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L.A. County Store Invites Silver Lake To 'Shop Local'

Eliza Moley |
March 30, 2015 | 11:22 p.m. PDT

Staff Reporter

(Sam Swamy/Neon Tommy)
(Sam Swamy/Neon Tommy)
Tucked into an inauspicious shopping center on the border of Silver Lake and Los Feliz, the Los Angeles County Store sits nonchalantly, a gold mine of local craftsmanship.

The space is open and inviting. Every surface of the minimally furnished store is covered with neatly organized, wonderfully eclectic products. On the back wall, pins stuck into a sprawling map of L.A. County indicate the origins of all the store's wares.

READ MORE: Tight-Knit Group Of Artisans Start Arroyo General, ‘Something For Everyone’ Store in Highland Park

Since its opening in May of 2014, the Los Angeles County Store has stocked merchandise exclusively from the immediate vicinity. “Everything in [the store] is made in L.A. County, the idea being that we’re supporting local artists and also providing customers with a place to get a bunch of really great stuff made locally,” said storewoner MaryAnne LoVerme.

Incentives for buying local goods are abundant. “You’re supporting your neighbors in a very direct way," LoVerme continued. "It’s more eco-friendly because it hasn’t had to travel around the world.”

LoVerme is deeply passionate about L.A.’s craft scene. 

READ MORE: L.A. Zine Fest Embraces Community And DIY Spirit

“I moved to L.A. from New York in August of 2013 with the idea to open the shop," she explained. "It’s inspired by my friend’s shop in Brooklyn called By Brooklyn, where everything is made locally.”

The interior of the Los Angeles County Store (Sam Swamy/Neon Tommy)
The interior of the Los Angeles County Store (Sam Swamy/Neon Tommy)

LoVerme, a Brooklyn transplant, has grown attuned to the unique atmosphere of Southern California. The transition has affected the atmosphere of her store and the type of goods that she sells. “I’m definitely drawn to lighter colors here... I think the light is different in L.A. than in New York.”

LoVerme’s bi-coastal perspective, however, was not instantly acquired. “At first, I tried to offer some healthier [artisanal foods], but for the most part…even though it’s L.A., people like a splurge. That was a surprise to me. I realized that it’s part of the whole ‘feast or famine’ thing in L.A.... you’re either drinking green smoothies or eating deep fried tacos.”

It is fascinating that a New Yorker, as opposed to a native Angelino, has established a business that places emphasis on local L.A. craftmanship. In a city that often feels like a rough conglomeration of cultures and identities, it is fitting that the most local of local businesses is run by an outsider. 

READ MORE: One Arts District To Rule Them All

Wendy Osmundson, owner of Granola Mama's Handmade, has worked closely with LoVerme and raves about her business. "I think that MaryAnne has a particular aesthetic and very good taste, and she does an excellent job of highlighting some really great Los Angeles crafters," she said.

Jared Schaffer owns 62/50 Map Haus, one of the companies whose products are sold at the L.A. County Store. In his opinion, "L.A. County Store is more of a wonderland of all things artisanal. Furthermore, LACS is invested in helping their vendors grow with the store." 

LoVerme in her element (Sam Swamy/Neon Tommy)
LoVerme in her element (Sam Swamy/Neon Tommy)

Despite LoVerme's observation that “the community is a little more spread out here just because the reality of the geography,” she shared, “I feel very at home and connected to the community.”

Schaffer agreed. "L.A. is packed with people who are do it yourselfers," he said. "There is a certain camaraderie between all of us trying to make it on our own." 

“It’s unique," LoVerme said about her carefully curated treasure trove. "If you’re looking for something that not everyone else has, look right here... look at home.”

For novices looking to shop locally, LoVerme recommends bestsellers such as Androgyny Designs, Melinda Boyce and Maison Louis Marie.

The Los Angeles County Store offers a unique sampling of the finest wares produced in Southern California. A trip to the shop, as well as the trendy surrounding neighborhood, is well worth the effort.

Contact Staff Reporter Eliza Moley here.



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