Working from an intimate storefront on Thousand Oaks Boulevard, not far from the , a pair of local artists decided to reinvigorate their own passions and the local art scene when they opened Sought Found two months ago.
The brainchild of Lisa Lupo and Ryan Gibson, Sought Found is a consignment shop that caters to unusual and eclectic items, ranging from European antiquities to the couples’ own jewelry line of wearable art called Burn 16. Together, Lupo and Gibson are seeking to unify the creativity of a community they now call home.
“People have been intrigued. They’ve told me, ‘I’ve was driving by and something made me turn around to come and check you out,’” Lupo said. “It feels kind of like a vortex of like-minded people, which has really been inspiring for Ryan and I.”
Having moved recently from Malibu, the couple seeks out the most unique items Agoura Hills has to offer while providing a myriad of services that include locating the obscure for their clients.
“If we don’t have it, we can find it,” Lupo said. “We’re also looking for your eclectic details … and as a stylist and celebrity designer, that’s been my niche.”
Lupo has worn many hats during an illustrious Hollywood career–production designer, celebrity stylist, fashion editor, culinary expert and entertainment creative consultant–but she said she is now finally getting back to her creative roots. With a Bachelors of Fine Arts in mixed media and design from Arizona State University and a list of clients that includes Oprah Winfrey, Elon Musk (founder of Paypal and Space X) and countless other celebrities and corporations, the multi-tasking entrepreneur is fusing her talents with fellow artist Gibson to create a venue for art.
Additionally, Gibson is now adding his talents to culinary creations as a chef at the organic eatery located next door, The Rabbit Hole Cafe.
In the process, they are drawing others into their artistic world.
Local artists already featured among the collection of curios include photographer Suzy Demeter, jewelry designer Amy Newman, illustrator Diane Seah and Lea Petmezas, a Calabasas-based painter with strong ties to the downtown L.A. art scene.
“With Sought Found, it’s a satellite studio, it’s a collection, it’s a gallery for Burn 16 where we can do openings and feature artists from the area ... give it a vibe like Abbot-Kinney in Venice or Silverlake,” said Lupo.
And having worked in fashion world for a number of years, some of the objet d’art are more than eye candy; they’re functional pieces of high-fashion items that are often rare or even one-of-a-kind.
“From my career as a stylist, I have a lot of designer pieces that were given to me,” she said, pointing out a pair of high heels (featured in photos). “These shoes were about $1800 and they were worn once. Yeah, they’re a pair of shoes but they could also sit on a table.”
With such a ubiquitous range of items, the services offered are also diverse, spanning from staging for Realtors to customizing art. Jewelry may also be commissioned via their Burn 16 line, which utilizes mixed media with a focus on the unique assemblage of precious and semi-precious stones.
One of their creations–a type of scarf–was donned by Lisa Marie’s husband Michael Lockwood in a recent appearance on Good Morning America for the release of Presley’s new album, Storm and Grace.
“If something is a treasure to you, maybe it’s a stone or a piece of jewelry or an object that holds special power for you, we can take that and create something that’s wearable art,” Lupo said.
If Sought Found is the couple’s brainchild, then Burn 16 is their baby. Lupo describes it as “a synergy that’s kind of against all odds.”
“Our art aesthetic is similar. We both love the idea of things from the past, of taking something and repurposing it," Lupo said. “We could both be working on pieces and there’s a similarity that happens and it’s not forced. It’s really exciting,” she said.
Gibson agreed. “Everything’s one of a kind, all hand-created, nothing’s drawn out first,” he said. “Everything’s kind of morphing.”
Burn 16 has been featured in fashion magazines such as Kurv and Apartamento, and is available through Church Boutique, a high-end shop on Santa Monica Boulevard in L.A. where they plan on relaunching in September. That is in addition to numerous other projects looming on the horizon, including events showcasing local sculptures planned for the store this fall.
“I feel so grateful that there’s this community here and by putting us in one place, it’s just opened us up to the interesting folk out here that saw things the same way as we do," she said. "So it’s been socially really great for us as well.”
Lupo’s son, 10-year-old Julian, now attends in Agoura Hills in addition to his own thriving artistic endeavor as a frontman for the rock band, The Hooligans, who at their tender young ages have already performed in a slew of venues, including The Roxy.
“I’m as passionate about that as I am my own art,” Lupo said. “I’m kind of like a stage mom but I’m trying not to be.”
Julian also loves to support his mom by coming in and helping with the store, Lupo said, which resonates well with it being a community resource, something that mainstream purveyors of factory-made products are lacking.
“I’ve always been like the anti one-stop shop. There’s no creativity, no emotion connected to any of it and for me as a designer, I tell clients: let it be a treasure for you. Does it resonate? Does that object have that energetic something that is meaningful? That is what exudes from your home and that’s what makes it your museum,” Lupo said.
“Mixing decades, mixing centuries, mixing something that might have found at Target but you’ve got this antique throne from your grandmother … it’s how you put it together. Make it new again and make it fresh. Whether it’s new, make it you -- it’s about being an individual.
Sought Found is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. The store is located at 30651-i Thousand Oaks Boulevard. For more information, call 818-991-8816 or email the owners at firstname.lastname@example.org.