By RHEA-FRANCES TETLEY
Only 50 yards off busy Highway 18 in Running Springs is the solitude of Havenwood, a new bookstore and gift shop complex, where owner Becky Morgan welcomes all, with a unique selection of unusual décor and reading materials.
Havenwood is located in several buildings that will amaze and interest the tourist or mountain resident. It has a garden, a large flat area for vendors for upcoming events and movies, parking and much more.
“With several small buildings on the property, our vision includes each building having a different retail theme,” said Morgan. She described Havenwood as “a new retail and event experience, bringing a curated collection of unique handmade and locally made fare to the mountains of Southern California.”
Morgan’s husband, Rob Lewbel, had been a lighting specialist in the movie industry for 20 years, working on movies such as Pulp Fiction. He then owned Moonshine Lamp Company, a custom light business in La Verne, for 10 years. He initially specialized in making bar pendant lamps from wine bottles and quickly expanded into other sustainable materials and light products. He creates custom lights for bars and homes of celebrities and, with his creativity, his business boomed. Moonshine Lamps creates rustic industrial lighting pieces such as chandeliers, wall sconces and pendants, standing lamps and candlesticks, all handmade to order.
The couple bought a second home in the mountains in 2019. A year-and-a-half ago, when Lewbel discovered this perfect workshop building, he decided to relocate his workshop to this large property. As the pandemic and other factors intervened, he decided to bring everything to the mountains, closing his La Verne location and selling their down-the-hill house.
Lewbel works with recycled and sustainable materials to craft lamps that fit the individual needs of each customer. Moonshine repurposes materials such as wine bottles, wood and metals to create custom one-of-a-kind lighting fixtures. Moonshine Lamps now decorate homes, bars and businesses world-wide. For information on his designs, see his website Moonshinelamp.com or call Lewbel at (818) 621-4089.
Morgan had operated a retail store in Claremont, Heirloom, where she had workshop classes making lip balm and body scrubs, teaching pickling, making terrariums, and so much more. She followed in her husband’s footsteps, closing her Claremont store and opening some small retail shops on the property. She is considering starting up some small classes for locals this fall.
They have joined the Running Springs Area Chamber of Commerce and Morgan is already collaborating with local businesses and hopes that, by working together, the town may grow for the benefit of residents and visitors as well. She wants to give people a reason to stop and shop in town, offering them a reason to support local businesses.
Morgan loves to read, so she built a bookstore out of one of the buildings on the lot, naming it Pages in the Pines. She has decorated and surrounded the doors and windows with book spines, with an antique typewriter over the entry. She is still asking her customers what types of books they want and plans to stock more of those. She already stocks gift books, best sellers, puzzles and games, plus a fine selection of unusual children’s books, including non-fiction books about nature and how-to, and fiction in all categories. The new bookstore is quaint and worth the visit. Drive off Highway 18 at the Havenwood address sign and enter the rear parking lot behind Rustic Arts where the bookstore and gift shop are located, next door to the former Lloyd’s restaurant at 32088 Highway 18. Store hours are Wednesday through Sunday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
This coming weekend on July 30, in her back half-acre, Morgan will set up a large screen and equipment for hosting a movie night, so bring your folding chairs and enjoy the show. This will be the first of several “Movies under the Stars” this summer and fall. This weekend she is showing the movie Back to the Future. She has purchased the licenses and permits and will have popcorn from Sugar Mountain as well as beer and wine. Order the $5 tickets now at www.shophavenwood.com for the evening’s entertainment. The movie in August will be Goonies, followed by Hocus Pocus in September to start the fall season.
Morgan is planning a Fall Festival on the weekend of Oct. 8 and 9. The fall festival will have food vendors, music, artisans and a month-long pumpkin patch in the garden. Vendor who would like to have a booth at the festival should contact her now as spaces are already filling up.
Over this summer, Morgan plans to open a green house in the garden, plus use a second shed that will have outdoor-themed goods.
Havenwood Gifts next to Pages in the Pines has a wide selection of items from local and unique touristy-type items and unique décor representing the mountains to T-shirts and soaps. It would be appropriate to say that the individuality of the gifts and other items would be difficult to match on the mountain or elsewhere. Morgan prints T-shirts depicting the various mountain towns on site, while you wait. She plans to add additional artisan items as the summer progresses.