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Meet Heather Kern of MADE by Millworks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Heather Kern.

Heather, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
It all started with an observation that there were so many entrepreneurs and home-based businesses in Long Beach with amazing products. You would have to go to various farmers markets, or festivals to find their products. How cool would it be to have ONE STORE where you could find all of these awesome goods, a one-stop shop with a curated selection of only local goods and all the feel-good feels that come with supporting the small businesses that create them.

MADE by Millworks opened as MADE in Long Beach on black Friday 2014. The concept was to have a store that carried products by local brands and makers. The store started with about 15 brands and almost 4 years later currently carries goods from over 150 local brands, makers and artists. The name change came in September 2016 when the support of the store switched to being provided by Millworks, a local development company dedicated to fostering community. With the help and support of Michelle Molina’s company; Millworks the store has been able to reach new heights.

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?
People will ask if we are a non-profit and we typically reply … not by choice! Retail is rough everywhere which is why we don’t just open our doors, we work hard every day and week to curate and cultivate events and art exhibits to bring people in. The biggest struggle is making sure we reach everyone, that everyone knows we exist, what we are all about and why they should support our efforts.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
The 4,000 square foot showroom is a retail shop and art gallery featuring local artisans and artists. With regularly scheduled events like The MADE Story Telling Hour(s), art openings, mural bike tours, community mixers, events, live music and currently houses The Wild Chive vegan restaurant that pops up twice a week on Thursday evenings and Sunday mornings. MADE has expanded it’s upstairs and back rooms into unique venue spaces that are available for event rentals.

MADE by Millworks is a true mixed-use space that is doing the most innovative things in Long Beach. With staff picks of where to shop, eat and drink like a local, Pow! Wow! Long Beach mural maps, bike tour maps, and a wall of upcoming event listings, at MADE by Millworks, you’ll find not only handcrafted unique products, and art, but also a community spirit and pride that is absolutely infectious!

What were you like growing up?
Always quietly observing and always making new friends. My dad like’s to tell everyone how he remembers that when we go to an event or a park I would walk up to other kids and ask if I could play with them, no fear of rejection.

I’ll never forget that one year when these “world’s greatest” enamel pins were super trendy my friends got me a “world’s greatest boss” pin. I was a little offended, in essence, they were telling me I was bossy, but I have always been self-aware of this trait. Both qualities, bravado and bossiness may have been annoying as a kid but have served me well as an adult.

Pricing:

  • Handcrafted greeting cards starting at $6.00
  • Apparel for all ages ranging $10.00-$50.00
  • Unique gifts ranging from $5.00-$60.00

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
John Gilhooley

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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