The interior designer turned event producer boosts L.A. artisans—and the city’s coffers—with Unique LA, a pop-up marketplace for locally made goods
Photograph by Bonnie Tsang
Her lightbulb moment: It happened while I was shopping for gifts for friends in 2008. I went to a couple of stores in Los Feliz and then had to drive all the way across the city to some other favorite shops on Abbot Kinney. I was frustrated sitting in traffic, and I thought to myself, “Why does L.A. not have a giant show where everyone can shop local?”
Her elevator pitch: It’s about quality over quantity. You can go to the Gap and buy a T-shirt for $20 or you can buy one made here for twice that amount, but it’s better made and every dollar goes back into the community.
The ten-year plan: To help designers grow I’m opening a permanent office for Unique LA on 6th Street between Mateo and Alameda downtown. It will be a new creative co-work space for people who don’t want to work at a coffee shop and are tired of working from home, and a place where the community can collaborate. It’s going to have a full kitchen, a boardroom, a small photography studio, a lounge, a library, and a rooftop terrace.
Next: HollyRod Foundation co-founder and actress Holly Robinson Peete