By Kristina Houck
When David Bardwick first came to Cedros Avenue nearly 30 years ago, part of the street was still dirt. Now, Cedros Design District in Solana Beach is well known for art, collectables, fashions and furniture from around the globe.
“I’ve enjoyed the growth because it’s stayed focused on the arts. It’s always been the vision of the area,” said Bardwick.
For nearly two decades, Bardwick owned Cut & Dried Hardwood and was also owner of Trios art gallery, both on Cedros Avenue.
In 2003, he opened the David Alan Collection in the heart of the Cedros Design District at 241 South Cedros Ave. Designed like a museum, the 15,000-square-foot store features furniture and woodcarvings.
Bardwick, his employees and his customers celebrated the store’s 10th anniversary on Nov. 14.
“I can’t believe it’s been 10 years,” said Bardwick, who grew up in Chicago and moved to San Diego in 1978. “It’s been an amazing journey.”
The David Alan Collection is a combination of Bardwick’s passion for art, design and travel.
“It includes everything I’ve done in life and loved,” said Bardwick, who has an art degree from Ripon College in Wisconsin.
All of the collection’s pieces are influenced by Asian art and furniture.
From the islands of Indonesia to the villages of India, Bardwick personally selects each piece in his showroom. For three months every year, he works with three woodcarvers in Bali.
“I’ll bring them a picture, a drawing, a concept, a photo that I took,” he explained. “I’ll tell them what I want, what wood to use, what size. They work on it trying to achieve what they understand I want. They’re doing all this and we don’t have a language in common. No words. It’s really amazing.”
Bardwick first traveled to the Far East in 1980. Since then, he has visited India 25 times and Bali more than 30 times to collect pieces and gain inspiration.
“I love Eastern cultures. Everything here is from the Far East,” said Bardwick, who has also had more than 20 trips to Europe. “Everything has a story. And the older it is, the better the story.”
Having worked with wood for decades, Bardwick is now also working with stones.
He recently unveiled his new jewelry line, “David Alan Design.” Featuring gems, metals and earth elements from around the globe, the designs are handcrafted by artisan silversmiths in Bali under his direction.
“I saw it as another sculptural expression,” Bardwick said. “I’ve always loved rocks.”
The Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce, city officials and other community leaders recently presented Bardwick with a proclamation to honor his contributions to the community for the last 30 years, recognize the 10th anniversary of the David Alan Collection and celebrate his new jewelry line. The proclamation was given to Bardwick at a ribbon-cutting ceremony held Nov. 15 at the gallery.
“The street has changed, but his work, his pieces, will always fit into the street,” said Nichole Peterson, executive director of the Solana Beach Chamber of Commerce.
“I’m utterly grateful for the community here,” Bardwick said. “There’s no place else I would even think of having a business. This is where I want to be.”
For more information about the David Alan Collection, call 858-481-8044 or