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Party Saturday at a new L.A. shop called Specific, home to Mexican and American crafts and furniture

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When he decided to open what he calls "a modern general store," Brooks Hudson Thomas had a particular idea. The designer sought out craftsmen and artists from Puebla, Mexico, to Portland, Maine, then added pieces from Los Angeles-based felt-maker Tanya Aguiniga, as well as vintage furniture and accessories.

The result: a new Beverly Boulevard shop called Specific, which opened in February and will host a cocktail party Saturday.

A UCLA-trained painter and former employee at the cutting-edge decor store Blackman Cruz, Thomas has a sharp eye. On travels to Mexico, he befriended German Montalvo, who crafted the chairs, above, from recycled Volkswagen factory packing crates. A set of four with a coordinating, 31.5-inch- square table is $2,600. Individual chairs are $400. 

IMG_1923 Montalvo also makes talavera pottery, a majolica style made in Puebla that features painted floral and animal motifs on white backgrounds. He created custom platters with abstract designs for Specifc, right, that start at $350. 

Specific also carries urns from the Mexico City design firm Grupo Bio. Crafted from old rubber tires, they are more than 2 feet tall and cost $350.

Although Thomas sells many one-of-a-kind handmade artworks, furniture and accessories -- like $800 striped quilts by Denyse Schmidt -- that would fall into the higher-priced category called investment pieces, he also carries items that are under $50. An example: solid 10-by-11-inch oak plank trivets painted in an array of cheerful colors and made in Maine by Furniturea. They cost $40.

Specific, 7374 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles; (323) 930-0220, www.specificmerchandise.com. Party is Saturday, 5 to 8 p.m.

See the recycled tire planter and a cool chair design after the jump.

-- David Keeps

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Photos: The Recycled Tire planter from Grupo Bio of Mexico City, above, has the pinched neck and wide mouth of a classical urn, with the exposed tread as a decorative band. Each one is hand-made and no two are exactly alike. They are $350. Below, the Strap Chair by Philadelphia woodworker Tim Lewis, who crafted the $2,400 piece from solid walnut with nylon webbing. Credits: Raymond Lee

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