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Meet Bradley Hartman and Deirdre Hartman of Memento Mori in Echo Park

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bradley Hartman and Deirdre Hartman.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
The two of us have been collecting curiosities and macabre decor together for many years. The shop became a reality two and a half years ago when we had filled our home with a unique eclectic style that mixed Victorian hunting lodge and Dia de los Muertos art and decor. We decided to create a unique, retail experience that would combine museum and gift store with a rock and roll edge. Deirdre had the idea to call it Memento Mori which means remember you will die. We enjoy hunting down the most unique and odd treasures and now bringing them to the shop for others to appreciate and hopefully purchase. We find inspiration from personal experiences, music, film and the unusual, like Bradley’s trip to New Orleans in 1998 and Deirdre growing up and working at family owned Mortuaries and living in a Victorian house in Highland Park.

Has it been a smooth road?
This is our first business so yes it has been challenging and requires a lot of learning as you go. The most important goal for us was to establish Memento Mori as a unique experience that changes when you walk through the door. We spent a lot of time on details and making the shop stand out as a unique piece just like the objects on the walls. We wanted the vibe to be comfortable and surround our customers with beautiful objects. Most of the items in the shop are one of a kind and that is tricky for running a business. We have a mix of many different things old and new but it all seems to work within the shop aesthetic. It is a difficult time for retail and especially niche shops like ours but we are hopeful that there are enough people in LA that love the same things we do to keep it going.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Memento Mori – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
We specializing in the most unique gifts, oddities and curiosities, Memento Mori has both old and new decor as well as hand crafted pieces for all to enjoy. We carry a nice selection of vintage medical instruments, natural history specimens, mounted insects, dark decor, jewelry and day of the dead art. Many one of a kind pieces and our prices are very affordable due to the fact we make or find so much of what we sell. Memento Mori isn’t just a Gothic or Halloween store, but an oddities / curiosity shop full of the weird and wonderful for all. I think what sets us apart is our love of what we do and our customer interactions. We are hosts to the public and aim to please. We love to talk about what we sell and hope in turn that translates to sales. We also host events throughout the year with many different themes and have DJ’s, artists and tarot readings in the back. We think of Memento Mori as a lifestyle store, an extension of our home and open to all.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
The culture in LA is incredible. So much to see and do and so diverse.

We don’t like how LA is being overtaken by the wealthy. Developers are pricing out regular people with middle class incomes and homeless is out of control. LA needs to find a better balance before it’s too late.

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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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