[UPDATE: This story was originally published on April 10.]
Navigating the woodsy wonderland that is Outer Sunset's General Store is more than a visual journey of incredible odds and ends — it's a chance to brush up on emerging local artisans, and even add to that toolbox of skills (indigo-dyeing workshops, anyone?). Because, if you've ever stepped into this perfectly curated, beachy haven, you know that there's an expert eye behind all those quirky knickknacks and sleek displays.
That's where Serena Mitnik-Miller comes in. The shop owner, artist, surfer, and all-around awesome chick was sweet enough to open her home and show us around (and even feed us gourmet snacks, score!). Of course, we didn’t leave without taking some candid snaps. The polymath pointed out all the fun mementos and artwork that pepper her neutral-hued house — all while rocking four, laid-back ensembles. Ready to peek into her whimsical, wave-inspired world? Get to clickin'!
Photographed by Molly DeCourdeaux
Photographed by Molly DeCoudreaux
Tell us more about your shop, General Store, and what inspired you to open it.
"My friends and the neighborhood itself inspired my husband, Mason, and I to open up a storefront in the Outer Sunset. We were looking for a studio space and when our old video store planned to move out we decided to make a go at a small storefront and studio."
A glimpse at Serena's plant-centric living room!
You're also an artist and have such wonderful pieces in your home — how did you begin collecting them all?
"I love art, so naturally I'm always looking for new pieces. A lot of my friends are artists and it's nice to see new work being made and supporting the community is important to me."
Serena is casual-cool in front of a Jay Nelson piece in a vintage jumper, Chen Chen blue bahia stone bangle, Iko Iko wooden bangle, Mociun and vintage rings, and espadrilles.
Tell us about your neighborhood and why you love it.
"It's sleepy, quiet, and foggy. We're nestled in the dunes of the Outer Sunset. I love the close proximity to the ocean where we relax, surf, and where our dog, Macie, can play."
We love your huge book collection — any current tomes you’re into right now?
"Let's just say I have very little time to read."
Tower upon tower of books!
You recently opened up a store in L.A. — tell us more about that!
"We partnered up with our friends Hannah Henderson and John Moore to open our second General Store location in Venice. We opened in August of last year on the corner of Lincoln Boulevard and Superba Avenue."
Time for a cuppa Joe.
How do you cater toward the different cities, while maintaining an overarching aesthetic of both stores?
"We try to keep the overall aesthetic and core products very similar, but not identical, allowing each location to cater to its community and really understanding the products each location is responding to."
Where the magic happens — Serena's art studio!
What three items in your wardrobe get the biggest workout?
"Denim, white T-shirts, and Beatrice Valenzuela slip-ons."
Serena in Janezic silk pants, a vintage silk top, Rachel Comey Mars Boot, and a Becky Kelso necklace and ring.
We wouldn't mind borrowing from Serena's jewelry box!
We’re kind of obsessed with all your plants — is it hard to take care of all of ‘em? What plants are you really into right now?
"Yes, especially with two cats in the house. An oversized ficus tree and hanging succulents are my faves at the moment."
What’s one of your most treasured sartorial items?
Serena looking pretty in a vintage woven Mexican top, Levi's denim, No.6 clogs, sterling and turquoise Navajo and Zuni bangles, and vintage rings.
What’s your favorite cheap score for your home as of late?
"My husband found our dining table at a job site!"
A stunning, light-filled dining room.
How would you describe your personal style?
"Relaxed, casual classics with a vintage twist."
Serena is a ring leader!
How would you describe the aesthetic of your home?
"Simple-modern meets the outdoors with a vintage twist. The main elements I like to incorporate are natural wood, plants, art with found vintage textiles and objects. I like our home to be lived in and not too fragile or stuffy."
We're dying for that hanging fruit basket!
When you’re not painting or manning the fort at General Store — where can we find you?
"Somewhere between Los Angeles and San Francisco on the 101, or hiding in the dunes of Ocean Beach."
Serena is in puppy love wearing a handmade Indian skirt, stripe tank, and vintage denim and jacket.
Time for a catnap!
Playing a little hide-and-seek!
What would you never be caught dead wearing?
Serena kicks it in her room — next to some pretty rad art.