The little inland town of Ojai has popped up on my radar a lot over the past few years. Many of the creative folks who work for Patagonia in Ventura live up there and generally sing praise for Ojai. Word is the Malloy brothers (heros!) live on a farm in Ojai where they grow all sorts of edible earthy things when they aren’t making amazing films and commercials. If it sounds idyllic, that’s because it is.
More than that, Ojai is a town flirting with the idea of change. There seem to be a few opposing forces there in Ojai’s little inland paradise; the old guard who seem a bit more Santa Barbara, or Santa Fe for that matter, and then there’s a younger “cooler” flock of folks looking for quaint LA meets Austin, Texas vibes. It’s sort of a tale of LA hipsters versus old school hippies. There’s also (what seems like) more crystal healing in Ojai per capita than any place I’ve ever spent a weekend.
Though it’s not all just oddball (sorry if you are into that kind of stuff) rock healing techniques in Ojai, there are definitely some interesting things worth seeing making the town a very worthy destination. There’s Bart’s Books, an incredible open-air bookstore that will easily wreck an afternoon. The Ojai Rancho Inn is a sort of like what it would be like if the Ace hotel posted up in Don Draper’s motel room in Utah in the series finale of Mad Men. Ojai’s also got a few interesting shops that readers of this site would like including Summer Camp which occupies a former gas station (in the best possible way) and the standout new retail outpost In the Field. We discovered In the Field with the help of some local friends (though The New York Times had the scoop way back in November of 2014) and couldn’t have been happier to see such an excellent little desert-style oasis.
After spending some time in the shop, we came to realize that In the Field was slightly further developed than the other shops in town in terms of merchandise and overall aesthetic. It’s sort of Shiprock meets Mister Freedom meets Pilgrim Surf. with some Love Adorned mixed in for good measure. The shop has a very well chosen collection of clothing, accessories, home goods, objects and surf paraphernalia presented in a beautifully renovated Spanish style space which sort of fits into that particular stretch of town so perfectly it would be easy to miss. But if you were to ask me, In the Field is the one thing not to miss on your visits to Ojai. And maybe a little crystal healing just for kicks.
In the Field | 730 E. Ojai Ave. Ojai, California 93023 | (310) 403-4292