Ok...I haven't been updating this blog like I thought I should...but I've been opening a shop..and it's a little crazy!! Q Pop officially opened it's doors on the afternoon of November 12!!Those of you who have stopped by already..Thanks so much for your support. Everyone else, I hope that you will be able to come and see us soon!
The ride getting to this point has been a very exciting one. Insane actually..haha. I thought I might explain a bit about the process. First of all,
it's not like Miki and I had been planning this for years. We had sort of casually mentioned how cool it would be to have a shop/gallery but that's about as far as the talk would go. But a few months ago, Miki and I returned from a vacation trip to Thailand and Japan. Whenever we go, we are always so inspired by all the creative energy over there..this trip was no exception and we returned with a yearning do do something. That something would be Q Pop.
The idea was simple..create a venue for artists to showcase their handmade stuff...to create our own stuff..and to have other cool shit that even if it's not handmade..at least is artfully made.
Ideas are great..but execution is the hard part. The first thing we needed to do was find a space. Where to open? This ended up being more difficult than we thought.
Mostly because of price. Rents arestill ridiculously high in Los Angeles, which would explain why half of Melrose is empty. We thought about Sawtelle, because of other cool shops like Giant Robot but it was also just as expensive. We finally decided on Little Tokyo. Seeing so many japanese people leaving the area..we thought we could return some of the "japaneseness" to this historic part of town. Plus, they have good ramen here. We were lucky enough to find a cool japanese landlord.. Mr. Fujimoto, who has been running a business for more than 30
The space we got was a former bike shop called Routes.
It was...let's just say..the space needed some work. It was pretty ugly. For the task at hand
I decided to ask my incredibly talented friend Justin Thompson to design the interior space. You can read about his process and see his preliminary sketches here:
Having the designs finished..we needed someone to realize the entire thing..That person would be Tommy Wattanakran.
This guy was like superman...seriously..
I can't even stress to you how much this guy did for us.
He built ALL our custom furniture by himself(with assistant Miki).
With his crew, they finished construction in about 2 months.
Originally, we had the retarded idea that we could finish in 2 weeks...yeah right. What were we thinking? Making some of the custom furniture on a budget was sooo time consuming.
It's one thing if you have a laser cutter and a $20 million budget..umm...but we didnt..So it was all Tommy with his saw.
The results are awesome!! I was sooo unbeliveably amazed by how it all came together.
I have to also mention the HUGE amount of help we got from our friends.. Nagi was at the shop until 6 am helping set up the inventory
...My mom was here every day helping out..The Ito family bringing snacks and drinks and helping to boost the moral.
And last but not least, since this place is supposed to be a place where artists convene..we needed some art in it . And we wanted BIG art. For this we got our uber talented friends Elizabeth Ito
and Kevin Dart to paint murals. Elizabeth painted the outside wall
and Kevin tackled the inside wall(with the aid of another superhero Chris Turnham).
The finished pieces are so impressive.
Our first week of business has been very fun and stressed and good. Better than expected but still not where it needs to be for us to actually survive. So we're counting on all our friends and fans to spread the good word and help us get more people at the shop. We really want to keep it going for a long time so that we can celebrate cool artwork and fun stuff!! Come on down and check it out!!