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Collective Retail Spaces Are On The Rise In Downtown

Release Date: 2018-12-17

By: Alena Maschke

The women who are leading the expansion of retail in downtown all have one thing in common: their commitment to unique products and local collaboration. With those key elements in mind, Michelle Molina and Heather Kern of MADE by Millworks, Kathleen Engel of MAKE Collective and Elizabeth Kobliha of Long Beach Vintage Etc. set out to create a different kind of retail environment featuring local vendors, artists and manufacturers in open spaces that invite shoppers to explore.

“It really evolved as I got to know my community and the neighborhood, being in the East Village Arts District, and I fell in love instantly,” Engel said, recalling her store’s transformation from selling vintage furniture, clothing and records to featuring more local artists. “Nobody was doing that in my neighborhood at the time.” Engel left her nine-to-five job in the fashion industry in 2012 to start the collective, for which she curates locally produced artifacts and products. “It was the people, one hundred percent. It was the people and their artistry, that’s what inspired me.”

Read more on the Long Beach Business Journal