Beijing: Finding Souvenirs at Lost & Found

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Above: Inside the treasure-filled store.

It used to be a struggle to find stylish souvenirs in Beijing, but the bigger problem now is making room in your case for all the delightfully quirky items on offer. A good place to stock up on classy trinkets is Lost & Found (42 Guozijian; 86-10/6401-1855), a new design boutique tucked down a historic tree-lined hutong alleyway. Owners Paul Gelinas and Xiao Mao scoured city markets for worse-for-wear knick-knacks—chipped enamel street signs, vintage beads, chests of drawers from an old library—to transform into chic homewares. Hot-selling items include a series of hand-stenciled flasks sourced from China’s oldest thermos factory and thousand-layer “happy shoes,” lovingly re-stitched to their former glory. Alongside blasts from the past, the loft-like store stocks clothing designed by Xiao Mao, as well as replica furniture including elm bedside tables inset with Japanese tiles. –HELENA IVESON

Originally appeared in the April 2009 print issue of DestinAsian magazine (“Gypsy Tales: Finders Keepers”)

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