WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PEOPLE
Our mission is to provide opportunities that help entrepreneurs, designers and artists grow, increase success and become sustainable (happy, fulfilled and profitable), while helping the public discover and support local small business/art/design. Our very first market, Unique LA, started in December of 2008 and instantly became the largest 'buy local' shopping event in the country. Every year close to 50k attendees come to discover independent designers/artists and buy local at our markets (an estimated $1 million is spent at each two-day show). We hold three shopping events in LA per year and hold smaller one-off events, and have produced our markets in SF and NYC.
UNIQUE was created by community leader, creative director and former TV design personality Sonja Rasula as a way to bring local-made design and art to the masses while helping to grow and support the US economy and small businesses.The idea of a giant trade show-sized shopping event came to her as she sat in traffic, frustrated with having to drive across the city to numerous shops to buy gifts for a friend. "It dawned on me that there needed to be a large-scale community shopping event where you could buy loads of cool, curated items in one place." Hailed the fresh face of a growing conscious consumerism movement, Sonja’s mission is simple: “I want to bring modern, independent design to the masses. My goals are to help designers and small businesses grow, to inject money into the local economy, and to teach shoppers the value of conscious consumerism..."
MEDIA MENTIONS & BUZZ FOR UNIQUE
SONJA RASULA, FOUNDER & CEO
Driven by the idea that creativity can change the world and by the Martin Luther King Jr. quote, "Life's most persistent and urgent question is What are you doing for others?," Sonja has dedicated herself to creating businesses that foster entrepreneurship, spread creative thinking, and grow community. She was recently named '1 of 30 Women Entrepreneurs Changing the World' by fashion mogul Eileen Fisher, and Los Angeles Magazine honored her as one of LA's Top 10 Most Inspiring Women. Risking her entire 401k savings she started UNIQUE LA in 2008 and never looked back. Fueled by her passion for helping people grow, Sonja then launched CAMP, a creative business conference. Then in 2013 Sonja decided to create a permanent place for entrepreneurs and creative thinkers... And so The Unique Space was born - an 18,000 sq ft building in downtown LA's Arts District that houses 18 private offices and an event space.
As a motivational speaker and consultant, Sonja has worked with a variety of organizations including Redbull, Nike, Square, Soho House, Disney Imagineers group, Adobe, and West Elm. She speaks around the country every year at conferences such as SXSW, HOW Design Live, and Martha Stewart's American Made. Sonja also sits on the Board of non-profit 826LA. Her diverse media background before becoming an entrepreneur includes being an interior designer on HGTV, an online content director, and a personality on television (ABC, CBS, HGTV, MuchMusic).