Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Canada's got soul... E Soule!

Two days before Christmas, during a freezing-cold blizzard, my boyfriend Adam and I ventured out into the streets of Toronto (where we are for the holidays) to do some last-minute gift shopping. Imagine my surprise when I gazed upon Elizabeth Soule's artwork in one of my fav shops, Kol Kid! I met her in SF at the Renegade Craft Festival, we became friends, and she joined us at UNIQUE. She is an amazing artist, and a truly, truly beautiful person.

I love this community of great, cool artists, and am giddy with pride and excitement that we saw her stuff today. Go girl!!!

Monday, December 22, 2008

It's never too late to give!

UNIQUE was a huge success and I was busy-busy the entire time, which I am thrilled about, but it meant one thing: I did ZERO shopping. Ack! I am sooooooo depressed that i didn't get to shop from, let alone browse, all the amazing talent I pulled together for the city. Sigh.

But one thing is true... It's never too late to give, and it's the thought that counts! So while my gifts may be late by a few days (er, actually by a few weeks depending on the USPS), I know people will enjoy them. I plan to shop from vendors who are online, which I encourage you to do too, as every sale truly affects their bottom-line (unlike buying something from a store or something mass-produced) and allows them to continue producing great work. :) SHOP FROM VENDORS by checking out their websites from UNIQUE. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

UNIQUE Photos by Rafael Cruz (a.k.a. genius)

For those of you who hit-up our FREE photobooth, constructed and shot by Rafael Cruz, here are the pics (click to 'events'). For those who did not make it over to him, make a personal note to self: VISIT PHOTOBOOTH @ THE SPRING 2009 UNIQUE LOS ANGELES. You won't regret it.

Many thanks to Rafael and his crew. I love all of the shots, yet have a special place in my heart for the one above with the girl and her parents... Enjoy!

Need sleep.........

WOW, what an amazing weekend. It makes me teary-eyed (really) to think of the huge turnout, all the amazing praise I/everyone got, the cool community that was formed, and to simply know that my vision has turned into a reality. Thank you to all who participated and visited!

I am now going to sleep for a day or two...

*promise to post pics on the site soon. Here are quickies of me with the UNIQUE tote bag, our directory booklet, and Rafael Cruz (the photographer for the photobooth)

Saturday, December 13, 2008


I am so exhausted I can't see straight... Our first day was a HUGE success. Huge as is really big and really amazing, with thousands of people coming through! The feedback from everyone has been amazing (folks at the LA Times, to consumers who were blown away), and many-a-celeb shopped for things like the fab director Penny Marshall and Jon Heder (of Napolean Dynamite fame).

We're stoked for tomorrow and can't wait to see you! Don't forget to visit The Lounge and The Cafe areas for free BossaNova fruit juice, Izze, and Pabst.


*My friend, and great photographer, Rafael Cruz has constructed a photobooth so amazing that you won't want to miss out on the free fun. TRUST ME. It's amazing, with antique picture frames, vintage wallpaper and more... But you'll have to see it for yourself!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Signs of Things to Come...

I went out with one of the Obey boys who showed me how to paste 'n poster, and they are up all around town now! It's exciting to see them...

Monday, December 8, 2008

Love and tickets from NotCot.com...

The FABULOUS NotCot.com has posted a ticket giveaway on the website, and I can't calm down! They are a major source for all-things-cool, and have a HUGE membership, so I'm stoked.

I love reading the contest-entry posts, which share what people are looking forward to about the event. So cool. The Not Cot contest runs through Wednesday if you want to try and win tickets!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Buy Tickets Online & Get a 'lil Gift!

For those who are super-organized, or just like the idea of not having to wait in line at the event, you can now buy your tickets online! Tickets are $5 each, you can purchase as many as you'd like, and you will get a little gift from Illume Candles, along with treats from MySpace & Pabst. :) And remember that 50% of proceeds go to Create Now, a great LA non-profit that brings arts to high-risk youth.

*Please note that in an effort to save trees, you do not need to print anything. Your entry wristband(s) will be at the UNIQUE entry table under your name, so please bring ID.

See you soon!

LA Times Image section!

Bah humbug to mass-manufactured goods indeed, Max Padilla!

:) Go grab a copy of today's paper. Much thanks to Max, who wrote a great piece in today's LA Times Image section. The buzz around town is definitely becoming a loud collective cheer - which makes me extremely excited, as I'm trying to create a large-scale event in LA that shows off independent design+art, as opposed to discount it (like the ka-zillion "sample" sales that Cali has grown accustomed to, which undermines the true worth of great design). It's time LA took itself seriously, and showed off! This great city is filled with so many talented people...

Mark my words, "Watch out NYC/SF/Chicago, LA ain't just Hollywood!" Hehe.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

UNIQUE wood block design

Collected these old wood press blocks for Adam to create the artwork for the bags, show guide, etc. VERY COOL... But I'll keep the design a secret for you to see at the show! :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

LA Times "Best Bet"

Woo hoo! The LA Times Guide has given us "best bet" status! We love you LA Times!!!

Friday, November 28, 2008

DIY or Die: Fun with Etsy and Fresh Pressed

On top of shopping from 200 of the best independent designers and artists (seriously, these folks really are the best), UNIQUE LOS ANGELES will feature some super-special Do-It-Yourself fun. Me likey...

The FRESH PRESSED Screenprinting Space

For those who'd rather DIY then buy, come hit our amazing Screenprinting Space! The super-cool Los Feliz shop Fresh Pressed will be on-hand with a variety of shirts and tote bags to help you screenprint one-of-a-kind gifts right before your eyes - all at special discounted UNIQUE prices so you can be create one-of-a-kind gifts and not break the bank. Of course our bet is that you won't be able to resist printing a shirt or two for yourself too! :)


Come show off and be creative with us! The ETSY DIY Lab offers a place to sit down and make your very own gift tags and cards – all for free.

Extra! Extra! The papers show luv...

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving... And that you're resting up for the big event in two weeks. Wink-wink.

We had a GREAT couple of days, thanks to the LA Weekly and Metromix who showed us a lot of love. Check out the LA Weekly coverage. And click here to read the Metromix article.

Now go grab a fork, open the fridge and grab a few bites of that leftover pie. Or turkey. Or Tofurkey.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Volunteering this season...

Do you have some extra time, the yearning to do some good, and want to get involved in the community? [insert sound of angels singing] Tis the season to volunteer!

UNIQUE LOS ANGELES will rely on great volunteer help to run the Etsy DIY Lab, assist in our Holiday Photobooth area, and run the sign-in tables. You must have a big smile, be quite outgoing, and be a lover of creativity and community. This is a great chance to help a new community event!

- shifts are 4 hours long on Sat Dec 12 or Sun Dec 13
- volunteers get to attend a special Staff Party/Orientation, where they will get to create and screen-print a shirt or two! Food and drinks will also be a plenty...
- volunteers will each get a signed and numbered limited edition Two Rabbits poster (1 of 50), which commemorates the first-ever UNIQUE LOS ANGELES. It's going to be DOPE.
- volunteers will also get 5 free tickets to UNIQUE for friends/family

Please email me by December 2 (sonja[at]uniquelosangeles[dot]com) if you're interested in helping out (please use the words Interested Volunteer as the subject line). If you can provide a brief bio/work background/interests, which day you would prefer to work, and a link to your blog/myspace/website/etc. that would be greatly appreciated. MUCHAS GRACIAS!!!

*For loads of other great volunteering opportunities, check out Big Sunday's PDF compilation of listings:

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Desperate for Stella Neptune

A little bird told me that the Desperate Housewives stylist visited the Stella Neptune bunker for a bunch of pieces! We love Stella Neptune's frocks because they are whimsical and witty, and her line of one of a kind vintage pieces is great. Make sure to stop by her booth for sure!

Friday, November 21, 2008


We love this blog, so we're super-excited to see that we were blogged by Variety mag's Stylephile. So cool... THANK YOU!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

RSVP online!

We're gettin' fancy on ya now... ;) RSVP on Facebook or Going.com to help spread the word. Let's get this party started!


RSVP on Going below...

Always Sunny in Philly!

So it's 12:56 a.m. and I'm watching the FX comedy "It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia". Loves it! Imagine my surprise when I notice that one of the main characters is wearing a sub-urban riot tee (one of our vendors)! Their RIOT t-shirt looked fab (and I mean fab, wink-wink...) on actor/writer/creator Rob McElhenney. His co-star and partner in real-life, Kaitlin Olson, also rocks one of their cool shirts.

Make sure to come to UNIQUE to grab their great shirts before they're done!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

**LA Times article about UNIQUE LOS ANGELES**

Woo-hoo... Check out this great piece that the LA Times featured online about UNIQUE. We love LA TIMES, and are are so thankful for all the great community support we're starting to get for this first-time event. Clearly LA is hungry for an event where the entire community can attend and find something - whether young or old, hipster, academic or hippie, we're all unique!

Thank you!

Check out our 165 Vendors...

"Step right up folks!"

We are pleased to announce that the vendor directory is now online. Check out our 165 amazing vendors who will be hawking everything from soy candles to designer clothing to letter-pressed cards. And take a peek at the special sections we'll be presenting: Eco Chic (green gifts), Gallery Row and Rising Stars (art), and Rockin' Babies & Cool Kids.

Seriously, find everything you need for your little sister, your grandma, your dad, your new crush, etc... And a ton of cool stuff for you too! Remember, 50% of ticket proceeds go to the great LA charity CREATE NOW (see previous post).

It's time to "give good gift" while also supporting the LA community.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Vendors & Create Now!

We have spent the past few days going through all the applications, and are THRILLED with the results. There are over 165 amazing participants. Some sell their designs around the globe, while some just started to screenprint or sew in their garages this past summer -- all the vendors represent the amazing talent we have here in Cali, as well as some of the best that Brooklyn, Portland, Vegas and Seattle have to offer! We'll launch the Vendor Directory this week, so you can take a peek at every single participant...

In the meantime, I am proud to announce our new partner Create Now! I've chosen Create Now! as the non-profit who will receive 50% of all admission proceeds. This small-yet-powerful organization does amazing work in the community. Their mission is to change the lives of high-risk and at-risk youth through creative arts mentoring, education, resources and opportunities. For all of us who have grown up visiting museums and being able to express ourselves through art (whether that be dance, drawing, acting, etc.), I'm sure you'll understand how important their work is. They will be at UNIQUE LOS ANGELES with a booth, as well we are donating 30 tickets to the organization, enabling some of their mentors and kids to attend the event - seeing in-person that being an artist or designer is an actual career option. Let's inspire them all!

The Create Now! Vision:
Create Now! will provide at-risk and high-risk youth with information, motivation, inspiration and education through creative outreach resulting in a more well-rounded individual. Participants will have opportunities to explore and develop their skills in literary, music, performing and visual arts and to be matched with a caring mentor who will help them reach their personal, artistic and professional goals.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Due to Popular Demand... Extended Deadline!

WOW, thank you to everyone who has applied so far - the talent we've seen is phenomenal! While the official deadline was yesterday at midnight, we have received a flurry of emails and phone calls asking to submit late applications. Trust us, with all the election hoopla and a busy Halloween weekend, we understand. We've all been crazy-busy.

So the application will be available online until Sunday, Nov 9th - so fill it out ASAP. We'll alert everyone who already applied on Wednesday (Nov 5), and then send full info vendor packets to all next week (Monday, Nov 10).

Thanks for all the enthusiasm and support... Good luck everyone!

**VOTE LA (me on the news)**

Not that any of you need reminding, but remember to hit the ballot boxes tomorrow, Nov 4th. As a board member of YPM, I am heavily involved with the LA-area community, helping to increase the number of young people (24-39 year-olds) who vote in local elections. Yesterday I was out with a team at the Brewery Art Walk, and then hopped over to Fairfax and Third, where we spread the message to vote.

And well, I made the news! :)

Friday, October 31, 2008

We've Partnered with POOL!

UNIQUE LOS ANGELES and pooltradeshow have partnered to become, what I like to call, The Dynamic Duo. ;)

For those who don't know, pooltradeshow is the original independent tradeshow. A semi-annual event just like UNIQUE (which will occur every May and Dec), POOL occurs every February and August in conjunction with the MAGIC Marketplace, when the apparel industry converges on Las Vegas for the most influential week in the business of fashion. pooltradeshow showcases the best emerging designers, featuring new product ranging from women’s and men’s apparel, to shoes and accessories, and including a variety of lifestyle products — from art, to music, to home.

The reason this is such a symbiotic match, is because it allows independent artists and designers to reach and sell to consumers twice a year (making great profits and creating customer demand/awareness), and also allows them to reach retail and trade buyers twice a year (landing them accounts in which to sell their designs wholesale).

It's a full-circle of opportunity and support - UNIQUE will provide special support and deals to POOL participants, and vice versa! "Gooooooo community!"

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Ronald J Llanos: Local Artist and Art Instructor

I'm not sure if he's able to participate at UNIQUE, but am trying my hardest to make it happen. Ronald's work seems very familiar to me, probably because he illustrates what surrounds me here in LA and visual memories that have stuck in my mind since the 80s. His sense of perspective and color, and the moments-in-time that he chooses to document, speak volumes to me. Very simple and subtle, but never plain... Like the 3rd piece above, entitled Dinner, which instantly transports you into the atmosphere once you see the sprawling plastic 'playland' in the background. Shudder. ;)

He is a great example of the talent this city is home to.

Enjoy, and please check out his website to see his work. I especially love the Sidewalk 2 pieces, Toy District series, and Narratives gallery.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Pumpkin Stencils

Check out these Pumpkin Carving Stencils I helped to create for HGTV. They're super-easy, yet super-cool. We'll be carving pumpkins this weekend... Or attempting to.


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Inspiration among empty streets and warehouses...

Last night I went to an Obama fundraising dinner with an amazing group of writers, artists, filmmakers, etc. THIS IS WHAT I LOVE ABOUT LA. Not a fancy-schmancy, wear a dress and heels kind of fundraiser, but a warm casual gathering in a friend's converted downtown warehouse. This is not Hollywood's version of LA [insert images of the shoreline or seedy streets with so-called gang members], but the city that I know and love. There we were, about 45 people, gathering for hope and change. Most did not know one another, but we bonded over a huge home-cooked meal, cheese and wine. We agreed and disagreed on certain political issues, but we were all there to participate and grow. It was an incredibly inspiring night - very unique. Very LA.

And it made me think about how proud I am to have started UNIQUE. It's all about creating, fostering and supporting community. While the focus is on participants based in Cali, to me 'buying local' and supporting the creative community means buying from great North American merchants who don't use factories overseas to manufacture their products. There are artists coming from Portland, Brooklyn, Las Vegas, and even Canada. I want you to come to UNIQUE LOS ANGELES to discover, support, interact, and enjoy the diversity. Just like at the dinner party, discovering and meeting all the talent that will be at UNIQUE has been incredibly inspiring. Thank you for your support so far - this community is indeed very special and very unique...

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Sneak Peek at a Few Vendors

People keep asking for "just a preview" of who will be at UNIQUE LOS ANGELES. We are still accepting applications, until Nov 2nd, so the list of vendors is not set yet at all. But you wore me down! So without giving too much away, here is just a handful of the amazing, eclectic offerings we will have...