COSTA MESA — For owners of The Latest Thing Specialty Gift and Bookstore, the latest thing is never just one thing.
Rather, it's a thousand different things representative of personal growth and spirituality — whatever your beliefs may be — as they apply to 12-step recovery programs.
The shop, owned by mother and daughter duo Mary Lou Bernstein and Kimberly Funk, is packed with items that hail from around the globe, including Native American dream catchers, crystals, essential oils, T-shirts and self-help books.
With the store now in its 21st year, the duo has managed to pull together a hodgepodge of belief systems into a harmonious and cheerfully decorated one-stop-shop for people on their way to recovery from alcoholism, drug addiction and other afflictions.
"It's been a constant evolution," said Funk, 48.
She said the store resulted from a personal quest to find an appropriate "birthday" present for a friend more than two decades ago. "Birthday" is a term used when members of a 12-step program go a year without drinking, using drugs, gambling or engaging in other addictive behaviors.