23, 2018

The 1925 earthquake of downtown Santa Barbara cost the city $8 million in damages, an equivalence of less than $114 million in 2018 (Dollar Times). But last January, the Montecito Mudslide nearly doubled the cost of the 20th-century catastrophe with $207 million needed to resurrect the heart of the American Riviera properly. The Santa Barbara […]

New House, New Lives
By Jon Vreeland   |   August 9, 2018

The world does not require statistics to depict the unpleasant truth about alcoholism and drug addiction in America. We watch millions of Americans suffer day after day in families and communities and the media: stories of arrests, tragic and untimely deaths, but personal resurrections as well. These stories are why Santa Barbara provides myriad sober […]

Setting up Shop(keepers)
By Jon Vreeland   |   July 26, 2018

One-hundred and seventy years after the Treaty of Guadalupe solidified California as American Territory, the American Riviera remains a heavily-desired U.S. destination. Not just to visit but to live as well.  Sure, the city of some 93,000 people enjoys the comfortable weather on sparkling beaches, celebrities who scour the stores on State Street, and other […]

Couple on a Mission for Veterans
By Jon Vreeland   |   July 19, 2018

When two people like Johnny Cash and June Carter sing duets and preserve the rawness of American life while they cherish their love like a Hollywood dream, they can be easily branded as American icons. But since “The Man in Black” served in the U.S. Military, the term American Hero just might work as well.  […]

At Summer Camp, All is Wellness
By Jon Vreeland   |   July 12, 2018

For a growing child or teen in the prime of their youth, a California summer often depends on self-confidence or lack thereof. Like how they feel in a one- or two-piece bathing suit, and how they deal with the reality and introduction to social expectations. The good news is, society no longer carries the upper […]

Clothes Encounter at Loveworn
By Jon Vreeland   |   July 5, 2018

One of the latest additions to the American Riviera’s most eccentric neighborhoods celebrated their one-year anniversary last week. Loveworn, a dual-owned clothing store on the southern end of Anacapa Street, down where the city meets the sea in the Santa Barbara Funk Zone, carries attire for the authentic and chic individual, one who holds a […]

A Song Just for You
By Jon Vreeland   |   June 28, 2018

It doesn’t matter how big or how small a wedding actually is: as soon as the bride and groom are permitted to kiss, they still walk away married with one marriage license for two people. However, this does not propose the ostracization of romanticism; when it comes to getting married, nothing is too amorous for […]

Antique Alley: A Place of Childhood Dreams
By Jon Vreeland   |   June 21, 2018

Many people possess an obvious and specific identity at a young age. One kid may be heavily into science or auto-mechanics, while another may feel they were put on the planet to play the drums or surf 40-foot waves after every major storm. And when the child reaches adulthood with the identity still in active […]

Plank Goodness for Furniture Shop
By Jon Vreeland   |   May 17, 2018

On the northern tip of Santa Barbara, where Hollister Avenue and Modoc Road connect near the border of Goleta is a second-hand furniture and consignment store that sells vintage and modern decor. This single-story gem, owned by Vic Parvin, goes by the name of Finders Keepers. You can easily spot the display of unique and […]

The Sacred Space: A Little Piece of Heaven
By Jon Vreeland   |   May 10, 2018

“You and I are all as much continuous with the physical universe as a wave is continuous with the ocean.” – Alan Watts In 2005, the small town of Summerland welcomed The Sacred Space to what is now the heavily decorated corner of Lillie Avenue. But the wall of green foliage, the healing Buddhas, prosperity […]

Rocha Swim: Swimwear for the Petite
By Jon Vreeland   |   April 19, 2018

How does an aqueous woman curb her frustration of Spring Break’s arrival, a mere confirmation that summer will soon follow, when every swimsuit she finds and adores does not satisfy her petite yet curvy physique?  Well, if you’re Danielle Rocha, 23, you don’t hide from the California sun and ocean, or avoid pool days and […]

Recovery Fusion Succeeds Outside the Box
By Jon Vreeland   |   April 12, 2018

For thousands of years, the world has endured a swelling procession of thriving “addictions” that a majority of our population has yet to understand entirely. People with common dependencies involving substances such as alcohol, narcotics, even everyday necessities which humanity could never exist without – such as food and sex – are often branded with […]

For Better or Worse, Twice is Nice
By Jon Vreeland   |   April 5, 2018

It is no secret that most women dream of the day they can walk arm and arm with Daddy down the flower-littered aisle while wearing a long white dress and veil while the organ serenades the bride-to-be in her, hopefully, once in a lifetime experience amid their closest friends and family. However, the cost of […]

Grand GranVida Earns Honor
By Jon Vreeland   |   March 22, 2018

After GranVida Senior Living and Memory Care opened a 77-apartment community in Carpinteria in the dawn of February 2017, it would take only one-year for the Carpinteria Valley Chamber of Commerce to grant GranVida the Large Business of the Year Award for the company’s auspicious debut. Gran Vida’s executive director, Catherine Lee, says to receive […]

Never Mind Chain Stores, Here’s Chaucer’s Books!
By Jon Vreeland   |   March 15, 2018

In 1974, a little more than 100 years after the publication of Arthur Rimbaud’s poem “A Season in Hell” – the same year Stephen King terrified America with his first thrilling novel, Carrie – Mahri Kerley opened Chaucer’s Books, a Santa Barbara business that continues to draw the same loyal customers, 12 hours a day, […]

The Metamorphosis Continues
By Jon Vreeland   |   March 1, 2018

Just last year in the dawn of November, the Santa Barbara Rescue Mission (SBRM) and Frank Schipper Construction began a $10-million renovation on the organization’s 30-year-old building at 535 East Yanonali Street. The devoted neighbors of the 101 freeway and sanitation plant on the southern end of town is the same building that – according […]

No Furniture? No Problem
By Jon Vreeland   |   February 15, 2018

What does a community of under 10,000 people do when a half-inch of massive deluge melts a recently charred sector of the San Ynez mountainside in a five-minute period, lathering a tranquil little village in a swathe of murderous muck and boulders, all in the early hours of a still, aphotic morning?  If you are […]

The Liquor and Wine Grotto Eludes Disaster!
By Jon Vreeland   |   February 8, 2018

Since the Thomas Fire began December 4 of last year – then burned more than a quarter-million acres of Southern California, including southern segments of the Santa Barbara County shoreline and Montecito – the sound of cash registers and consumers plodding Coast Village Road had been (at one point at least around Christmas, and to […]

Sun Fire-Defense: Wildfire’s Worst Enemy
By Jon Vreeland   |   January 4, 2018

It was just before 6:30 pm, December 4 – which happens to be Feast Day for the beloved Saint Barbara, the Patroness of Fire and Lightning – when what turned out to be the largest wildfire in California’s recorded history started to burn. The Thomas Fire started just north of Santa Paula. That same night, […]

Kathryne Designs, Coast Village Veterans
By Jon Vreeland   |   December 21, 2017

On the brink of Santa Barbara County’s wealthiest village, amid the towering eucalyptus and celebrities that are strewed along the popular strand of Coast Village Road, a Santa Barbara company by the name of Kathryne Designs Incorporated continues on after many successful years in the world of interior design. The 14-year-old business is owned by […]

Builders Preserve the Santa Barbara Style
By Jon Vreeland   |   December 7, 2017

When the American Riviera was pummeled by the 1925 earthquake, the city of Santa Barbara decided on Spanish Colonial and Mission Revival as the prevailing styles of architecture when rebuilding the devastated city. Almost a century later, the wealthy community continues to stand by the Spanish design and architecture which, according to the Pearl Chase […]

Rugs and More
By Jon Vreeland   |   November 23, 2017

Just off the corner of Olive and East Gutierrez streets in the heart of Santa Barbara’s Design District, Rugs and More, carries an extensive collection of rugs, shawls, and tapestries, and all of the highest quality, some that took multiple generations to complete. Rugs and More is a third-generation business owned by rug dealer and […]

Dad & Daughter Duo
By Jon Vreeland   |   November 16, 2017

On East Victoria Street, just a block and a half north of the Santa Barbara County courthouse, is a small but busy law firm run by longtime Santa Barbaran and defense attorney, Doug Hayes. For nearly half a century, Mr. Hayes has worked in the world of law and magistrates, bailiffs and prisoners, the virtuous, […]