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Big-Time Biz Lady: MaryAnne of Los Angeles County Store

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Big-Time Biz Lady: MaryAnne of Los Angeles County Store

Academy Of Handmade

We had the pleasures of meeting MaryAnne (member) not long after she'd moved out here from NYC and hadn't even opened her shop. When she told us about it we were instantly in love and knew this lady was kindred maker-loving soul. And how has Los Angeles gone this long without a store devoted solely to goods made in the county? Every city needs at least one. And by how wildly popular the store has gotten in just a few months since opening, it seems like this is an idea worth replicating.

Q: Tell us about yourself.
A: I was born in Brooklyn and moved to Los Angeles in August of 2013. I taught Spanish for a decade, and during that time I started a jewelry company at the same time. This gave me the opportunity to meet other creative entrepreneurial types, and to put on some pop-up retail shops.

Photo credit Blake Gardner 

Photo credit Blake Gardner 

Q: What’s your shop all about?
A: We exclusively sell fine goods made in Los Angeles. It's a great place to get a gift or a souvenir.

Q: How did it get started?
A: It's been a dream of mean to open a shop for as long as I can remember. My good friend Gaia DiLoreto owns By Brooklyn, and I worked there before moving to L.A. Once I got here I hit the ground running, got myself a mentor at ScoreL.A., and began to research the best place to open and the best makers to stock.

Q: Why do you do it?
A: I have a real passion for encouraging other entrepreneurs, and since all our makers are local I get to interact with them on a regular basis. The response of shoppers to our concept has been overwhelmingly enthusiastic, so I think people were really craving a place they could go to shop and support local makers.

Q: What’s the best part of it?
A: Feeling connected and contributing to my new community in a meaningful way.

Q: What do you look for when buying for the shop?
A: Is it something we don't have? Does it work esthetically with the rest of the shop? Is it something I myself would buy?

Q: How can makers be better prepared when the approach a shop like yours?
A: Do a little research-- I get lots of inquiries from makers who are not making their product in Los Angeles, and that is an automatic no. Since we only buy locally, I would suggest actually coming and checking out the shop in person first, and then afterwards fill out the "Become a Vendor" form on our website.

Q: What's been your biggest business lesson?
A: My inclination is to want to do everything myself, and I have learned to delegate and rely on others in a way that I hope will mean a longer life for the business.

Q: Where can people find your stuff?
A: at 4333 West Sunset Boulevard 90029 and at lacountystore.com