Twenty-five years ago, jewelry designer Jill Pearson approached Old Town Pasadena’s One Colorado about opening up a retail space in the coveted location. The timing ended up not being quite right, and Pearson opted to forego the storefront and focus on her jewelry line, Wasabi. In 2014, she found herself unsure of her next move, though the dream of owning a shop was never out of focus.
In the time that had passed, Old Town Pasadena’s Holly St corridor had evolved into a haven for independent businesses. The block’s beloved mainstay shops, like Lula Mae and Tibet Nepal Galleria, had created an environment with an entirely different feel than Colorado Blvd. Pearson’s friend and fellow Pasadena business owner, Elisa B. (yes, that Elisa B), was on the hunt for a new storefront when space became available on Holly St. That shop ended up being a little too small for Elisa’s needs, but it turned out to be perfect for Pearson. As luck would have it, another larger space opened up just a few doors down from what is now Hömage, and two pillars of Pasadena style were swiftly reunited.
After having store owners and other designers nurture and support her line for the better part of three decades, Pearson sees Hömage as an ideal opportunity to give back. The store makes it a priority to carry local vendors and designers as much as possible, and also to introduce independent designers who are doing well elsewhere into a new market.
“I’ve lived in Pasadena for thirty years,” Pearson says, “I built my line here; I’ve grown thirty years worth of business and personal relationships here. I always knew that if I opened a store it would have to be in Pasadena. I wouldn’t have opened anywhere else,” and here on Holly St, Pearson realizes she is, “the beneficiary of the ground work that other merchants here have done.”
Pearson takes a lot of joy in the hunt for creative and intelligent makers, and she finds herself inspired by artists’ abilities to constantly reinvent objects and ideas in contexts that make them new again. Hömage very clearly reflects Pearson’s attention to detail and sharply-honed good taste. Shelves and tables are filled with exquisite and unique gifts and wares, all carefully curated and consistent in feel and style. Hömage fits a niche that the area had been lacking, and the shop’s enthusiastic reception in the mere eight months that they’ve been open speaks for itself. “The reaction,” Pearson says, “was, ‘This is the kind of store we needed.’” That collective “we” is also important to Pearson; she makes it a point to keep Hömage inviting and accessible, with a wide range of price points and inventory that appeals equally to both genders.