Merchant Marine Opens in Pacific Palisades

By Laura Abruscato
Contributing Writer

Dory Forge, owner of Merchant Marine, feels like she’s back home with her newest store in Pacific Palisades.

The location at 833 Via de la Paz is a homecoming for Dory and her husband Michael, who previously owned the former Pink Pineapple boutique just a few storefronts away.

Their new store highlights clothing from their pajama line, Lounge Act, and their casual everyday line, Play Clothes.

Dory Forge, co-owner of Merchant Marine on Via de la Paz. Photo: Lesly Hall
Dory Forge, co-owner of Merchant Marine on Via de la Paz.
Photo: Lesly Hall

“They are clothes that can take you from work to the beach, comfortable and looking great,” Forge says.

In addition, they sell baby and children’s clothes and bedding. They will soon be adding men’s and boy’s pajamas, vintage apparel and Bleeding Heart Cosmetics, their line of natural makeup.

Frogs, rubber duckies, hearts, seahorses, starfish, pigs and butterflies adorn the pa- jamas and scalloped boxers. There are also paisley-print pajamas and bedding.

Forge describes the style as both classic and fashion-forward. “It’s not out there and not run-of-the-mill,” she says. “It’s across the board for everyone from a goth to a preppy grandma.”

The clothes are made of natural fibers, mostly cotton, as well as rayon and modal (a type of rayon). There is a name for each item, such as the “Tuxedo T,” which Forge describes as fancy and comfortable.

In addition to Pink Pineapple, the couple previously owned 10 Creative Cotton stores in the Los Angeles area.

Michael and Dory, currently living in Bel-Air, met as young teens in Brentwood. They have been married 36 years, and have been in the clothing business together for over 30 years.

They also have four daughters. Haley owns Market St. Candles, which are sold at the store, Brittany is a hair colorist, Scarlet is a style consultant and Francesca attends Louisville High School in Woodland Hills.

“I saw this space and I snapped it up and feel lucky I got it,” Dory says of Merchant Marine’s location (next door to Katie O’Neill’s Art Studio). “My soul is in the Palisades.”

A steady stream of customers have been visiting the shop, many of whom know Dory, or were loyal customers from the Pink Pineapple days.

Forge is excited about the monogramming and vintage wear that will be coming to the store and she will be offering monogramming on all items.

Michael made the store’s nautically themed sign, shelves and fixtures.

After Pink Pineapple closed six years ago, the couple semi-retired and relocated to Montecito, with the hopes of opening a restaurant, as had been Michael’s dream. He eventually found restaurant space in Newport Beach, and opened the Porthole.

“I got bored,” Dory recalls of being retired from retail,“so I opened up a store.”The store, which opened in March 2015, was named after its location on Marine Avenue on Balboa Island. They opened a Beverly Hills location on Santa Monica Boulevard in September and the Palisades store just last month.

Merchant Marine is open Monday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Contact (310) 230-0393 for more information.

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