Meet Hi-Desert Daydream’s Brilliant Collection of Artists, Makers and Designers
Located in Twentynine Palms near the Joshua Tree National Park entrance is a newly opened boutique featuring a collection of some of the desert’s favorite artists, makers and designers. Hi-Desert Daydream was born from the creative, collaborative minds of Roaming Travelers Founder Chelsea Evans and Thirty9Fox Owner Melisa Tennies. The two wanted to see a space where businesses like their own could truly thrive—and that’s exactly what they did! Hi-Desert Daydream
Hi-Desert Daydream is a 1,200-square-foot space that houses a growing number of locally based small businesses. Prior to Hi-Desert Daydream, the majority of these businesses didn’t have spaces of their own and could only be found online or in different local markets, but Evans and Tennies have now created an accessible, beautiful space for these creators to showcase and sell their products (and hold fun events). Evans explains, “We absolutely strive to remove the barriers for growth among local makers who are skeptical of taking their dream to the next level by eliminating the overhead that comes with retail space, allowing their dreams to flourish!”
Let’s Meet the Makers: Hi-Desert Daydream
Currently Loving: Signature Scented Candle
Owned by Evans and her husband Andrew, Roaming Travelers is a curated boutique shop that features “local art, eco-friendly sourced apparel, designer hats by Gigi Pip and a collection of Free People.” Roaming Travelers has two shops as well as an event space in Joshua Tree, but the Evans’ wanted to help build a space where they could help lift other small businesses in their community. According to the couple, “Hi-Desert Daydream is not a consignment shop; we are a space where dreams come true.”
“We wanted to create a curtailed collective space that would highlight makers and vendors, allowing them to flourish individually,” they explain. “By removing barriers to entry and providing a footprint for a brick-and-mortar location with collective advertising, digital marketing and cross-platform online shop functionality, we felt we could help empower makers to take their business to the next level.”
Thirty9Fox Hi-Desert Daydream
Currently Loving: Embellished Romper
“Since I am the co-owner [of Hi-Desert Daydream], it has meant that I get to share a piece of myself with the community,” says Tennies. “Part of my heart and soul is inside!”
Aside from co-owning Hi-Desert Daydream, Tennies also curates hand-picked vintage for her own shop, Thirty9Fox. “I love seeing people connect to their past by seeing one of my pieces,” she says. “Someone who has their nostalgia activated by holding something that they enjoyed in their childhood is such a cool thing to witness!”
Tennies sources from all over—even when she’s on vacation—and focuses on finding pieces that can maintain a connection with someone over time despite the trends. “Everything in my space is an item that I would have in my own [home], so finding that item I connect with and just know that someone else will too is important,” Tennies notes.EXP 9/25
If the ‘90s and early 2000s are your happy place, you’ll love Adelaide’s Fort. Owner Victoria Bedingfield is a one-woman show who takes her time researching “old-school movies” to create apparel, accessories and home decor that resonate with shoppers.
“[My goal is to] create community, bring people together and bring back the good times from the ‘90s and early 2000s,” Bedingfield says. On the Adelaide’s Fort site, you’ll find tons of inventory based on different fandoms—such as Mean Girls, Star Wars and “Pride and Prejudice”—but Hi-Desert Daydream shoppers can enjoy pieces that specifically pay homage to Joshua Tree, Twentynine Palms and California desert vibes.
Cliffies Woodworking Hi-Desert Daydream
Currently Loving: Walnut Charcuterie Board with Tuscan Sun Epoxy
“I design one-of-a-kind cutting boards, serving trays, cheese boards and charcuterie boards out of locally and regionally sourced hardwoods as well as reclaimed wood (when I can find quality pieces) and epoxy resin,” says wood craftsman Clifford Williford. “I also like to repurpose old furniture-type items into modern-day beauties.”
The creator behind Cliffies Woodworking aims to make high-quality pieces that spark inspiration and conversation when displayed in peoples’ homes. After hours of design and creation, the finished product is a stunning piece that celebrates the natural beauty of the wood.
“[Hi-Desert Daydream has] given me an opportunity to see if my side hustle is worth dedicating more time to without having to worry about all the other requirements there are when running a business,” he explains. “For that, I am forever grateful to them.”
Currently Loving: Animal-Skull Stenciled Cigar Box Ukulele
Need a unique gift for the music lover in your life? Kit Smith, owner of Desert Homestead Guitars, is creating truly one-of-a-kind ukuleles and guitars, specifically cigar box ukuleles and custom electric guitars he calls “Ranchcasters.”
“My goal is to make unique, one-of-a-kind instruments that are inspired by the desert’s landscape and patina,” Smith explains. “Every instrument is crafted to emphasize tone and playability.”
Smith takes great care in his creations, so having a place to showcase his pieces is a game changer! Smith says, “In the desert, community is so important, and Hi-Desert Daydream brings artists and curators together.”
Giesey Creative Haus Hi-Desert Daydream
Currently Loving: “You’re Not Alone” Desert Lightning Bolt
Throughout Hi-Desert Daydream, you’ll find bold, colorful paintings and stunning stills from artist and photographer Brenton Giesey, who aims to create timeless and emotional visuals.
“My artworks are made on recycled materials: shoeboxes, shipping boxes, shopping bags, flower bouquet wrappers, etc.,” Giesey explains. “During the pandemic when we were all getting lots of things shipped to our homes, I decided to take those materials and recycle them to make art that lifts spirits.”
“I’m honored to be a part of Hi-Desert Daydream because I’m part of a group of like-minded artists and makers who share a love for the desert and the Greater Joshua Tree/Twentynine Palms area and the art that’s inspired by it,” says Giesey.
For handcrafted, luxurious body, bath and home products, look no further than Mojave Moon Apothecary. “I started Mojave Moon Apothecary to share my love of Southern California and the Mojave Desert while honoring the unique history and culture of this area,” owner Heather Basile explains. “All of our products are vegan and cruelty-free, [and] I try to focus on organic, sustainably sourced materials and recyclable, reusable packaging wherever possible.”
Not only does Mojave Moon Apothecary value sustainability, Basile donates 10% of the sales from white sage and palo santo to the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). It’s clear that Basile honors the ingredients she uses!
“For me, there is something comforting about natural scents and pure, simple ingredients. Everything in my line is formulated drop-by-drop, and I have basically turned my dining room into an alchemist’s laboratory,” she laughs. “There is definitely a bit of a mad scientist vibe when I am working, but it smells amazing!”
Opal Atlas Hi-Desert Daydream
If you go on a trip and don’t bring back a souvenir, did it even happen? Opal Atlas Founder Marlene Dunlevy saw a gap in Joshua Tree’s souvenir market, so during the pandemic, she began designing thoughtful trinkets and practical keepsakes like mugs, pins and keychains.
“I want to make the best souvenirs I possibly can,” says Dunlevy. “I want people to feel nostalgic and happy when they look at my products. The desert has such a hold on people, and I want my souvenirs to remind people of their magical desert adventures.”
“I think Twentynine Palms is at the beginning of an amazing transformation, and Hi-Desert Daydream is on the forefront of that,” Dunlevy continues. “Mel and Chelsea and Andrew have put in so much work to transform this space, and it’s a beautiful and generous thing that they have invited others to join them.”
Currently Loving: Knit Halter Top
Lightweight, breezy and unbelievably comfy, Tanya Livingstone is creating modern crocheted clothing and accessories that can complement any desert-bound wardrobe. “I hope my creations bring joy to anyone who wears them and that younger generations might be inspired to rediscover the appreciation and craft of handmade clothing and home goods,” Livingstone says.
Echoing the palette of the desert, Livingstone’s work revolves around color and the exploration of her craft, but she also finds inspiration from her fellow Hi-Desert Daydream artists. “Gathering with like-minded people in one beautiful space is like finding my tribe,” Livingstone says. “After moving here with my husband Kit (of Desert Homestead Guitars) four years ago, we really feel like we have finally found our community!”
Currently Loving: Medium Macrame Wall Hanging in Rust
Originally from the UK, PAU owner Angel Pau worked as a floral designer before she was “seduced by this wonderful desert lifestyle.” Pau describes herself as a maker of many things, but for now, she is putting her creative efforts into macrame, weaving and watercolor that are deeply inspired by the desert landscape.
“I love to bring original, handcrafted items into people’s homes and give them a connection to something that was thoughtfully created, not mass-produced,” explains Pau. She also loves taking on commissions so she can make something truly personal to her client.
“Mel and Chelsea have curated an incredible space that brings us together and facilitates turning our dreams into reality,” she beams. “It’s Twentynine Palms’ one-stop shop!”
Currently Loving: Vintage Peterson Field Guides
As a novelist and owner of Secret Canyon Books, Justin Go knows a thing or two about collecting old books. “When my wife started selling Joshua Tree souvenirs as Opal Atlas, I realized there were a ton of amazing old books out there that people would never find themselves,” Go explains. “A lot of the best books on the desert are long out of print,and most people would never see them if we weren’t selling them.”
Go loves the collaborative energy from Hi-Desert Daydream as well as “sharing [a] love of the desert with the local community, and the visitors who also love it!” From books on geology and astrology to field guides and care books for houseplants, Secret Canyon Books has shelves of books that are definitely worth the read. And keep an eye out for vintage and midcentury fiction, which is coming soon!