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Vintage Treasures from Around the World Abound at Moss & Ginger

It’s no longer the newest kid on the block, but Moss & Ginger was a welcome addition to Joshua Tree just over a year ago. This lovely little boutique fits into the scenery so perfectly, you’d think it was here all along. (They were originally located in Pasadena, CA.) Owners Joel and Kim Patterson – another dreamy husband and wife duo – have been running small shops together for over 15 years so they’ve definitely got it right at this point.

Filled with vintage and handmade treasures from far-flung places, the merch here feels fresh and familiar all at once. I don’t know what I love more — the colorful ethnic flair, the amazing turquoise collection, the smashing 60's-70's finds, or Kim’s own upcycled kimono designs. The generous prices make it that much more irresistible. Trust that big brands would be selling the same exact goods for triple the price tag.

Find out how the couple stays inspired by their travels, and make sure you stop in next time you’re in the desert.

 

Moss & Ginger interior.
Clothing and shoes.
Decorated wall and clothing rack.

You and your wife, Kim, have run Moss & Ginger together for over 10 years. How did you two meet, and what inspired you to open a store together?

We met at the Troubadour in West Hollywood. I’ve had a store since 1998 in downtown Long Beach. It was called Evergreen Elephant, and I was selling antiques and plants. Then Kim joined in, and we moved to a bigger space on 4th Street in 2001 and added gifts, books, clothing and mid-century furniture. One of our secret spots was in Palm Springs back then where you could find amazing mid century pieces really cheap! Our vision was to create a space that was surrounded by greenery and sell what we loved…a little mishmash of everything.

What were your backgrounds before Moss & Ginger?

I have been a touring drummer and also have an indoor plant business on the side. Kim makes and designs clothing and jewelry which is available in the shop. She took some fashion and photography courses at SMC right after high school.

 

What are the most important lessons you’ve learned from working together as a husband and wife team?

When working together, we’ve learned to trust each other’s creative ideas and to keep it fun. When you’re not having fun doing what you love, then it’s not going to work out. It has definitely brought us closer now that we do it together full time. We have the best time when unwrapping the treasures we’ve found and decorating the store.

What are a few of your favorite items in the shop right now?

Our favorite items right now are our deadstock pieces. We’ve recently found some boxes full of home items like rugs, blankets, and fabrics from the 60's/70's India and Pakistan. We found a box of pure Indian silk fabric from the 60's that we had made into unisex kimonos. We also found a box of velvet kaftan maxi dresses that we haven’t had a chance to entirely go though yet. And of course our turquoise collection.

 

 

 

Turquoise ring
Rack of colorful dresses.
Assorted bags and bowls.

Much of your inventory consists of special vintage, handmade and small batch items found from your travels. How do you choose locations for your buying trips, and do you have favorite places you frequent?

Most of our favorite places have been picked through now so we don’t really have a spot we frequent anymore. But whenever traveling or taking roads trips, we’ll always make a point to stop at the local antique shops, markets, and thrift stores. You never know what you’ll find.

What does style mean to you, and how would you describe your own?

Style to us is an individual’s expression. We may all dress or “style” in what influences us most, like music for example, but we’re both pretty basic and prefer to be comfortable. My personal style is 60′s mod/hippie, and my everyday staple usually includes your basic t-shirt or tunic, jeans, a Greek fisherman’s cap and Beatle boots or Clarks.

What inspired you to relocate to Joshua Tree? What does this place mean to you?

What inspired us to move was to have open spaces and room to roam. The air, the stars, all of it. LA is way too crowded now so it feels good to be free and to actually have a real backyard and patio space. We love living out here and haven’t looked back since!

Our vision was to create a space that was surrounded by greenery and sell what we loved…a little mishmash of everything.

Cabinet full of shoes and purses.

 

 

 I can never have too many:

Cups of coffee

My best travel souvenir was:

A really cool old tile I got in Portugal.

My most prized possession is:

My vinyl collection I’ve had since high school. 

 

Collection of turquoise jewelry.
Vintage slippers.

 

Currently on my playlist:

The Verve, David Bowie, Pink Floyd (always on my playlist), Led Zeppelin and Alice Cooper (just saw him play in Indio).

The best-kept secret in Joshua Tree is:

A: Not really a secret, but Coyote Hole is a couple blocks behind my back yard.

Best place to find hidden treasures is:

Estate sales

R: Words of wisdom:

A: Do you!