Today, opening a gift store in University Heights is as risky of an affair as opening an Asian restaurant in Convoy Street — the number of competitors is high and the chance of coming up with something original is slim. Surprisingly enough, Little Dame Shop, a self-proclaimed alternative arts boutique, has easily found its own niche in the vibrant community of Adams Avenue. The shop opened in November and became a neighbor of a petite clothing and home goods store that also joined the neighborhood last year.
|Address: 2942 Adams Avenue
Hours: Monday, Wednesday: 10 am to 7 pm
The shop’s unique and bizarre vibe becomes evident once you look at the store window with a mannequin’s head wearing a blue wig and a neon open sign designed by Grand Prestoz — a collective that created signs for Dark Horse coffee roasters, Donut Bar and Copa Vida coffee shop. The white walls inside of Little Dame make a small retail space seem roomier. When you start looking through clothing items, souvenirs and art pieces sold at the store you realize that this “little dame” was truly frugal throughout her long adventurous life. The store, with its eclectic aesthetic, features items with provocative and fun prints from local artists and vintage-looking accessories and home decor. While Little Dame does not forget about familiar gift shop classics such as gift cards, pins and calendars, it might take you aback with an abundance of small taxidermy. These cute and creepy art pieces created by Le Heart Design and Precious Creature make you think about death with a tender smile on your face. Whether or not you buy these dead cuties, you become acquainted with the modern version of this artform.
As an arts boutique, Little Dame Shop not only sells a selection of artistic items, but also has art on its own walls. As for now, the store has two murals painted by female San Diego artists Celeste Byers and Panca, whose other works one can find around the city, making this place local through and through.