To help illustrate how each of our partners is uniquely good at what they do, we've been talking with them to get their own take on their shops. We hope that if you find yourself in one of our cities, you'll seek out these stores to say hello and get to know their different styles and personalities.
This time we interviewed Alex Weidner, partner at The Well, a men's and women's fashion & lifestyle boutique, full-functioning salon, and event-space (we're talking huge warehouse in back) located in LA.
How did The Well come about and when?
My business partner, Jefferson, used to rent out/operate a warehouse space further south and more "out of the way" in downtown Los Angeles along with a few other folks who are still working with The Well. While there, he did hair for private clients and also coordinated editorial photo shoots and threw incredible (technically illegal) parties with world class DJs/musical talent. They were able to grow a really strong grassroots following through their efforts there. I started getting my hair cut by Jefferson at the old Well while they were running out on their lease and happened to be in between business efforts at the time. We decided to make it "official" and legitimize the concept into what you see here today.
How big is the space?
The building is 7500 square feet as a whole - divided into +/- 2000 sq. ft. in the store, 2000 sq. ft. in the salon and around 3500 sq. ft. in the event/studio space. It's a big old building, oldest building records show it being constructed in the 1920's.
What's the neighborhood like?
I'm really excited about the neighborhood. Downtown LA has experienced incredible growth in the last decade or two, and we're in a bit more of a quiet/tree-lined area just a few blocks away from the uber-urbanized center of the action - still, our direct surroundings will look entirely different in a few years...pretty much every large, empty parking lot will be either a new residential building or a hotel. Fun and scary all at once.
What types of things do you sell at The Well?
We've got a nice balance of lower price point, more "accessible" brands and more high-end/contemporary lines. We're trying not to alienate any consumers while still retaining some level of "forwardness", if I may, in what we offer. Making people feel comfortable while introducing or reinforcing things that might seem a little different to them at the time, but inevitably are worth paying attention to.
What what would you say makes The Well special or unique?
We're certainly not the traditional operation in this industry. Obviously we're a store, salon and event production/promotions company all crammed under one roof and you don't see that every day. Beyond that, personally, I easily grew bored of brands/stores/people etc. trying very hard to adhere to a particular level of "cool" or to a particular aesthetic that makes them feel accepted in the right circles, be they social or professional. I feel like people are ready more than ever to see boundaries broken down between more progressive fashion, music, art and the more approachable stuff. Rappers wearing Givenchy, attending Paris fashion week and all of that - low is meeting high and if there's any positive direct result of that I hope it involves challenging the confines of pretension. Hope I didn't get too deep into that question...I think one of our basic goals is to make people feel welcome/good about themselves while acting as a platform/hub for things worth paying attention to.
Any big changes coming up that people should know about?
We're all giddy over our forthcoming private label for sure...throwing a big Halloween party in Nicaragua too. Other big ideas in the works but I'll leave those to surprise.
What music can I expect to hear while shopping at The Well?
Are pets welcome in your store?
Pets are welcome in our store, which has its pluses and drawbacks. We discover little "surprises" from time to time but happily clean them up with haste. Whiskey, Jefferson and his wife/Well team member Shanacie's lovable little dog, runs around and yaps at/charms customers on a near daily basis. We're an overall very animal-friendly environment.
Blackbird Products Stocked: Incense Pyres, Perfumes
1006 S OLIVE ST
LOS ANGELES, CA 90015
(213) 550 4448