There are a few things you may find interesting about Rising Sun’s shop besides the products. Our haberdashery’s building, 107 S. Fair Oaks, is a historic building in Pasadena. It was constructed in the late 1880’s and served as a showroom for stage coaches or horse carriages. By the early 1900’s it became the Hotel Mikado a Japanese hotel that mostly catered to Japanese Americans. By about World War II the hotel was sold to the family of Mr. Percy Carter who converted the hotel to The Hotel Carver (after George Washington Carver), Pasadena’s first hotel owned by African-Americans. Its primary clientele consisted of visitors turned away by the Hotel Green, which serviced mostly well-to-do, white clients.
During The Hotel Carver years the then well-known nightclub, The Onyx Club, which eventually became The Club Cobra, featured jazz talents of the time in the basement. Below is a picture of the wall in the basement today.
By the 70’s the building was converted to artists studios and the Pasadena Repertory Theatre, which won the LA Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for Best Director and best Screenplay for its staging of “In Celebration.” Other acclaimed creatives associated with the space include Paul McCarthy (contemporary artist), Steve Gerber (Marvel Comics creator, The Defenders, Howard the Duck), Gill Dennis (writer, Walk the Line), Betty Dore (painter), Herbie Lewis (jazz musician), and more.
Today Rising Sun does not forget the important history of Old Town Pasadena and the stories these walls would tell if could speak. With time we will perhaps weave some tales of our own for the history books.
When we worked on the space our belief was the only way to build ourselves a haberdashery was from the sweat from our own brows. The leather floors were install by Mike, friends, and family. The carved wood found in the haberdashery were done by his family. So were the tin ceilings. We pride ourselves in upholding the fighting spirit that is still very much alive in the building.
Please visit our shop at 107 S. Fair Oaks, Pasadena CA and enjoy the local history.
I am not talking about the workwear brand. Not the clock tower bell either, although Ben Phillips is from the UK. He made a special trip to see us and we thought our meeting deserves recounting.
On the lazy Pasadena morning after Christmas, while workers of Rising Sun and other local institutions were at home hungover from celebrating, our propreitor Mike Hodis found himself compelled to open the store. In his own words not ten minutes after the doors were open “I quickly realized why I had to open that day and that if I had not I would have missed an opportunity to meet one of the most motivated and passionate denim enthusiast out there.” He is talking about Ben, the hulking Brit who deals in American tattoo machines and loves faithfully made denim clothing.
Ben was stateside with his girlfriend who is in a student exchange program in Philadelphia. They made the trip to the west coast to see the sights but “the catalyst for the trip was to come and check out our shop and to purchase a pair of Blacksmiths, in size 40.”
Chatting and swapping stories ensued. Ben’s size served him well in barroom brawls and hard living in the tough, industrial English town he grew up in. His passion for vintage clothing and 40’s era culture gave him a creative outlet to overcome what must have been a rough upbringing. We are proud to count Ben as a supporter and have him wear Rising Sun garments.
This encounter gave much Mike much to think about during this season of thanks and reflection. “The time I spent in the shop with this great guy made me realize that the shop serves more than one purpose. It also serves as a destination for like-minded people whose lives intertwine with mine. The stories as well as the new friendships I cherish as priceless moments in my life.” Thank you, Ben! It was a pleasure meeting you and Ooffii.
What follows is a small autobio by Big Ben himself.
Ooffii and I come from Brighton, England, about an hour south of London. My experiences in the music industry as a tour manager and promoter, and my time working for The Duffer of St. George has generated my interest in tattoos, vintage and especially denim. I now work for Deluxe Tattoo Supplies; I travel throughout the UK selling handmade tattoo machines.
Ooffii is a student at the University of Sussex studying American History. She is currently on exchange at the University of Pennsylvania; for her Christmas break we decided to head out west to get some California sun. My denim obsession forced us to brave LA public transport to make the trip to Rising Sun. We had the best experience in the shop. We hung out with Mike and chatted about everything from denim and vintage to frontier history, mining and our families. It was a pleasure and a privilege to spend time in the shop and get to see the amazing workshop. I couldn’t be happier with my new Blacksmiths and am looking forward to building a up a Rising Sun collection.
Dear last minute holiday shopper,
This year the Rising Sun shop will be open a little later on Christmas Eve just in case you need that extra time to get those perfect gifts. The shop will be full of goodies for the denim and vintage aficionados in your life. You also can’t go wrong with our fitted tee shirts made from some of the finest soft slub fabrics in various well appointed prints and colors. If the stress of shopping is getting you down come into our humble haberdashery and enjoy a cup of hot Rising Sun coffee while you browse our wares. We are still giving away bags of our delicious, locally roasted coffees with any purchase. Our family will be here to help with your gifting needs until 8PM on Christmas Eve, Thursday December 24, 2009.
We wish you and your loved ones a very merry holiday season.
Rising Sun & Co.
107 S Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91105
Thanksgiving is over but that does not mean the thanking stops at the Rising Sun haberdashery. Starting now come into the shop and get a half pound coffee bag of the Rising Sun Arabica blend from a local Pasadena coffee roaster, free with any purchase. While supplies last.
The free gift is shown here atop our well-loved and well-appointed shopping bag. Like everything else we do the shopping bag boasts handcrafted details to show you we mean business when we say we do things the old fashioned way. It features a pie crust edge cut at the top and adorned with a reusable woven edge Rising Sun logo tape. Perfect for putting under a Christmas tree if we may say so ourselves.
Happy holidays and thank you for your continuing support!
If you are lucky when you step into the Rising Sun & Co. haberdashery you will encounter this fantastic creature who is well versed in our fits and styles. So when you are in the neighborhood drop by and say hello to Zoey. Go crazy and talk selvage and Union Special.
Rising Sun & Co.
107 S. Fair Oaks Ave, STE. 109
Pasadena, CA. 91105