Though no longer across from West Hollywood’s famous Urth Caffe, eco-chic store Visionary Boutique’s doors are still wide open at a new spot on Pico Blvd., Los Angeles. Last month, quite a few green-thinking Angelenos got introduced to the new spot when Visionary hosted Green Drinks, an informal get together for environmentalists to hang out, meet each other, and share ideas.
With the move, Visionary’s changed its focus too, offering fewer home accessories and more fashion, jewelry, and cosmetics. “My customer seems to be that woman that’s shopping for herself or for a gift for her friend,” Magda says. Visionary’s racks display the latest fashions from designers like Linda Loudermilk and The Battalion — as well as popular (and less expensive) T-shirts like those from California Rising.
Plus, last Earth Day, Visionary got mobile with a Visionary van (below), a movable mini-boutique that gets Visionary’s eco-message out to more people, whether at big events or at private eco-makeover parties.
Balancing eco-conscious living with running a successful eco-conscious retail store can be tricky, of course, when a lot of green living’s about reducing and reducing — not buying more stuff. “The real passion and joy for me is the education — It’s not selling stuff,” says Magda. “I do struggle with that. I don’t want to be a pusher of product. I want to be an educator and publicist — and an activist. Having the fashion edge and having it as a store makes it fun and social to be green. I think that gets people excited about it too, which can’t hurt.”
To that end, Magda looks for upcycled and vintage products which have reduce and reuse ideals built in to them — and carefully selects the items she brings into her store “I specifically look for integrity and transparency in the companies I work with,” Magda says. But she also has a long-term dream: “I do think about transitioning somewhere down the line into a nonprofit. I’d love to have Visionary mobile be like a classroom, like a showroom of sustainable products where I could go have programs at schools just teaching kids about how to make more informed conscious choices.”
Miss the eco-friendly home accessories that used to be at the old Visionary location? Then stop by Visionary’s newest location in Costa Mesa, which opened just last month. Visionary’s got a spot at SEED, a co-op retail space featuring sustainable designers and companies.
Middle photo courtesy of Magda Rod / Visionary; other photos by Siel
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