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This is Store Sidekicks, an end-of-the-week feature where we profile the fuzzy wuzzy creatures that inhabit shops across the city. If you'd like to nominate your favorite store animal, drop us a line at email@example.com.
At the West Village Boutique of Laura Lobdell lives a little Japanese Chin called Xiao, which aptly means "small" in Mandarin. He quietly sits in front of the door on most occasions, watching passersby, or he moves to the stylish printed couch in this jewelry store that takes up only a sliver of 10th Street.
When we walked in we noticed the painted white numbers on the door said "183 West 1/8." Inside the cozy space, customers are mesmerized by the delicate silvers, quirky incorporation of basic objects as charms, and the beautiful Seeds of Silk bracelets that you can wear on your wrist, neck, ankle, even in your hair. These pieces are hand-knotted with silk, sterling silver or precious pearls— $85 each. This and most things were handcrafted and hammered by the designer herself, and Xiao happily leaves the delicate things alone.
Laura Lobdell, a jeweler who decided to open her boutique owner after traveling to places like China and India, has been featured in numerous publications such as Allure and Lucky Magazine. Recently Daily Candy fawned over her macaroni necklace.
We particularly loved the elegantly cumbersome champagne cork rings that look like they have been screwed on your fingers. The designer says these are among her favorite pieces because they are just so fun to flash while sipping champagne at a party.
Speaking of parties, it was little Xiao's birthday this week, celebrated with an ice cream social attended by neighbors and their pets. When we asked his age, the designer said Xiao would never disclose his age. Such a little divo ever since he was cover-dog on the book Dog Palaces: Designer Beds for Pampered Pooches, Xiao still deigns to greet the customers. Look for him anytime you're at Lobdell's in the West Village!—Joann Pan
· Laura Lobdell [Official Site]
· All Store Sidekicks [Racked NY]