Tag Archives: los angeles

L.A. Finds

18 Apr

I mentioned in my last post that Anna and I spent the day in L.A. visiting some design hot spots, so I wanted to share some of the fun finds we made!

First, we went to HD Buttercup, a “manu-tailer” (as they call themselves). It’s basically a large furniture and accessories store. To be honest, I expected something a bit different– it had somewhat of a warehouse feel to me, but it’s definitely worth a look if you need some furniture or lighting. They had many pieces to choose from, including some nice “green” options, some vintage things, along with some bedding and accessories.

Anna was looking for some pieces for a client’s daughter’s bedroom and found these:

Other possiblities:

Meanwhile, I was falling in love with these cups, so delicate!

We both liked a line of furniture called Environment Furniture, a company that uses “reclaimed, recycled, and sustainably harvested wood” in their collections.  They make some beautiful things.  Here is just one:

I love furniture that mixes different types and colors of wood. I’m especially into a white frame with darker or natural colored wood in the middle…we saw some things like that too.

Across the street from the main store is HD Buttercup’s discount building, which contained some great finds! There was a really comfy velveteen sofa that we liked and we were both crazy about these white metal chairs:

Don’t they remind you of those bamboo ones you see at weddings? We could just see them with adorable seat cushions in all kinds of settings…like our future shop!

We also liked these:

After scouring the 50,000+ square feet of those two buildings, we moved on to the Pacific Design Center. We had only two hours and the building is not the easiest of places to navigate, but we still managed to find plenty of things we loved!

Poggenpohl has fantastic kitchens that appeal to both men and women alike:

This one is available in their display sale.

One of our favorite places of the day was Raoul Textiles. Their fabrics are simply breathtaking. And their fabrics on tiny little George Smith chairs? Too much for words!

Putting these on my “to-use” list…

Upstairs, our favorite showroom had to be Thomas Lavin. So many beautiful things! Like this console by Eric Brand:

And they had some fabulous lighting, like this line by fuse.

These come in many shapes and sizes and are customizable with different finishes, shades, and stones. So beautiful…

Thomas Lavin also stocks many fabric lines that we like. Here is just one standout, by Opuzen:

The picture really does not do the fabric justice. The colors are so vivid and look like watercolor.

After staying in Thomas Lavin till closing, we headed over to Mel & Rose on Melrose to pick up some food for the LA Biz Ladies’ event.

There was no shortage of fun things to look at there either! So while we waited for our salad, I snapped these pictures:

Scented drawer liners in beautifully patterned containers…

And adorable soaps (but they are missing my favorite breed)!

And then we headed off for a fun evening with the LA Biz Ladies!


LA Biz Ladies’ Meetup

16 Apr

Yesterday I drove to LA with my friend (and future business partner!) Anna to attend the LA Biz Ladies’ Meetup. I heard about this event on Design Sponge, a very popular design blog authored by Grace Bonney. Grace runs these Biz Ladies events, and I have to give her muchisimos kudos for doing this, because it’s such a fantastic and free resource!

There was a great turnout:

I knew that there would be speakers on different topics like finances, running a retail & art business, and marketing your work, but had no idea it was going to be so personally inspiring!

So again, a big thank you to Grace and the other ladies who participated. DWR on Beverly hosted the event and in my opinion you could not have asked for a nicer setting in which to hang out, relax, eat, drink, meet other creative ladies and listen to some fantastic advice!

Lindsay Horstman, a financial advisor with Smith Barney, talked about savings and investing, a topic that many of us like to tell ourselves we’ll think about “later”, but is actually really important to start thinking about NOW. Especially when you consider, as Lindsay informed us, that almost all of us will at one time or another be the sole person in charge of our household finances. Reality check!

She recommended a book called “On My Own Two Feet” by Manisha Thakor and Sharon Kedar, available at Amazon:

I’m definitely going to be checking that out. I admit, finances are not my favorite subject but I know they’re important and I’m determined to be responsible that way!

Next, I listened to the insanely talented Tanya Aguiniga talk about her business as a furniture designer, accessories designer, artist and a multitude of side projects like teaching herself graphic design, taking part in fellowships and volunteering. After hearing her speak, you wonder if there is nothing this girl is not good at!

And she’s really nice, and had the best accessories I saw all evening (this amazing red felt necklace and the cutest bag with deep blue-green silhouettes of trees and bright red straps that echoed the color in her necklace!).

But she makes no secret of the fact that part of her success is down to hard work–long days, 7 days a week, and doing the right thing–being nice and giving back to the community. I don’t know how she has time for it all (she makes time for it, I guess!) but it’s obviously working for her because she is successful. So it was very inspiring to hear her tell her story. Her work is pretty incredible, too!

She makes furniture, textiles and accessories, which you can see on her website.

If I had to choose just two as my favorites, they would be these:

The clever “Shadow Trio” above, and below, “Zinacantan”:

She makes everything herself, too! I would love to use some of her pieces in an interiors project one day…

Next, I heard Billie and Tootie from ReForm School talk about owning their own retail business. This was especially interesting since this is what I’d like to do one day. To hear them speak about the realities of how they got started (small), how they manage the day-to-day business and what it’s like working as partners and with artists and designers they admire was so informative!

They cleared up some unanswered questions I had and are definitely the two responsible for making me think that what I want to do is not only possible but is also going to be a whole lot of fun!

Unfortunately, I did not have time to visit Silverlake on this trip, where their store is located, because I would love to see it in person. But I was admiring their website the other day– it’s one of the best-designed websites that I’ve seen!

And they say it’s been great for their business too. You really need to take a visit there to see all the fun and unique things they have to offer. Their “Student of The Month” feature, where they feature exclusive goods by a new artist each month, is great and I love that sustainability is important to them too…

Thanks guys for sharing what you do! It was so helpful!

Finally, I sat down to hear what Grace from Design Sponge had to say about PR and marketing. She broke it down into a simple, doable system for those looking to get their work out there. She really made it seem easy…and with her background, she knows what she’s talking about! You can download the notes from her talk right here.

If this event comes to your area and you are interested in having a creative business (or have one already), I highly recommend that you go! It was such a helpful, positive event!

Despite having been on the go all day, from San Diego to various spots around LA before attending this meeting, Anna and I were fired up with ideas all the way home. I can’t wait to share with you what develops…

Next time, I will share some of our finds from the places we visited during the day, because there is some fun stuff out there! I have a feeling I’ll be making the drive up more often!