While Diana Streitfeld was at Crafted—the struggling crafts marketplace that opened over three years ago at the Port of Los Angeles near San Pedro—she had always seen herself going into a more permanent space. With her husband David by her side, Streitfeld: A Handcrafted Boutique now occupies the space at 480 Pine Ave., bringing in much needed activation across the street from Kress Market in DTLB.
Though it’s been open for weeks, Streitfeld plans on having an official grand opening on February 20, complete with complimentary wine and a food voucher for Kress should you spend at least $25.
Of course, as many of our attempts at finding what we want to do in life often goes rocky, fashion wasn’t always the goal with Streitfeld. Originally, she had hopes of going into journalism and earned her BA from Pepperdine but her shyness eventually overturned that idea.
”I didn’t know I was gonna do this,” Streitfeld said. “I was so shy that I couldn’t be in front of a camera—and I did everything for it: the classes, reporting in the field but every time I would do it, I would say to myself, ‘My gosh, this is horrible.’”
Skipping off to Japan and easing her mind through teaching English for a year in Yokkaichi (a sister city to Long Beach), Streitfeld returned to discover that routine substitute positions were nothing short of redundant and uninspiring. Begging her sister to help her find a job, she was soon connected with a fashion company.
”I had no idea what this job was,” Streitfeld said. “I was just doing computer work but they encouraged me to stay because they enjoyed my work. I soon was connected with a high end Italian brand and began to travel: Italy, Paris, New York…”
Doing the business side of fashion led her to the design side, eventually sending her to the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandise (FIDM) from which she also graduated from.
Wanting to put her education to work, Streitfeld was slightly different than most FIDM grads. She loved the industry and wanted to create high-quality clothing—but she wanted it to be accessible, working for herself and not a fashion house aiming for haute couture status. This results in simple, clean things that are fit for anyone: UCLA onesies for babies (and USC, of course), Avenger tees for kids, military-style jackets for guys, dresses for the ladies…
”We’ve had people stop in and say how great it is we’re in the neighborhood, how we are needed—we just hope that they choose to spend here as well because that’s the only way we can stay,” Streitfeld said. “Sometimes people are put off by the idea that it’s handmade, thinking It’ll carry a crazy high price tag. But my stuff is really reasonably priced and it’s made here, by me—and not at a Big Box store.”
This need for community support is not something Streitfeld understates—and she’s willing to do whatever you’d like to make that happen. Want a shirt for your nephew with Spider-Man? Done. Want something in a specific style? Done. Streitfeld’s point? Don’t just say you support local; do it.
Streitfeld: A Handcrafted Boutique, is located at 480 Pine Ave. in DTLB. Its grand opening will occur between 4PM and 8PM on Saturday, February 20. RSVP here.