Meet our friend Heather Arndt who used to get HAPPY by designing skate shoes for DC, Vans and World Industries. Now she gets happy with HAPPY – her newly opened Los Angeles shop that combines gift, garden and gallery to create a unique space, full of inspired gifts and thoughtful embellishments that “just make us HAPPY” Oh and her daily AM hike to the top of Mt. Hollywood helps, too.
Why did you create this company?
I love design, I love art and I love to shop. I created Happy so I could indulge in these things regularly.
What makes you HAPPY?
A thoughtful design, and inspired piece of art, a job well done, a day well spent, my daughters laugh and when all else fails, cupcakes.
What products help HAPPY to continue smooth business operations?
An accurate level with measurements, a cordless drill and a good broom. My iPhone is pretty key as well. I really don’t know how I ever functioned with out it. Remember in the early 90’s when cell phones were rare…crazy how much that has changed..
What inspired the idea?
I don’t know if there was one inspired moment. I was searching for a way to bring the elements of my life together. I do freelance product design, I finished graduate school for painting, and I have a lot of artists friends who are making great work but don’t have a lot of opportunity to show it, and a lot of designer friends who are trying to create their paths in design. Happy was born from the desire to have a space to showcase, discover, and promote the people and creations that I have come to know and love, and the ones I’ve yet to meet.
What is the best thing about starting your own gig?
You know there is the whole freedom aspect, but really, it’s the adventure of it. Everyday is a new challenge or opportunity. I wake up excited to come in and start my day, hopeful to see what new people, things, ideas will come across my path.
What is the worst thing about starting your own gig?
There’s not any real worst thing. You know, they call it work for a reason, some days; I just call a cookie a cookie and take a day off with my daughter.
What product is a must-have for you from your store?
I use my kleen kanteen and envirosax bag every day. So I think they must be my must have, however, the dining table Ping Pong kit is pretty indispensable at home.
Who visits your store?
We have every kind of patron from actors to moms from my daughters preschool, artists to city council reps. We have such a great and diverse community of customers and fans, its really heartwarming to see everyone come together at our events. I genuinely love the people who come in, they are becoming like a family.
What is HAPPY doing for the green movement?
Our team tends to lean toward companies that are environmentally conscious. Production, packaging and impact are a big determining factor when I’m looking at someone’s line.
What do you hope readers will take with them after visiting your store?
I hope they will feel like they found a new special spot to come check out art, find a unique gift, and most of all, feel HAPPY!
How long did it take you to set up the store?
From signing the lease to opening our doors it was about 4 months. I think it will always be a work in progress. We get new ideas and change things up. Create new windows, displays, art shows…
What inspires products sold within your store?
Basically the product has to inspire me. I stick to what makes me feel excited, and that works.
Where do you shop?
The Village here in Los Feliz has lots of great shops, Skylight Books,
Ozzie dots or Apartment 3 for vintage, Fresh Pressed. I love a good day of thrift store shopping.
Upcoming Events to recommend?
Our year anniversary is in November so we have an event in the works for that. In December we have “Plenty” which is our first annual small works show. Small affordable art for the holidays.
Our upcoming art openings are:
Nov. 2009: Los Angeles artist Chelsea Dean will offer delicate graphite drawings in Happy’s main space; Los Feliz Renaissance man Donald Krieger’s visual homage to Walt Whitman (project room).
Dec. 2009 – Jan. 2010: PLENTY – Happy’s first annual small works exhibition. Over 100 artists – small, affordable and fun!
Feb/March 2010: Recent paintings by Chicago’s iconic artist William Conger, Project Room TBD.
What music makes you HAPPY?
Phoenix, Yeah yeah yeahs, and the Rolling Stones are in heavy rotation right now. We listen to music all day at the store, so “Pandora” is a lifesaver. I put it on “the cars” station and it plays the best 80’s mix ever. Our employees can also put in their tastes and get a mix they like AND I got my ipod back.
What product makes your mom HAPPY?
She likes all the kids’ items. She buys them for my daughter and won’t let me give her a discount. It cracks me up.
Tell us something funny about the process of creating your store.
My 3-year-old daughter Colette is my jr. merchandiser, from the beginning when she is in the shop, she’ll follow behind me rearranging everything that can be reached from 3 ft tall. Sometimes it looks better than the way I had it to begin with.
Shop on line: happylosangeles.com
Shop in store: 4675 Hollywood Blvd Los Angeles, CA 90027
TKdablog ï¿½ Blog Archive ï¿½ TKDANewsletter #36: HAPPY Los Angeles Cont.
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