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Meet Larissa Blintz of Miracle Eye in Chinatown

Today we’d like to introduce you to Larissa Blintz.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Larissa. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
I am the owner, designer, vintage buyer, and stylist behind Miracle Eye.

Miracle Eye kind of came about as a result of feeling very anti-social topped with a passion for vintage and handmade clothing and entrepreneurship when I was 15 years-old. Funnily enough, I’d actually had 5+ years of experience in running a business by the time I created Miracle Eye. This was made possible because I was never much of a social butterfly (had tons of free time!) and experienced an extreme case of bullying. Those two things are what led me to take the business route. At 10 years-old, a family friend introduced me to the concept of selling on the internet which completely blew my mind. What do you mean you don’t have to talk to a customer in person? I can work from my laptop and not have to face anyone or let them hear my voice and still make a sale? I can ship the items and use a tracking method to trust that it will arrive on their doorstep on the other side of the country??? This almost seemed too good to be true because it was hard to get anyone to take me seriously in real life, whereas the on internet I was just an anonymous entity. On the internet, I was a 30 year-old confident business owner, but in real life, I was an awkward and shy 10 year-old girl. eBay for me was love at first sight and a dream come true!

After selling vintage clothing on eBay for 5 years, I decided I wanted to design clothing, and it was just my luck… I happened to be born the daughter of the best seamstress in the world aka my darling mother! I grew up in the fabric stores, always accompanying my mom when she was commissioned for a custom job through her freelance work, so all the fabric store owners knew me from a wee gal. By this time, I knew the fabric stores like the back of my hand. And I later realized it was just a matter of time until I had put the pieces together, since it happened subconsciously for me. Nothing was ever consciously leading up to it, nor did I ever think this is what I’d do full-time for the rest of my life. I just woke up one morning and asked my mom if she would be open to creating some samples of some sketches I had and she was 100% fully on-board! All those little business endeavors I had experienced on eBay were real-life training, filled with plenty of trial-and-error, for creating a company (Miracle Eye!).

Two months after graduating high school, I leased out our brick-and-mortar shop/production studio space in Chinatown, and we’ve been here for 3 years now. We are currently open by appointment Monday – Saturday from noon – 6pm.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
It’s been a tumultuous road, as I have experienced prejudice regarding my age from the beginning up until now. There have been so many times that I’ve been ignored or disregarded due to my age, especially in the first few years when I was 15-17. It was constant, and I remember convincing myself that how vendors or sellers treated me didn’t matter, and I had what it took to do “blank” thing. Even just at 17 when I was interested in leasing out our current shop space in Chinatown, the agent thought it was comical… It was like a total slap in the face. I felt like my “growing up” stage was forced to be put on hyper-speed just so I could keep up and not let anyone shut my vision down. My parents constant flow of support and kindness allowed me to never crash and burn, because I knew I always had them if things went awry.

Miracle Eye – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
We sell incredible 1960’s – 1970’s vintage clothing sourced from all around the world, and hand-sew + design clothing inspired by that same era. We are a small family-ran clothing line and vintage shop. We also offer alterations and styling help. We are most known for our handmade clothing line, as each of our garments are meticulously constructed by hand here in-studio from scratch, and are very unique. It’s like taking a trip back in time! We are most proud of the high-quality garments and accessories we sell, while staying true to the 1960’s – 1970’s style we adore, with a modern twist. The theme of our entire company, the handmade clothing line in conjunction with hand-picked vintage, as well as being entirely family-ran (just my mom and I!), sets us apart from other vintage shops.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
I suppose I would define success by feeling like you’ve accomplished your ultimate goals for your business/company. For me, success is also growth, no matter how small or large. I finally felt I had been successful when I realized I had to dedicate a certain amount of time solely for my company daily, and when I realized it was necessary to rent out a space also only dedicated to the business. Living solely off of the company was also the clearest indicator to me that I had something great on my hands and was kicking ass doing it, too!

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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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