Ozma Founder Heidi Baker Opens Airy New Store in L.A.’s Frogtown

California’s indoor-outdoor lifestyle is front and center at the gorgeous Ozma store now open in Los Angeles’ Frogtown neighborhood.

Ozma founder Heidi Baker spent seven years as global senior designer at Levi Strauss & Co. before leaving to set on her own path in fashion, launching her business in 2015, focusing on sustainably sourced and biodegradable textiles. She uses raw silk, washed linen, drapey cupro and hemp to create the kind of earthy-hued elevated T-shirts, field pants, slipdresses and wrap skirts that have become part of the everyday uniform of creatives like Mother magazine founder Katie Hintz-Zambrano; jewelry designer Sophie Monet; Val Quant Zecchetto of footwear brand Loq, and more.

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The space, which is not far from Frogtown’s popular Wax Paper sandwich shop, Justine’s Wine Bar and the restaurant Salazar, features a patio designed by Orca’s Molly Rose Sendlacek that makes one want to stay a while and enjoy the native plants, strawberry trees and modern Adirondack chairs.

Ozma L.A. retail store.
Ozma’s L.A. retail store.

“Orca does these full transformative spaces for a lot of residences, so it’s so nice to have this in a retail store. We often set up on the picnic table to work or eat lunch,” Baker said, giving a tour of the place. “Most of us live like in this area so it feels very central, and we can walk on the river and it feels almost like you’re next to water — not exactly the ocean but in my dreams,” she laughs of the nearly empty L.A. River with its popular biking and walking trails.

The indoors was designed by Elizabeth Roberts, who has also done commercial work for Ulla Johnson and Rachel Comey. Roberts celebrated the rawness of the existing interior by keeping the wood beams and concrete wall, which are a nice contrast to Ozma’s soft clothing in earthy shades of manzanita, putty, basil and hay. And she added soft sectional seating resembling tumbled natural rocks that divides the retail and studio sides of the space.

Inside Ozma's store in Los Angeles
Inside Ozma.

Baker’s full collection is represented, with prices from $85 to $328, including her expanding range of fair trade, Made in Peru knitwear, such as the great-looking organic cotton bouclé pointelle button-down Caro vest, and the open-weave Reese tank dress.

She also has accessories — Ozma’s own Made in L.A. belts, signature vintage-inspired hand-dyed bandanas made from raw silk sourced from a regenerative farm, and T-shirt silk fabric remnant bags woven by a rug maker in Oaxaca. “We try to do some interesting things with our scraps,” Baker said.

In store now also are barrettes with shells by Mexico City-based artist Alana Burns, and Ozma x Lorna Murray hats made with T-shirt scraps.

Ozma, spring 2024
Ozma, spring 2024

“I worked at Levi’s, which was the most amazing place to work…but at a certain point, I was like, I can’t really make jeans anymore, I was just kind of sick of it,” said Baker. “I started working in some other companies doing freelance, and I just did not like people were treated, and how much waste was going on. I wanted to do something my way, in the most responsible way.”

She considers Ozma as sustainable as a clothing brand producing more stuff can be. “I like to lean into the idea of being consciously created, because we do as much as we possibly can. By keeping things small, that’s helpful, by keeping things not trendy, that’s helpful, by selecting fabrics we believe in, that’s helpful,” Baker said.

Ozma, spring 2024
Ozma, spring 2024

She started with organic fabrics, but once her volume grew, she was able to develop her own with regenerative farms. “We’re not a high-growth company, which I like it that way, but getting the size where I can develop my own 1,000 or so yards of fabric has been really fun.” Baker is developing a hemp and Tencel denim for fall.

Ozma’s production and fulfillment is also on-site.

“It’s nice that the company is manageable for me and everyone feels like a tiny family here,” she said, casting a glance around at her handful of employees. “And stress-free. I just want to keep making things in the way that I want to.”

Ozma, spring 2024

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