Marc Whitman

Marc Whitman

By Misty Hall

Some architects are known for just one style. But Marc Whitman’s designs are, as he puts it, eclectic. “I design in most all styles: Modern, Spanish, Craftsman, Mission Revival,” he said. Yet somehow in this variety of styles, there is something distinctive, something undeniably, well, Whitman, about each of his designs.

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For Your Home

By Misty Hall

Designers have called For Your Home furnishings in downtown Ventura one of the best-kept secrets on the Central Coast. Step inside, and it’s easy to see why: their two-story, 16,000 sq. ft. showroom has a massive selection of items — appropriately — for your home.

It started with Brian Seelos, who co-owned a waterbed factory in L.A. back in the ‘70s. But on a visit north, he fell in love with Ventura’s beaches and charming neighborhoods, and decided to move there. Soon he found a beautiful, historic retail space in downtown Ventura, with exposed wood and brick, plenty of natural light from skylights, and two floors of show space. It was the ideal location for Brian’s new business, Dreamweaver Waterbeds … which would eventually become For Your Home, offering California-style furnishings.

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Chisum’s Floor Covering

Chisum’s Floor Covering

By Misty Hall

In an age when mom-and-pop shops are increasingly becoming the exception rather than the rule, the Ojai Valley seems frozen in a better time. It’s a place where small, family-run businesses can still thrive, where people choose local over big-box. I think there’s a pretty simple reason for that. Sure, it feels good to support your neighbors, but the deeper reason is more pragmatic than philosophical.

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California Natural Pools

California Natural Pools

By Misty Hall

It’s almost summer time! That means lots of time in the sun — and probably the swimming pool, too. Sure, you’re having fun and getting exercise in that sparkling blue water. But have you ever stopped to think about what you’re swimming in, and why it stings your eyeballs and turns your hair green?

Peggy and her friend/business partner, Troy Becker, are offering an alternative to traditional swimming pools, and all the chemicals necessary to keep them clean. Their company, California Natural Pools, builds systems that mimic processes found in nature to create an entirely chemical-free — and entirely safe — swimming pool.

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Coast Transfer and Storage

Coast Transfer and Storage

By Misty Hall

Like so many others did after World War II, Ojai’s Noreen and Bud Bower had a bunch of kids and started a family business. Ojai Van Lines began with one truck, based in their home, in 1946. Back then, Bud transported groceries from Los Angeles to Ojai, to places like Bayless Market (now Westridge Midtown). On Sundays, he’d bring Bill Baker’s famous bread down to the train station in Ventura.

One day, Bud got an odd request from a neighbor: could he use his truck to help them move to Arizona? “I guess whatever the price was, he made enough money that he changed businesses!” laughs his daughter, Diane Clegg. And thus, Ojai Van Lines became a moving company.

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Doug Crawford Insurance

Doug Crawford Insurance

By Misty Hall

It’s been almost a year and a half since the Thomas Fire devastated a huge swath of land across Ventura and Santa Barbara counties. Those of us who live in the area still remember all too well the fear, the uncertainty, and for many, the devastation, it brought. But while thousands of us evacuated in those early days of December 2017, Charlene and Bryan Crawford stayed put. Despite mandatory evacuations that covered most of the Ojai Valley and surrounding regions, the owners/brokers at Doug Crawford Insurance Agency still clocked in, fielding countless calls from clients worried about their homes, cars, businesses, their futures. Even when Bryan eventually evacuated with his family, he took his computer systems and phone with him, staying in touch with clients.

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Emily Wilson

Emily Wilson

Words/Photos by Logan Hall

Very few people can pay for a home with cash. Most need the help of a bank loan to get the roof over their head that they’ve always dreamed of. In an industry full of number crunching and confusing paperwork, it’s a good thing there’s an expert out there who can wade through the sea of regulations, getting a potential home owner exactly where they need to be. Lifetime Ojai resident Emily Wilson, Broker and President of Heritage Financial, is that expert.

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Phil’s Custom Painting

Phil’s Custom Painting

Photos/Words by Logan Hall

Felipe Estrada loves painting. Not only does he enjoy it, he does it for a living. Estrada owns and operates

Phil’s Custom Painting, putting coats of color on every-thing from doors and window frames to entire interiors and exteriors. Having lived in Ojai most of his life, he knows the town and the people like the back of his hand.

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Richard Keit & Mary Kennedy

Richard Keit & Mary Kennedy

RTK Studios
Photos/Words by Logan Hall

If you’ve ever needed custom tilework in the Ojai Valley, there’s a good chance you’ve gone to RTK Studios. There aren’t many folks who haven’t seen the ornate tiles that have made RTK a household name in the area. Whether adorning a fountain in a central court-yard or depicting a floral scene in a giant mosaic, owners Richard Keit and his wife Mary Kennedy have their footprint in just about every corner of the valley.

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Kerry Miller

Kerry Miller

Photos by Logan Hall/Words by Misty Hall

Miller does both commercial projects, like the Playhouse, as well as residential projects, and consultant work. “I am extremely fortunate to have some very diverse projects going on right now,” Miller said. Aside from the Playhouse, he’s just completed work on Canvas and Paper, a new art gallery on North Montgomery where Soul Centered once resided. “It was a total renovation of the whole property. it took 14 months. The owner had a vision, and I helped to created his vision, alongside Jane Carroll, a local Ojai designer.”

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by | Sep 15, 2018

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