KINGS BEACH, Calif. — Located just across the street from Lake Tahoe, The Robin’s Nest has been a staple in Kings Beach the past 14 years.
Founders and owners, Carolyn and Marshall Nixon, opened the store in 1998, after moving to Tahoe from Nevada City, where they previously owned a store. While walking down the street one day, the couple, along with their daughter, Robin, stumbled across a store for sale.
“My daughter was up with us for the weekend, and this little store was for sale,” Mrs. Nixon explained. “I said to her, ‘What do you think? Should we do it?’ And she said, ‘Go ahead mom.’”
The Nixons eventually decided against purchasing that store, but later decided to open up shop where they are now, in the heart of Kings Beach.
Stepping into the store, one is greeted by countless items. Home decor, clothes, jewelry, souvenirs, candles, toys and more cover every inch of the store. There are funny T-shirts and post cards to remember your trip to Tahoe, and even the Lake Tahoe pendant necklace, a must-have for visitors and locals alike.
Mrs. Nixon models the store after her own tastes, which she describes as “country French.”
“I just buy what I like,” she said of the items in the store.
And it works. The store has a website as well as Facebook page, filled with comments from adoring fans. While in the store, a group of women came in, explaining that they stopped there every time they visited Lake Tahoe.
“(We get) a lot of people who have timeshares and come back every year. It’s nice to see them (when they visit),” Nixon added.
The store has become known for its bear memorabilia, from bear statues to clothing to decor. When the store opened, customers continually asked for bears, Nixon recalled.
“We’ve kind of become a bear shop,” she added.
As customers enter the store, they’re greeted by large chainsaw bears, which are also for sale within the store. Prices for the bears, which are several feet tall, range from $80 to $385.
Another big part of the store is its unique jewelry selection. Everything from beaded rings and earrings to sterling silver necklaces and bracelets can be found at The Robin’s Nest.
“The jewelry has evolved,” Nixon said. “I love jewelry. It just keeps growing and growing.”
Jewelry prices in the store range anywhere from a few dollars to several hundred dollars for the Lake Tahoe pendants.
Nixon added that some of the most popular items that sell in the store, besides the bear items, are the willow tree angels, jewelry and clothes. Nixon added that some of her favorite items include the new coats that recently arrived, as well as “personal items” such as various home decors and plates.
The Robin’s Nest also has an online version of the store, allowing customers from afar to purchase goods that remind them of Tahoe. Nixon operates the website herself, as well as shipping orders out as they come in.
Even though the store has been a staple in Tahoe for more than a decade, the items in the store are always changing. The Robin’s Nest gets shipments of new goods weekly, if not almost daily, Nixon said.
“It’s a work in progress. I’m always moving and shaking,” Nixon added.
Still, Nixon added that spending time at the shop sometimes doesn’t feel like work: “It’s just fun. I love what I do every day.”
The next time you’re in Kings Beach, stop by Robin’s Nest to see what’s new in the store.