Putting a Spotlight on the Creative Energy of Los Angeles
These local business owners are true LA Original.
When Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti launched LA Original last year, he hoped to spotlight and support LA’s creative economy and local manufacturers.
“The creativity in Los Angeles is unrivaled anywhere else,” says Mayor Garcetti. “Our artists and manufacturers feed the spirits and better the lives of people all over the world. LA Original showcases that legacy, brings support to a new generation of entrepreneurs, and raises awareness of the extraordinary makers who fuel the city’s creative spirit.”
Now in it’s second year, LA Original and it’s roster of local manufacturers has grown, engaging over 30 businesses, including Sprinkles, Paper Chase Press, Lone Wolfs, Coolhaus and Cisco Home.
“As an Angeleno, I have always been inspired by all of the different cultures in Los Angeles. Everybody brings something to the table that is so different and that is what creates such a big explosion in creativity that we all benefit from. I think this program is brilliant! It was about time to highlight the rich culture of innovation, design and entrepreneurship that is in this city,” said Cisco Pinedo, founder of Cisco Brothers and Cisco Home.
“As an independent business owner creating and producing everything locally in Boyle Heights, I take pride in the beautiful criss cross of cultures in Los Angeles and understand the significance of supporting the local Angeleno economy,” said Ana Guajardo, owner of Cha Cha Covers.
All proceeds from the LA Original program received by the Mayor’s Fund for Los Angeles will go to supporting the Downtown Women’s Center’s “Made by DWC” program that teaches job training and maker skills to women transitioning out of homelessness.
Meet some of the designers …
Apolis + Geoff McFetridge
Growing up together, founders Raan and Shea Parton knew they wanted to start a company together. The two founded Apolis in 2004 because they are both passionate about using business to help people around the world, and they saw that garment and textile production is a first step for developing economies. That’s how they came up with the model of making long-lasting everyday products that genuinely benefit the people that make them. Los Angeles has been Raan and Shea’s center of operations for over a decade, and they’ve really felt embraced by the city’s creative culture. They both love LA’s creative industries because they feel very fresh and open, regardless of one’s credentials or prior experience.
LA artist Geoff McFetridge is truly one-of-a-kind. Geoff’s work spans a wide range, from the film Where the Wild Things Are to murals, skate decks, and more. One of our favorite things about Geoff’s art and design is that it is eye-catching and unique, while communicating simply, effectively, and intuitively.
About the maker: Jen Stark’s art is driven by her interest in conceptualizing visual systems to simulate plant growth, evolution, infinity, fractals, mimetic topographies, and sacred geometries. Using available materials—paper, wood, metal, paint—Stark strives to make work that balances on a razor’s edge of optical seduction and perceptual engagement.
Stark studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art, graduating in 2005. Since then, Stark has realized exhibitions globally, with major shows in New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Chicago, Thailand, and Canada. She now lives and works in Los Angeles.
Stark loves working and living in LA because she is excited to be around such vibrant and creative energy. She thinks there are so many amazing artists doing great work in LA and is happy to be a part of the artistic community.
Founded by Annabel Inganni in August of 2011, Wolfum is a textile line of tabletop and home goods, that designs elegant traditional items—napkins, coasters, pillows—for the modern, bold, eco-friendly, contemporary home. After 9 years of work as a designer in the accessory and apparel industry, Annabel decided to take the chance on something deeply personal and created Wolfum.
For Annabel, a bold creative and artistic entrepreneur, creating true sustainable product means designing items that stand the test of time. Wolfum aims to do this with quality materials, a passion for technology and innovative and proprietary manufacturing techniques, as well as tasteful and unique prints and colors.
Each item is proudly hand-made in Los Angeles, California. Annabel was born and raised in Boston, MA and now lives in Los Angeles with her husband, furniture designer Brendan Sowersby and daughter, Bird.
Founded in 2013, Concrete Geometric grew out of founder Krizia Flores’ love for minimalism and geometric objects. Her love form minimalism and geometric objects stem from Krizia’s upbringing in a DIY household, passion for creating the clothes she wanted to wear and the art she wanted to see, her frequent camping trips as a child, and LA’s constantly growing industrial landscape. Everything is handmade by Krizia in her home studio in Sylmar. Krizia’s design process always begins with shapes. She plays with lines and curves to develop a shape she’s passionate about, gathers detailed dimensions for that shape, and creates a 3D printed mold of it.
Krizia believes creativity just happens when you’re really inspired by your surroundings. For her, LA’s nature and industrial surroundings are her two main inspirations for Concrete Geometric. She is also inspired by the many people making things for themselves in LA.
Check out all the collaborating businesses here and maybe even cross off a few items for your holiday shopping list at the same time. www.laoriginal.com
Ángela Aguilar couldn’t be prouder of her Californian-Mexican heritage.