Summer 2019
Gum Tree a charming, unique shop By Debbie Eisele

A stones throw from the ocean in Hermosa, this boutique is part of a tight-knit community

Gum Tree is located in Hermosa, a beach town known for its locally owned business. Lori Ford, CEO, recognized her desire to own a unique boutique. “As long as I can remember I wanted to have a shop of my own. And actually I always wanted a shop inside a house, with each room of the house representing the product that would go in that room,” said Ford. 

Image of Lori Ford and husband, owners of Gum Tree
Lori Ford, owner of Gum Tree, and her husband. All photos courtesy of Gum Tree.

Prior to opening the store, Ford and her family lived in New York City but missed their family in California. “We found out my favorite house on Pier Avenue was for sale, so it seemed like it was meant to be,” she said.

“My method for buying is very simple, I just buy what I like! And that way I can believe in every product we sell, it’s all something I would want for myself or to give as a gift.”  ~ Lori Ford, CEO Gum Tree

Gum Tree opened 10 years ago and now has another location in Manhattan Beach. Between the two locations, Gum Tree has 30 employees and continues to provide a unique shopping experience. “We are a home and gift shop and organic Aussie cafe, housed in a 1911 craftsman bungalow — just a stones throw from the ocean in Hermosa,” she shared. 

Gum Tree is unique as its physical location is housed in a 1911 craftsman bungalow.

Gum Tree sells home décor, jewelry, children’s gifts, cook books and stationery. Ford explained she purchases what she likes. “That way I can believe in every product we sell; it’s all something I would want for myself or to give as a gift,” she explained. Gum Tree Display

To ensure a diverse merchandise mix, Ford sources her merchandise from industry shows: NY NOW, all LA Markets, Las Vegas Market, and Maison Objet as well as through world-wide travel. “I still love to buy for and merchandise the shop. But the relationships I’ve made over the last 10 years, is my favorite part,” she said.

Gum Tree Interior image

“We are a tight-knit community here and we are so lucky to be a part of that,” Ford shared. She also believes part of Hermosa’s charm is being surrounded by “businesses owned by friends and neighbors.”

Gum Tree product display

Best-Sellers at Gum Tree

  • Home-décor: Vintage Indigo and Mudcloth pillows.
  • Kitchen items: Cookbooks, Laguiole knives, and Be Home marble and wood serving pieces.
  • Stationery and/or greeting cards: Rifle Paper.
  • Apparel and/or accessories: Chan Luu cashmere silk scarves, cover- ups from Pool to Party.
  • Candles and/or home fragrances: Lafco and Gum Tree’s custom line of candles named for local beaches.
  • Baby and kids: Bla Bla, Jellycat, and a multitude of books.
  • Jewelry: A wide range of jewelry lines in a variety of price points.

Gum Tree product kitchenware display

Debbie Eisele

Debbie Eisele is the former managing editor for Gift Shop Plus, Stationery Trends and a variety of special issue publications, including: The Guide, Holiday Shop, Celebrations & Occasions and Waterfront Living.

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