Rueben Brody came to the Mar Vista neighborhood and visited the shop and observed master craftsman Alberto Hernandez working on a normal weekday. He observes"
"A boutique renaissance is blossoming on the stretch of Venice Boulevard that cuts through Mar Vista. Among the new denizens is Meshika, a small shop hawking pottery, women’s jewelry and hats so uniquely gender-neutral you can probably sneakily pick one out for yourself then gift it to your ladyfriend.
Inside, the hats hang on the wall like prizes from a hunt. One is olive green with an Aztec playing card protruding from the brim; another is peach-dyed rabbit pelt with rattlesnake patches and a heavy bronze nail wedged into the ribbon at the base.
There isn’t a register — just a station with potted plants and a sewing machine where the owner, Alberto Hernandez, sits stitching his next design. He’s tall and round-shouldered and speaks with the soft swagger of a hip-hop caballero.
A dog sleeps at his feet. His pet tortoise messes around in its cage on a desk, which is cluttered with an industrial steam iron for plying the stiff pelts that surround him. Artwork donated by friends adorns the walls: An Apache print. A Congolese straw hat. The skull of a cow. Vintage blocks from the 1940s and ‘50s are stacked on shelves overhead, which Hernandez uses to shape the domes of his hats, much as they did back when a good lid was as compulsory as a clean shirt and shined shoes."
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