Business Spotlight

Spruce Up Your Space With Tanager Housewares

Always With An Eye for Color, the Creation of Ying Yuen and Arman Tan Seeks to Bring Joy to Homes
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Tanager Housewares has a wide selection of items for gifts or everyday use. Tanager Housewares offers shipping around the globe. Photos courtesy Tanager Housewares

Located mostly in South America, the Tanager is a small, colorful bird known for the joyful songs it spreads across the continent and the Andes Mountain range while existing in small families.

Tanager was carefully chosen by Ying Yuen and Arman Tan, partially because it includes the latter’s name but more importantly, for the characteristics of the colorful songbird itself.

“It represents the joy of the Tanager, and our store wants to reflect the colorful nature of the bird,” said Carolyn Seitz, who has worked at Tanager Housewares for three years, including its tenure along Huntington Drive in San Marino. “We want to bring that joy into people’s homes.”

An online jungle of trinkets and colorful accessories, Tanager specializes in kitchen essentials, housewares for everyday use as well as entertaining and a wide variety of gifts for all ages.

Some of the more popular items, according to Seitz, are selections from the Museum of Modern Art, Marimekko and Charles Vianzin. 

Marimekko is a Finnish designer that has enjoyed a recent resurgence of popularity.

“There are a lot of Marrimekko fanatics out there who are looking for us,” said Seitz, with a laugh. Marimekko designs table runners, coin purses, mugs, eyeglass cases, bibs, oven mitts, platters and trays among a colorful avalanche of items.

Another popular resource is Charles Vianzin, a French designer who is known for his drink covers, pots, lids, aprons and bowl covers. 

An Italian designer, Alessi, produces a wide range of clocks, fruit bowls, bottle openers and wine openers.

The Museum of Modern Art collection features very popular items, including Frank Lloyd Wright stained glass barware, and an iconic, colored pencil scarf for ladies.

A brand called iScream is popular with children for its pillows and backpack charms, among other items.

Then there are the trendy socks and other items that are very popular with kids that Yuen loves to promote.

 “We pride ourselves on selecting quality goods that are joyful and practical for everyday living,” said Yuen. “We have curated a collection of unique housewares, entertaining essentials, and gifts for you and your home. And we are big on colors. Colors bring energy and brighten up our lives. We believe in making every living space colorful, fun and functional. Colors are our flavors.”

The online catalog is a veritable amusement park of selections and colors.

Yuen and Tan have two sons, Teddy and Archie, who are students in the San Marino Unified School District. Yuen is also an actress, who is currently wrapping up a film when she isn’t putting together color schemes. She also recently performed in a popular stage presentation in Orange County. Tan also serves as a consultant for the business. 

The Tanager Housewares warehouse is located at 145 N. Sierra Madre Blvd. To arrange a pickup for items that have been ordered online, please call (626) 486-2383. Tanager Housewares also ships worldwide. Please see the company’s website at, and yes, that is without an “m” at the end.

Tanager Housewares Business Spotlight appeared in the print edition of the South Pasadena Review on 7.6.18.

Mitch Lehman

With over 22 years in publishing and a long time local, Mitch Lehman is a frequent contributor to the South Pasadena Review and Quarterly magazine. He has received two independent Pulitzer Prize nominations and in 2016, Mitch won 5 awards in the California Newspaper Publishers Association's Better Newspapers Contest.

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