Shoppers in search of the elegant, the offbeat, or the elegantly offbeat will have a field day browsing through the one-of-a-kind wares at this modern day cabinet of curiosities in Old Pasadena. The family-run store sells the kind of esoteric objet d’ arts that include everything from steam punk collectibles to jewelry fashioned from porcupine quills and other natural specimens. Tucked unexpectedly off lesser-traveled side street down Kendall Alley in Old Town Pasadena, Gold Bug is an H.P. Lovecraft meets Urban Outfitters/Anthropologie store, appealing to upscale goths, artists, and folks who are truly intrigued by biology’s more curious creations and appreciate the work of master craftsman keeping their traditions alive. The store contains a mix of original art, including chandeliers created from seashells, rare insect displays, such as large “walking stick” bugs and bright Philippine beetles, vintage school prints, and nature-inspired jewelry made from casts of tiny bugs and stones. The tiny shop certainly packs a big punch.
In addition to the jewelry pieces, Gold Bug features imported clothing and accessories from Japanese designer KMRii. who incorporates tactile materials and textures into everyday clothing designs, or oversized glass bell jar collections created by Andy Paiko from Portland, Oregon to safely house and display a prized memento while also turning it into a piece of art.
The next time one finds themselves in Old Town Pasadena for a visit to the Cheesecake Factory with their aunt, politely excuse yourself and duck around the corner to this gem of a shop and travel back to a sepia-toned, hushed world of possibility.