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Meet Amy Paliwoda and Alicia Buszczak of The Surface Library in Hollywood

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Paliwoda and Alicia Buszczak.

Amy and Alicia, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I (Amy) am a prop stylist in LA, who moved here from Chicago in 2001 and wondered why there was no photo-driven prop houses here. You can find anything for movies, but not a proper, curated house for smalls and surfaces. I had been thinking about it for years and when Alicia moved here from New York, we were introduced by mutual friends, we discussed this idea in detail and decided it would be a great partnership. Around the same time, Renee at Historic Hudson studios was looking for a partner in her space and voila, The Surface Library was born!

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Amy: We were very lucky finding a studio partner in Historic Hudson studios that allowed us to start small and grow, but there have been plenty of curve balls. Alicia and I have both been freelance contractors for many years, so we knew how to manage the bookkeeping, taxes and client base, but running a brick and mortar business with a full time staff is a different story. The first two years were panic, learning curve, plateau, repeat, while we learned about operating a rental business, especially in California. It’s a very tricky state, with high taxes and exorbitant insurance costs. Most people don’t want to focus on the less exciting parts of the business, like permits, paperwork and contracts, but we put a lot of sweat equity into learning the process… and finding key people to manage this for us so we get it right so we have a solid foundation.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with The Surface Library – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
Amy: We are a rental company that specializes in tabletop shooting surfaces, woods, marble, faux painted surfaces and food, product and cosmetic props, including dishware, pottery, glassware and flatware. We are known for having beautiful pieces that elevate a tabletop shoot and are proud that we were the first to bring a prop house dedicated to tabletop props and surfaces to Los Angeles, We hope that what sets us apart is our customer service and our combined 30 years of experience in the industry. We know what it’s like to be in the midst of a crazy shoot, looking for the perfect piece with limited time and budget, we really care about our clients… and making their job easier. We are constantly adding custom and local props to the collection, things that you can’t find anywhere else, especially with two prep days and limited money!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 1106 North Hudson Street Floor Two
  • Website:
  • Phone: 323-546-9314
  • Email:
  • Instagram: thesurfacelibrary
  • Facebook: The Surface Library

Image Credit:
David Klaus

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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