Unique is Evolving!
We have an important and very exciting announcement... We spent most of last year thinking about and analyzing our next steps and the future of UNIQUE, and we are thrilled to announce our big decision: UNIQUE is expanding our mission to include great independent business owners and designs from around the globe! We are extremely proud of the impact we have had on the local American economy and will continue to focus on great American-made products, however we also feel that it is time to evolve to not only grow but to maintain a successful company for years and years to come. Change is good. We open our arms to this new evolution in our story and are excited to move forward with gusto! Some of the main reasons we are moving in this direction include:
- From Day 1 Sonja Rasula started Unique LA to support independent designers and businesses by giving them a brand-new platform to showcase at, a giant shopping event so they could reach thousands of shoppers/buyers/press. Nothing like it existed at the time, but now six years later we know the model is not only popular but that it works - vendors have been discovered by Urban Outfitters, Pottery Barn and Forever 21 to name a few, they have been written about in O (Oprah's magazine), Monocle and the LA Times, and a few have opened their own brick and mortar stores! We believe that expanding will give us the freedom to support even more artisans and makers both in communities across the US but also around the world!
- We have always wanted to support socially-conscious brands that may be based here in the US but have products made abroad. Now we can!
- We would like to create a Community Corner section at our markets that feature a few hand-picked non-profit organizations, allowing them to sell their products. We will now be able to include all great groups and not have to exclude anyone based on where their products are made.
- Opening up the event to more vendors means we can curate the best of the best!
- We will also be holding markets in Toronto, London and hopefully more global cities.
So, what does this mean for you? We are including more independent designers making products globally and removing limiting restrictions on our market applications. If you're a local maker, designer for our Unique markets, you will no longer be restricted to using materials made within the United States. You can have your brand at our markets and use materials from anywhere in the world. With that said, we are still very serious about the curation of our markets and will be looking for quality products and designs, and will still focus mostly on American-made goods.
If you're a shopper at our Unique markets, you will have the opportunity to buy from and support designers whose business model is based on "giving back" to specific causes around the world. You might find a great blanket woven in Mexico, or a bracelet which donates proceeds to help combat modern-day slavery in Asia, or as always, find an LA-made product. Unique will now be your marketplace to not only find new brands and support local designers but also discover and support artists from around the globe.