The Story Behind It All
Tara Riceberg’s introduction to the design and entertaining world came through Tesoro, her family’s home design store that specialized in one-of-a-kind, handcrafted items from artisans around the world. For nearly ten years, Tara showcased talented house- ware designers, advised customers on home décor, entertaining, and gifts, and traveled abroad sourcing stunning one-of-a-kind items.
She shuttered Tesoro in 2004 to launch her home styling company, TWEAK. Tara found the ideal outlet for her various passions: home design, entertaining and travel. “A home, and the art and objects within it, should reflect and compliment the lives of the inhabitants,” she says. “As they evolve, so should their domestic accoutrements. I love helping clients enhance their homes and their lifestyles with accessories. It’s amazing what a big difference a small change can make.”
In November 2004 she opened twēk butēk, a holiday gift boutique in Saks Fifth Avenue, Beverly Hills. All gifts were pre-wrapped and organized by price point, which made holiday shopping easy for clients. “Every day I’d walk into Saks and see the name of my department on the wall. Such a thrill as the only other leased departments were Louis Vuitton and the furrier!”
Tara not only styled homes for clients in Los Angeles, New York and Washington D.C. but also has had a pop-up retail store in Los Angeles for eight years. TWEAK was selected one of the 50 best and brightest US retail stores of 2008 according to Home Accents Today and earned her a seat on their retail advisory board. For the ‘09 holiday season, she launched TWEAK99, Value Smart Design, a $99 and under only store. In 2011, she was selected to be Party City’s Celebration Expert and she launched a new concept store in LA, TWEAK-The Original Giftery-Where Harry Potter, Dorothy Draper, Leonardo da Vinci and Santa Claus would shop if they lived in Hollywood.
“My mother taught me that you should fill your home with necessary luxuries- objects designed to enhanced your life quality. I’ve inherited her preference to live with less as long as it’s the best. I believe you should treasure your life by filling it with valuable pieces and memories.”
TWEAK has been named to several Best of LA lists and is featured annually on LA’s number one morning news show, KTLA Morning News. Tara is a NY NOW retail advisory board alumnus. She’s been a contributing editor to GDA Magazine and has been awarded several Retailer Excellence Awards. She has lobbied Congress on behalf of the National Retail Federation and is often quoted in various news publications, like WSJ, on tariffs.
In September 2017, she brought back the treasured LA store, Tesoro, at Fred Segal Sunset. “It was an incredible opportunity to not only honor my late mother’s memory by resurrecting her brand, but also to honor legendary retailer Ron Robinson, who established Fred Segal as the definitive LA retail store. “To be under the Fred Segal name, I felt I owed it to Ron to keep it at the level and reputation that he created.”
In a time when famous retailers were shuttering their doors, Tara reopened Tesoro Beverly Hills, on the same block it once anchored on Canon Drive, in September 2019.
Tesoro means treasure in Spanish and Italian so expect a veritable treasure trove of luxurious wares for babies, kids, and adults. Each item lining Tesoro’s shelves is a celebration of function and beauty. Tara sources objects that delight the senses from plush collectible Steiff animals to ANNA New York gilded crystal agate serving platters.
Without sacrificing Tesoro’s reputation for singular items noted for their exquisite workmanship, Tara has incorporated pieces that are ideal for a younger, design-savvy set. From hostess gifts such as USB charged candle lighters, gemstone-infused water bottles and ceramic elephant nut dishes, to greeting cards and humorous books, that are decidedly not mainstream, there is something exceptional at almost any price point. “The person who shops Tesoro has style, confidence, individuality, and an appreciation for learning and art,” she says.
Dorothy Draper, renowned decorator and columnist, said, “You don’t sell a commodity, you sell joy, gaiety, excitement. You aim at people’s hearts, not their minds.” Tara hits the bullseye at Tesoro. She creates a relaxed atmosphere with her “touch and explore” policy, convenient grab-n-go pre-wrapped gifts and her own signature chatty warmth. She developed this dynamic customer experience in Tweak on Beverly Blvd and Tesoro in Beverly Hills. Tara believes that the masculine vibe and informed offerings should make Tesoro a favorite spot for male shoppers and entertainment industry regulars. “Tesoro was always Hollywood’s gift closet. It was the go-to resource for people who make believe for a living. You knew you could always find something special for friends who have seemingly everything.” Tara continues that tradition by tailoring gifts from leather-wrapped books to monogrammed Italian tech items to personalized BaZi astrology charts.
The self-described “Curator of Happiness” treats Tesoro like a daily open-house party. Connecting with people is her passion so it’s no surprise that the selection of creative, educational, or purposeful items are selected as tools for engagement. Whether it’s a game or a cheeseboard, Tara believes, “the true gift is spending time together. It begins the moment the present is handed off. In that second, you’ve connected. You’re celebrating, laughing, loving.”
“How you give is more important than what you give,” Tara explains. “An elegantly wrapped gift not only is a feast for the eyes that elicits the same response as a beautifully plated dish (you know it’s going to be delicious simply by the way it looks) but also communicates thought and effort. The beauty of Tesoro is that it’s intended to save clients time. From the tight curation, to the pre-wrapped gifts, to the early shopping hours, this one-stop-shop is designed to make life more convenient.
“Time is our most precious commodity. We can’t control the length of our life, but we can control the width. Everyone should live as fully as possible. When I hold a piece made by an artist, I know I’m holding their time. It’s far more precious than the price tag and an honor to possess it.” No wonder the shelves are lined with work by local LA artists Joe Cariati, Austin Fields, and Danne Semeraro.
Tara subscribes to the “less is more” concept of retailing—you don’t have to offer everything under the sun; you just have to offer the best! She hopes her customers come happy, and leave even happier. Only then is her job done.