Our mission is to provide opportunities that help entrepreneurs, designers and artists grow, increase success and become sustainable, while helping the public discover and support local, independent goods/art/design and entrepreneurship. 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 shop at our pop-up markets (an estimated $1 million is spent at each two-day show). We hold three large-scale UNIQUE LA markets per year and hold numerous smaller events throughout each year, such as our Mini Market shopping event at ROW DTLA every Saturday! As well, we have produced our markets in SF, NYC and Minneapolis.
UNIQUE was created by master entrepreneur, 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 the 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..."