2012: La Brea Opens
Greg: I realized we made a really bad decision by moving to Echo Park, but we really wanted to do it and we really wanted to stand because that’s what we do. You know, the store wasn’t doing too well, and we needed to figure something out. I made a random trip out to L.A. one day just to look at spaces. By happenstance, I realized I had booked my hotel incorrectly. I came in on a Thursday night, but the first night at the hotel was Friday, so I didn’t have a place to stay. I contacted my friend Mega, who runs Black Scale, and he let me stay at his crib. I got there at 1:00 a.m. and I told him I was looking for a storefront. He said that they were trying to move their store next door. He wanted to break the lease and they needed somebody to move in. I checked out the space, met the landlord, and that was basically it. La Brea is just a classic block.
Mikhail: As much as we loved Echo Park and loved that neighborhood, it just wasn’t really effective to have a retail store out there for what we were doing. The only people we were really attracting to that location were fans of the brand who knew us already and were making the trip out there. Part of the plan with moving to the West Coast was to bring in people who didn’t really know who we were or kind of knew who we were. Most people didn’t even know we had a store in L.A. when we were in Echo Park because of where it was. The move to La Brea was definitely the first step in properly trying to cement our footing on the West Coast.