M.A.D.E. in Long Beach
Around Town Column, by Robin Auwerda
Sure it’s fun to “shop local”…. Shopping local seems to be the “in” thing to do lately. But shopping locally can be harder than it sounds. At least little me thinks so. Where are these so called local shops and their local owners? Are they really local? What does local mean? I’ll just go to one of the national chains to find a cool present for my friends, it’s easier, everything is in one location and I’m sure I’ll find something unique.
“Hey hold on a second Dutch guy..!” When an entity called ‘Localism!’ was founded, they must have read my mind!
“Localism drives local commerce, it’s the economic driver that started this new product.” Heather Kern told me. That product is M.A.D.E. in Long Beach. “M.A.D.E. is a collection of brands like any other store, the brands we carry are all Long Beach Brands!”
M.A.D.E. opened its doors about 5 months ago I think and has always been drawing me in when I am in #DTLB. Via friends who are either more artistic, or smarter than I or just great Purveyors of Fun and Whimsy, I was introduced to Heather Kern who manages this project. When I had lunch with her the other day in the back of the store, I asked her, “so officially you are the store manager?” Heather said, “Well it is a project and therefore I am the project manager, who also sets up events in the back of the store, handles the social media and does merchandising, just to name a few things. Yeah, I guess I am the store manager.”
Social media is really the only advertising M.A.D.E. does and with a rate of 1,000 likes per month the community support has been amazing! The space is set up for mixed use. The front is the main part of the store, with over 85 vendors. Independent makers and merchants. You can find jewelry, awesome soaps, cool furniture, rad lamps snacks, bicycles, pickled foods, and so much more.
Every dollar spent in the store stays in Long Beach. Shopping local has money recirculate in the local economy and that’s pretty cool!
The back of the space is used for events like a Record release, Poetry night, a Green Drink event, or a Publishing launch.
On Saturdays you can find Black Ring Coffee, pouring you a cup of coffee, brewed with care. (I actually savored their Cold Brew when I had lunch with Heather, Yumm!) and The Pie Bar, with some very homemade deliciousness. I really invite you to try them out on a Saturday, soon.
M.A.D.E. in Long Beach is located at 236 Pine Ave., Long Beach, Ca 90802
I now know that stores like this really help the local economy, bring the community together and are just plane fun to shop at!
Whether you intently want to shop locally or are just looking for some great merchandise, when in Long Beach, you really should walk into M.A.D.E. and check it out.
Did I tell you yet that they are Bike & Dog friendly… I am so taking Eland and Maaike there next time!
Check out these links for more info on some of the biz mentioned in this story: