Paul Wellman

The Shopkeepers Fills a Curious Niche

New Boutique Adds to Funk Zone Retail

“Curious goods for curious people,” reads the slogan for The Shopkeepers, a carefully curated retail, gallery, and event boutique in the Funk Zone. “We wanted it to be weird and changing and unscripted,” explained Patti Pagliei Simpson, who opened the space last summer with husband and entrepreneur John Simpson.

As the cofounder of Waxing Poetic, a jewelry and fine-goods shop launched in 2002, Pagliei Simpson has expanded her finely tuned artistic eye into the new venture, which aims to provide shoppers with not only something neat to take home but also a meaningful experience to remember. “It’s really a process of reconnecting to how we make things, and why we buy things, and why we want to be in community with each other,” she said.

Patti Pagliei Simpson of The Shopkeepers
Click to enlarge photo

Paul Wellman

Patti Pagliei Simpson of The Shopkeepers

A dream team of Santa Barbara renaissance people has helped take the store to new heights, including buyer Susan Pitcher, referred to by Pagliei Simpson as “the master collaborator.” “Nothing is cookie-cutter in this place. Instead of bringing in whole collections, we’re bringing in items,” Pagliei Simpson said.

Shoppers can peruse a sampling of pieces by area brands, such as Saltura, Riviera Towel Company, art by Hank Pitcher, and shoes by Angela Scott. “Our kimonos and leather jackets are the perfect S.B. vibe,” Pagliei Simpson said of a few of her favorites. The shop even features a cherry-picked array of Santa Barbara–based books from Chaucer’s, such as Diary of a Sea Captain’s Wife. “We want to represent the best of S.B.,” Pagliei Simpson said.

Every corner of the store oozes intention, and its detail-oriented mindset extends to the unique fixtures, as well, put together by area contractor and friend of the couple Erich Riedl. His drum-set chandelier crowns the store. Now, as the shop settles in, Pagliei Simpson and her husband plan to give back to Santa Barbara’s nonprofit community by hosting benefits that include wine, shopping, and music.


The Shopkeepers is located at 137 Anacapa Street, Suite A. Call (805) 883-3132 or visit

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