If you haven't made the journey from Orange County to Sherman Oaks to visit indie craft uber-gift-shop Handmade Galleries LA, I'll put it simply: You. Are. Missing. Out.
This mecca of handmade awesomeness sells everything from Crafty Chica to Gama Go to Bungalow 360 and more. Couple that with almost weekly in-store events and a chance to see someone famous show up from the E! channel's Keeping up with the Kardashians, it's high time you filled up your gas guzzler for a grade-A crafty road trip.
After the jump, I chat with Andy from Handmade Galleries LA and find what they have going on this weekend.
OC Weekly: Tell us a little brief overview what someone could expect when visiting Handmade Galleries LA. What's it all about?
Andy: Handmade Galleries LA is one part of the best indie craft fairs, one part creative fun quirky gifts and one part art gallery which all equals one awesome shopping experience. Los Angeles Magazine named us on of the Top 25 One-stop Shopping Experiences and the LA Visitors Bureau featured us in their Locals' Favorite Shops. As many of our customers say, "once again, I find the perfect gift at Handmade Galleries LA" Being about five times the size of your average gift shop makes us worth the trip no matter where you live.
OCW: Your shop's been featured on tv, right? What shows have we seen Handmade Galleries LA on?
A: We've been blessed with an abundance of TV coverage. We've been featured on ABC's Eye on LA and NBC's Your LA. We've also had reality shows like E! Channel's Keepin' Up with the Kardashians and MTV's Tila Tequila film at our shop and all the contestants of The Cougar shopped for their gifts here. Where else are you going to take 14 guys to find great gifts? Just a few months ago, filmmaker Brittney Bomann filmed her new movie, Melissa,
in our store.
OCW: Who are some of your favorite artisans that are in the store?
A: I love Stella Neptune, Spragwerks, Skellramics, Crafty Chica, Bughouse, but really it's like asking a mom which child she loves most. They're all wonderful in their own way and I am so grateful they are all part of Handmade Galleries LA.
On the next page: in-store events and how to get your crafts in-store!
OCW: Any upcoming in-store events at Handmade Galleries LA?
A: We have a slew upcoming events: This weekend, there's a trunk show this Saturday, October 24 from 1-4 with Chewy Lou Tshirts, Kevin n' Anna JEwelry and Joanna Craft Jewelry. As with all our trunk shows there is special discount pricing and we're a lot of fun to hang around.
There will also be a Home Studio and Kathy Lo Rocks Jewelry Trunk show on November 14, a Treasure Necklace Soldered Jewelry Class on November 22 and another jewelry and clothing trunk show featuring Chewy Lou Clothing and Emily Ito of Lightwaves Jewelry on December 12 (Phew! as if that weren't enough we probably will add one more art opening prior to Christmas, but I'm not sure when.)
OCW: Are you guys taking submissions from new artists, and how does that process work?
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
A: We are almost full for the holidays, but there are a few spots left. Basically, all artists are juried in and they are really opening their own boutique within our walls. The great part is that we do all the hard work and they get to do what they love best: creating their art. They rent the space and pay a small commission, just like a traditional mall and then we provide an excellent sales staff that actually sells, 15 years of retail experience and customers (and, yes, we do have a large celebrity clientele...we just don't out them - that's what keeps them coming back) and the great likelihood that their work will be featured somewhere in the media. You never know who is going to call and ask for artists. Just last month I got a call from LA Magazine asking for artists who fit a certain criteria. I was able to provide them with a list of over a dozen artists right off the bat and in all likelihood at least one of them is going to be featured. When the Melissa movie was in the works, we connected Brittney with an artist to create the feature necklace in the movie. She is actively promoting sales of the necklace while she is promoting and finishing her movie. So really fantastic opportunities are always
available at Handmade Galleries LA.
If artists are interested in renting space, they can submit their info at this link or they can call for Larz at the store at (818) 382-3444. He's not in everyday, so please call first. We're doing a lease signing party on October 26 and the Holiday lease is Nov 1 - April 30, so time is of the essence!
Handmade Galleries LA is located at 14556 Ventura Blvd, Sherman Oaks, CA 91403 (818) 382-3444. For more information on the store, visit their website, check out the blog, follow Handmade Galleries LA on Twitter or become a fan on Facebook!