Maker of the Month | Make Collectives
First off, sorry for the radio silence last week! I've been working like a maniac on many different projects + also getting the latest Maker of the Month post up!! Which I am so excited to announce is finally here + this month we're featuring the lovely
The shop is located here in Long Beach, right on the same block as other familiar faces like, 6th + Detroit + Peacock + Co. Make Collectives is the quintessential shop of Long Beach, you can find records, home goods, new + vintage clothing, + loads of quirky, fun finds. The little crystals + hysterical greeting cards caught my eye the first time I went in : )
When you walk into Make, you immediately chill out
At the heart of Make is community. They're driven to bring community closer together + to share their love of all things local + handmade. There's no where else where you can really take in the essence of the East Village. They also host a m a z i n g workshops throughout the year + you can find me over at the Floral Workshop on 3/18!
Stay tuned for a special discount to join me + shop online!
Owner of the shop, Kat, splits her time between east + west coasts so, we met up over the wonders of technology to chat all about her shop + what life's been like since she opened.
Meet the Maker | Make Collectives
f + k | what's your story + how did you found Make collectives?
The MAKE journey actually started in 2002 under the alias Viva La Vintage together with my 2 sisters, Desiree + Scarlet. While I was in college + a broke criminal justice student at Cal State Fullerton, my sister Desiree + I used to thrift for unique clothing. We sold thrifted finds that were super interesting that either just didn't fit, or we wouldn't wear. It became a family + weekend thing. One day I was asked if I was a seller at this “Rose Bowl Flea Market” + that’s when the lightbulb went off. Desiree + I attended this infamous Flea Market, even met Winona Ryder there (she just got busted for that shoplifting scandal, remember that?). Within weeks, I gathered flea market racks, got a sellers permit, punched cheesy heart hang tags + stuffed our family van with thrifted finds to vend at our first flea . . . that was the birth of our first “POP-UP” (before pop up was even a word). Every 2nd Sunday at the crack of dawn, we trekked from Chino Hills to Pasadena to sell our finds. We did this for 10 years, up to the final year when we opened up our first brick + mortar.
While we sold at the Rose Bowl Flea, we started selling vintage in our parents backyard. After 9 years of pop ups, day jobs, then marriage + having kids, we slowed down + opened an Etsy shop, under a new name, La Femme Vintage. I will never forget the final Pop Up we did at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood. It was a beautiful sunny Sunday afternoon, La Femme Vintage + vintage home goods with my Husband Matt, which we named MAKE Collectives for fun. Something about that final Pop Up really wore me out; the tiredness of a mobile business, packing + unpacking, having my inventory in a bedroom in my house. It was tiresome + I told myself that I might be ready for a storefront, someday.
Who knew about 6 months later, newly married + now living in Long Beach, I would have a rental space of vintage goods at Magnolia + Willow + Orange Ave. Soon after, my long time friend, Patrick Santa Ana + I reconnected, thanks to something he listed on Craigslist. I ended up at his shop Elev 8 on Linden Ave, in this charming neighborhood called the “East Village” in Downtown Long Beach. I used to sell his handmade tees at my vintage events circa 2005!
He planted the seed in my head that I needed to be in the East Village, + the rest is history.
We opened our doors April 2012. Who knew not only was I going to open up this storefront with goods from La Femme Vintage but, all things home! We chose MAKE Collectives so we could include everything from women's clothing to vinyl records (my husband’s obsession), to home goods. The kicker is we had no idea we were also pregnant with our first child when we signed our lease. OMG what a truly organic journey this was...
f + k | what all does Make Collectives offer?
MAKE Collectives is a destination. It is curated with new, vintage, vinyl, home, + local made goods to
make you feel inspired + connected
or perhaps inspires you to learn something new at one of our creative workshops or attend an event + engage with others in the community.
f + k | how did you come up with the name?
M.A.K.E = Matt + Kat Engel (uppercase because its our initials). Making, curating, creating, gathering is my mindset.
f + k | how does your location inspire you?
My location is a hidden gem. It is still the best kept secret, a tiny pocket in a big city. After almost 5 years since we opened, it is finally being discovered. When we opened our doors I had a gut feeling my location was special.
My spot was all good vibes
The East Village was growing- unique, charming, cool shops + restaurants were making their way here. People were moving into the neighborhood from all over because of its sense of community + laid back yet, eclectic vibe. It became my mission + vision to tell as many people as I could about my little neighborhood in the Arts District. I became inspired to use my space for more than just a place to sell objects but, a place where people could connect. I knew deep in my heart that if I focused on events + community, not solely on product, people would come + fall in love with the neighborhood. If the neighborhood thrived, then MAKE would thrive. I was committed to my hood + still am.
Collaboration is key
f + k | what’s your favorite piece in the shop right now?
My favorite thing in the shop is actually not for sale. Its my hanging Capiz shell chandelier. Way before I opened shop, I found it at a yard sale but, didn't buy it. I obsessed over it for months, eventually went back + knocked on the door. I offered $50. Even though I had no place for it, I needed it to be mine. When we opened the store, it was the first thing we put in!
f + k | what’s been a consistent best seller?
Our most coveted brand has to be our locally made candles by the Wilderess. I found Kristina Kochan’s candles on Etsy because I wanted a candle line made in Long Beach! I messaged her + it turned out her then boyfriend, now husband, frequented our shop for vinyl records! What I love most is not just the fact that her handmade candles scent up an entire room + it lasts for hours but, I support Kristina. I was her second store, now she has probably 40 around the world + she STILL makes all the candles by herself. A one woman show + I just love that. After discovering Kristina,
I decided to take on more local makers to support people following their passions, so they can live life on their own terms
Ive been maker-minded ever since, from carrying local brands in store to shopping local myself. I am most proud of my shop for supporting those dreams of all my makers.
f + k | any special events/pop ups/collabs coming up?
My goal for the year was to focus on events + gathering community! We are so excited to have a lineup of workshops for 2017 already confirmed, from Watercolor + Wine to Floral Arrangements to Weaving Workshops + more. We have also partnered with the Renaissance Hotel on Ocean Ave where we have a Pop Up in their lobby gift shop. We have hosted a couple workshops in their Sip Lounge already this year + have one a month for 2017! Our next one is Find Your Zen with Angela Johnson, Create your Own Bath Salts + Bath Tea. So fun!
Here are some links to check out:
Our community event calendar: http://makecollectives.com/pages/events-calender
Next workshop this Saturday: http://makecollectives.com/collections/workshops/products/findyourzenwithaj
Upcoming workshops: http://makecollectives.com/collections/workshops
f + k | what’s next for make collectives?
We are working with the Renaissance Hotel to expand their gift shop to feature more unique local goods curated by MAKE to promote shopping local. We are also working together to create more workshops + events in their hotel that gather community. We're also focused on building our online shop so, if someone cant make it to Long Beach, they can shop anytime on MAKECollectives.com.
f + k | what’s one piece of advice you’d give to female entrepreneurs?
FOLLOW YOUR JOY
I believe that when you do things that light you up, opportunities, big ideas, small ideas, those little voices of creativity are tugging on you to listen up + pay attention. Whether its making jewelry for fun, taking photos of things that jump out at you, journaling, attending a workshop to learn something new, or going to a flea market to search for something unique, only do things that fill you up. Say yes to joy. Trust that gut instinct. As women, we want to be everywhere, do everything, help everyone but, in the end we forget to help ourselves + take care of our own inner desires. Doing things that bring joy will only help pave a more intentional paths to make better choices + be better boss babes, wives + moms.
One more thing, create stopping points for when you turn off work. Im still working on that : )
f + k | how do you define beauty?
Beauty to me is going within. Doing the inner work that is necessary to stay above all the noise + distraction. Beauty to me is the struggle, the journey + doing things that aren't based solely on what you “feel” like doing. Beauty is being relentless + making time to journal, making the conscious decision to do things that are good for you but, aren't necessarily easy.
Beauty to me is finding gratitude in everything
Finding the good in whatever the situation. A grateful mindset has made me a better woman, mom + entrepreneur. If i feel good inside, its only then that I’ll feel beautiful on the outside.
f + k | what’s your ideal sunday morning look like?
Sunday mornings are vinyl days! We have a Sunday ritual of picking out records, turning off the TV + putting down the devices. Being fully present. And if it's not a vinyl Sunday + the weather is good, Sundays are for flea markets + satisfying my thrill for the hunt!
Thank you so much to Kat + her team for allowing me into your truly beautiful space! It's a piece of Long Beach that is loved by many + I feel honored to be sharing your story. I wish you many many many more years of success that I am sure you'll have!
stay tuned for that promo code coming out on Insta soon!!