We've recently become enamored with a power partnership that's been taking the OC craft scene by storm. Danielle Ochoa and Eva Lacy of A Little Known Shop are passionate about supporting craft artists and just life in general. Their energy is infectious and they're the kinda people who are up for anything.... like when they said yes to organizing a raffle bar for our Etsy Craft Party with only a couple weeks' notice (and they were stellar at it!). They certainly come from "a place of yes" and we couldn't be more impressed by their hard work and "we'll-just-figure-it-out" attitude. You must check out their amazing shop because it's filled to the brim with lovingly made creations from hardworking artists.
Q: What’s your shop all about?
A: We love supporting local crafters and artists. Giving them an affordable space to sell their items and get their work noticed means a lot to us. As crafters ourselves, we know it can be a difficult or confusing process to get your name out in the world. So, we hope to kick start that process for crafters just like us.
Q: How did it get started?
A: Late last year, we started organizing small craft events. REALLY small. We’re talking about 300 sq. ft where the vendors didn’t even have enough space to sit. While we had these events, we dreamt of having a retail space where we could have not only our handmade crafts for sale but also have our friends’ crafts available for purchase, too. We looked around for spaces but couldn’t find anything within our budget. So we continued on with our craft shows instead. We moved locations to a small art gallery. We were able to fit more people but still, we were itching to have a bigger space. Then, we were approached by Lisa Cherry from the Makery. She asked us if we were interested in running an art collaborative in Community, the shopping center where the Makery is located. We didn’t know exactly what she meant by that but we knew we could not say no. Lisa’s an amazing person and who in their right might could turn down any offer she presents? We met with her a few days later and, before we knew it, we were signing a contract to rent retail space. Our dreams soon came true and just about 3 weeks later, we opened up A Little Known Shop.
Q: Why do you do it?
A: Definitely not for the money! We have a passion for supporting small business, especially crafts & art. Knowing how much work goes into each individual piece of work makes our hearts nice & warm. We try to host events where we involve the artists & crafters who sell in our shop. The best feeling is introducing a customer to the artist/crafter. It’s really awesome buying a handcrafted item but meeting the person who made it is an even better feeling. And we love providing that. It’s a beautiful thing.
Q: What’s the best part of it?
A: The feedback we get! It’s awesome. Hearing people whisper while they’re in the store is so fun. We hear “oh, that’s so cute!” or “ha! That’s clever.” We just wish all of the artists could hear the great compliments their merchandise is getting. But it’s fun to be the one to relay the message!
Q: Can you talk about working with a partner and what that's been like?
A: First and foremost, it’s important to work with someone that complements you. We understood and knew each other’s personalities, strengths, and weaknesses before we agreed to work together. It’s fun to work with a friend but at the end of the day, it’s still a business; there are responsibilities and each person needs to equally share the weight. Honesty is really important and so is open communication. We’ve gotten pretty comfortable with each other so, if one of us doesn’t like a business decision, we’re vocal about it and we make sure to discuss things before moving forward. At the same time, if there are any disagreements, we don’t take anything personally because we know that we are both trying to do what’s best for the business. The most important thing is to have fun, though!
It’s so great seeing women work together to empower each other instead of competing with each other. Partnerships don’t necessarily work for everyone but it’s great to have someone to lean on, work with, and share the satisfaction of running a business.
Q: How do you make your business work?
A: We know each other’s strengths so we definitely take advantage of that. We make sure to delegate work so we both have responsibilities that use our strengths. Also, we don’t sit in the shop just waiting for customers to come in. We’re always brainstorming, trying to think of ways to drive traffic here. We’ve been planning events and coming up with fun ideas to keep bringing customers (i.e., free face painting every Tuesday). We love social networking (probably a little too much!) so we’re always posting online to hopefully bring awareness to what we’re doing. But most importantly, we don’t call the shop “work.” Eva calls it “fun time.” We don’t forget that there are responsibilities, numbers to crunch, emails to answer, etc. but we also don’t forget to have fun.
Q: What's been your biggest business lesson and/or business surprise?
A: Setting up the business was a little trickier than we expected. The process itself wasn’t too difficult. We just wish there was a list of everything you’re supposed to do to start a business and the order in which everything needs to be done. We spent quite a bit of time calling different phone numbers, visiting different offices, but all in all, it wasn’t as difficult as it could’ve been.
Q: Where can people find your stuff?
A: We’re at 423 S. Brookhurst St. Ste. M in Anaheim, 92804. We’re located in Community, which is an amazing up-and-coming shopping center. You should come check it out!
We’re also online (Facebook & Instagram – ALittleKnownShop; Twitter - @alilknownshop)