WE BELIEVE IN THE POWER OF PEOPLE. It's our mission statement and it guides everything we do.
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... Just think about this for a moment: the 350 small business owners that take part in each of our markets are taxpayers, so buying from them directly helps your neighborhood schools, libraries, fire departments, parks, streets, etc.!” That is powerful!
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 100k attendees come to discover independent designers/artists and buy local at our markets (an estimated $2 million is spent at each two-day show). Attendees get the rare chance to meet and shop directly from hundreds of hand-selected designers and artists in one space. UNIQUE makes it easy for shoppers to support the local economy, discover great design and deals, join in community, and have a blast with DJs/free drinks/free craft projects and workshops and more. We hold three shopping events in LA per year, plus hold smaller one-off events throughout the year.