November is coming to a close and I have yet to make good on my New Year’s resolution. Instead of really “shopping smarter,” I have deviously (dare I say ingeniously) created one loophole after the next. Alas, here is an event to satisfy both my conscience and inner, insuppressible shopaholic:
Unique L.A. is a holiday show with garments, accessories, décor, art, and gourmet edibles every bit as eclectic as our city’s populace (you know who you are). As the largest independent show in the nation, shoppers spend an average of roughly $1.5 million at each Unique show. Here’s the kicker—since only made-in-America products are featured, that sum is immediately injected back into our economy and local community. All part of Unique creator Sonja Rasula’s plan to support local artists and promote conscious consumerism…
Unique L.A. offers over 350 hand picked artists and designers in one convenient, cocktail-serving location. That’s right—your $10 entry ticket get’s you all kinds of enjoyment. In addition to a complimentary Brian Rea tote bag, you can expect to find free beverages from Art in the Age, IZZE, Honest Tea, and Kombucha as well as free craft workshops and photo prints from the Oh Snap Studios booth. A selection of L.A.’s best restaurants and food trucks will also be on standby to cater to hungry shoppers. Finally, 10% of ticket sales will be donated to downtown Los Angeles non-profit group Inner-City Arts.
350+ vendors and thousands of shoppers in the California Market Center’s Penthouse sound hauntingly similar to whatever Black Friday mayhem you tried to avoid? Unique L.A. has made online pre-shopping for the event a piece of pumpkin pie. Take a peek at this year’s lookbook or browse the extensive catalogue of participating vendors, neatly listed with direct links to each company’s site. There are hundreds of items to gift or self-gift, like the nine on my wish list (photograph above):
1. Vintage Book Clocks: Thought I haven’t read The Lonely Land (1961), the novel is about a canoe expedition through my homeland Canada and this desktop clock would shelf nicely alongside the rest of my used book collection. $50.
2. Love Nail Tree: I'm not used to wearing tank tops in November but here’s one with ‘sharp’ and ‘magnetic’ lyrics to make me feel at home. $34.
3. Whyrhymer: The Layer Lamp by designer Brandon Morrison was inspired by two stacked boxes. I’d like to replace the packing boxes in my apartment with this fine upgrade. $575.
4. Stone + Cloth: The Olive Benson rucksack (with padded straps, exterior pockets, an swivel hook closure) has me seriously considering grad school. The purchase also supports a child’s education in Tanzania. $74.
5. Choco Vivo: Nutella may be a source of calcium, but it’s certainly not as natural as this Chocolate Almond Butter. Freshly harvested nuts and cacao nibs are stone ground with a touch of cane sugar and sea salt—no additional ingredients or oils added! $12.
6. Gumball Poodle: A wide variety of colorful socks “let your legs do the talking”…it might be tough choosing between “beer” and “bacon”.
7. Marz Jr.: As dashing as Robert Downey Jr. is, I’d rather pin up this hand-painted print.
8. Wrk-shp: This canvas pouch dipped in purple latex paint is the perfect size for a Kindle. A larger size that fits the iPad is also available. $80.
9. 33 Stewart Avenue: I’m not usually the souvenir type, but this collage is made with locally found wood—I just might take a piece of L.A. home with me.
@ The California Market Center: 110 East 9th Street # A727 Los Angeles, CA 90079
Dec 1 & 2 11am-6pm Tickets $10 (Children 12 & under are free)
tickets online to reserve a tote, free while quantities last.