The people behind all things UNIQUE.
Sonja Rasula, Founder & Creative Director
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, 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 a former interior designer and star on HGTV, an online content director, and a personality on television (ABC, CBS, HGTV, MuchMusic).
Kara Scharwath, Chief Operations Officer
A storyteller and community-builder at heart, Kara has created compelling narratives and curated unique experiences for some of the world’s most successful brands and startups including The Walt Disney Company, Roxy, and NationBuilder. With more than 12 years of in-house and agency experience developing communication strategies, creating employee engagement programs, and producing large-scale events, Kara knows how to capture the hearts and minds of employees and consumers. Most recently Kara served as Vice President of Marketing at NationBuilder, a software platform for building communities used by Airbnb, Amnesty International, and the campaigns of California Governor Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti.
With an MBA in Sustainable Business & Social Entrepreneurship from Presidio Graduate School, Kara is passionate about helping entrepreneurs and small business tell their stories and grow their reach. At Unique, she heads up operations across all of the businesses including Unique Markets, The Unique Space, and CAMP. At The Walt Disney Company, Kara helped communicate the impact of the beloved entertainment institution’s philanthropic and environmental efforts as part of the Corporate Responsibility team. While at NationBuilder, she managed a team of 17 creatives on original content development, product launches, and conferences. Kara lives among the staircases of Silver Lake and is currently training for her fifth triathlon—that is, when her full attention is not demanded by her energetic cat, Lola.
Allison Calhoun, Event Producer for the Holiday Market
Allison was an born in New York and raised in Nashville. She got her B.A and B.F.A from Syracuse University where she realized it was way too cold and took every opportunity to study abroad. After graduating, she moved to New York City and realized it was still too cold.
So, she moved to Los Angeles, and began working in production and advertising and then transitioned to events and creative production.
Before coming on to produce the holiday market, she was the opening venue director of the Fig House, a venue in Highland Park, where she worked with Roc Nation, ABC, Emily Henderson, Quickbooks and RPA. From there she went on to open and co-own an experiential production company, called the Revelry Collective where she worked with clients from the Guardian, the Atlantic, McClatchy, and The Future Today institute.
She is producing her first market with Unique this December, and she is so excited to be a part of the team!
She lives with the cutest dog that she’s ever met, Banjo. She has a million plants and a garden. She eats ice cream with a fork. She thinks coconut la croix is gross. And she never met a spritzer she didn’t like.
Casha Doemland, Marketing Coordinator
LA-born and Georgia bred, Casha Doemland returned to the city of angels on impulse with wide eyes and a lot of ambition. She has an Associate's Degree in Hospitality and four certificates from a small technical college in Lawrenceville, but took a leap into the world of marketing and blogging with her first gig at Hello, Adventure. Throughout her time with the company, she lived in Bali where she lead the first round of retreats dedicated to entrepreneurs, creatives and freelancers.
In mid-July she began working at One Roof Women as community manager. When she wasn't mingling with the community and taking care of the space, she was writing poetry, personal blog posts and bits and pieces of her memoir.
She joined the Unique team in the beginning of August as Marketing Coordinator and currently runs all forms of social media under the Unique Empire umbrella. She thoroughly enjoys getting to know the vendors at each market and has always been a surprise of local products made with love! She is stoked to be apart of such a wonderful team dedicated to helping creatives and entrepreneurs and to learn from so many bad ass women.