Barbara’s Column

Small Business Saturday is set for Nov 25

 

By BARBARA DIAMOND

Nov. 25 is red-letter day for local businesses competing with Black Friday and for selective shoppers who treasure the unique over mass-produced merchandise. 

Some of the city’s most successful entrepreneurs passed along their accumulated strategies to make Small Business Saturday a success for merchants and their customers at a seminar hosted Monday by the Chamber of Commerce at Montage Resort.

“Up your game,” said surprised keynote speaker Mark Christy, owner of Tuvalu, Hobie Sports and principal of The Ranch. 

Christy didn’t know he was part of the program until he arrived at the Montage, but he doesn’t need notes to talk about Laguna.

“I grew up here,” said Christy. “It was a magic place. It is still a magic place.”

Small Business Saturday is one way to foster Laguna’s unique image. 

Sure the stores will benefit, but so will the shoppers who go home with a special gift for that special person, or something they didn’t even know they wanted. 

The City benefits too

The City also benefits. Sunny Days owner Deanna Frieze said residents should be made aware of how local patronage benefits the city, referring to the sales tax paid by Laguna shoppers. The City’s percentage accounts for an average of 10 percent of the General Fund revenue.

Christy shared the speakers’ dais with Carmelit (sic) Green, manager of Troy Dee Designs; Ann Marie Schiefer, Visit Laguna Beach digital marketing manager; Joe Hanauer, developer of the Old Pottery Place; Norm Grossman, City Planning Commissioner for more than two decades; and Dave Rubel, Chamber president-elect.

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L-R: Rick Riess (Board Member), Meredith Dowling (Executive Director), Chris Tebbutt (Board Member), David Rubel (Board Member, President Elect)

They all had advice for local merchants.  

Make shopping fun for the customers every day but make an extra effort on Nov. 25, Green advised. 

“Create a fun, festive environment with music, holiday decorations, refreshments and gift wrapping,” said Green. “Last but not least: make sure your staff is knowledgeable and friendly.” 

Shoppers need to feel special

Shoppers should feel they are special in a special place, said Schiefer. She urged the use of social media to make them aware of what makes a shop unique. 

Start posting now, posting every day, and showcase special efforts, she urged. 

“We are at war,” said Joe Hanauer, developer of the Old Pottery Place, where his wife, Jane, has an independent bookstore. “2017 has been a watershed year…where large and small retailers have felt the full force of online shopping.”

Businesses have closed. That doesn’t have to happen in Laguna, he said. 

“We have remarkably affluent residents who don’t like to leave town,” said Hanauer. “We simply haven’t figured out how to get enough of them into our stores.” 

Visitors to Laguna are equally affluent, he said. 

“For them, shopping is a sport,” said Hanauer. “It’s what they do while on vacation. We simply haven’t figured out how to get them to take advantage of what’s here instead of going to Fashion Island.” 

His solution: “Stop thinking about your store against other local stores; it’s us against the online shopping,” said Hanauer.

Store owners and managers need to work together he said.

Promote other stores in town

“Promote other terrific stores in town; two plus two equals five working together,” said Hanauer.

He dared local merchants to suggest that customers who couldn’t find what they wanted go to a competitor.

Grossman said the Chamber is working to update outdated city regulations that inhibit local businesses. 

“Thirty years ago, the fear was that the city would lose its distinctive character if the downtown was a sea of T-shirt and cookie shops,” Grossman said, 

Another fear was that outdoor displays would make the city look tacky. Temporary use permits were, and still are, required.  

Grossman said the Chamber will apply for the permit for Small Business Saturday. It is an opportunity to show the City that the displays can be done tastefully and improve business for 12 months, not just one day a year.

But wait –there’s more. You will find advance notice of all the fun and interesting stuff for visitors or residents to do in Laguna by reading StuNewsLaguna.com.


“Fridays in Laguna,” a traditionally based service at Mozambique with Rabbi Marcia Tilchin and Jason Feddy

Every month, through the Jewish Collaborative of OC, Rabbi Marcia Tilchin and Musician/Radio Personality Jason Feddy hold a musical Kabbalat Shabbat Service and dinner at Mozambique restaurant for “Fridays in Laguna.” This month, the last event for the year takes place on Fri, Nov 17. Creative-traditional services are held in a private room in the restaurant, followed by an optional, pre-paid vegetarian dinner at this upscale eatery serving South African-inspired cuisine.

The services start at 6 p.m., with dinner at 7:30 p.m. Dinner is optional with advance reservations. Mozambique is located at 1740 S Coast Hwy.

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Jason Feddy and Rabbi Marcia Tilchin at Fridays in Laguna

Dinner is $42/person; $15 child’s meal available for 12 & under. Cost includes salad, choice of entrée (vegetarian or fish), a glass of wine or non-alcoholic beverage, family-style dessert with coffee or tea, tax and tip. 

In addition, the Jewish Collaborative of OC has a new program for young families, Havdalah & Happiness, which also takes place this coming Sat night, Nov 18, at 6:30 p.m., in Laguna Niguel at Menchie’s, 30211 Golden Lantern. 

Havdalah & Happiness at Menchie’s on Sat, Nov 18

Participants feel the joy of Havdalah followed by frozen yogurt with friends. Join the Jewish Collaborative at Menchie’s Frozen Yogurt and say goodbye to Shabbat.

Havdalah is a Jewish religious ceremony that marks the symbolic end of Sabbath and Jewish holidays, and ushers in the new week. 

The ritual involves lighting a special Havdalah candle with several wicks, blessing a cup of wine and smelling sweet spices.

For further questions, go to: https://jewishcollaborativeoc.org/2017/10/28/havdalah-happiness/


LGOCA Group Show to take place on Nov 18 

The Laguna Gallery of Contemporary Art is presenting its Group Show on Sat, Nov 18. The event will be from 5 - 8 p.m and the Gallery is located at 611 S. Coast Hwy.

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Robin Hiers “LOVE LOVE LOVE” surfboard will be on display 

The newest work available from amazing artists will be on display and the artists will be around to chat. Refreshments will be served also. 

For more information on this upcoming event, visit www.lgoca.com.


Pretty in Pink: The Pink Out Party raises $11,000 plus for Planned Parenthood of OC and SB County

With pink balloons dancing above their heads, attendees dressed in pink, drank pink champagne, and raised more than $11,000, ensuring that the organization’s health was in the pink. The Pink Out Party, held at the Provenance Realty space on Sat evening, Nov 11, was a huge success, benefiting the Community Action Fund of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties. 

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Co hosts Michelle Harper, Patti Compton, and Nathalie Assen

Along with other business and community leaders, the stylish cocktail party was attended by three 2018 OC congressional candidates, Hans Keirstead (CA 48), Mike Levin (CA 49), and Gil Cisneros (CA 39). 

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Meschi Schmidt, Phil Compton, Bryan Harper

 Hosts Patti Compton, Nathalie Assen, and Michelle Harper note that the theme of the evening was #ACCESS – promoting access to unlimited opportunities for women by promoting access to family planning. 

The Community Action Fund is the political arm of Planned Parenthood of Orange and San Bernardino Counties. It’s an independent, nonprofit, and nonpartisan organization dedicated to protecting and expanding individual rights to reproductive choice and access to family planning. 

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The crowd enjoys “pinking out”

The Community Action Fund raises funds in support of progressive candidates that value access to affordable reproductive health services and comprehensive sexual health education.

For further information, go to http://www.ppactionca.org/


Tangible Investments celebrates spirit of giving with

sale to benefit disabled veterans on Dec 3, 4, 5

During this holiday season, Tangible Investments, Inc., a Laguna Beach gallery, will host a three-day celebration of Art Deco & Art Nouveau fine art, furnishings, and jewelry to raise money for disabled American Veterans. 

The gallery, which specializes in rare coins, fine art, antiques, and estate jewelry celebration of unique and rare fine art, furniture, and estate jewelry from the Art Deco and Art Nouveau era, will donate a percentage of the sales proceeds to benefit disabled American Veterans. 

Everyone is welcome to attend this open house style event, which will be held from 4 – 8 p.m., Sun, Mon, and Tues, Dec 3-5. However, attendees are asked to register, as the gallery is having the popular Ristorante Rumari provide appetizers and beverages.

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Erte Art Deco

The event includes a major collection of Erte framed originals and signed embossed serigraphs as well as some of Erte’s work in bronze and works by Icart and Lalique. Showcased in the main gallery will be Art Deco and Art Nouveau pieces by Tiffany and luxury watches.

“Helping the men and women who have served in our military is appropriate for this event because the Art Deco era was bookended by two world conflicts,” says gallery owner and rare coin expert Silvano DiGenova. 

It was in 1920 that Robert Marx founded the Disabled American Veterans organization, though they would not receive their Federal charter until 1932. Today, DAV is a nonprofit charity that provides a lifetime of support for veterans of all generations and their families, helping more than one million veterans in positive life-changing ways each year. 

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Disabled American Veterans organization in Texas

“It’s another way for our firm to be a part of our community, and taking care of our veterans is an important part of that community,” says Silvano. In addition to helping veterans, Silvano is passionate about collecting art in all its forms. His particular interest in Art Deco and Art Nouveau has resulted in a great opportunity for enthusiasts to add to their personal collections while helping men and women who have sacrificed so much to protect our liberties. 

Attendees should register online at http://www.tii1.com/artdeco or call (949) 715-5333.  Tangible Investments is located at 1910 S Coast Hwy.


CAP announces new board members

The new board members of Community Art Project (CAP) were presented at the Annual Membership Meeting held at Sandra Jones Campbell’s studio on Nov 12.

President Faye Baglin did the honours, introducing new members and new officers. Laura Mayo will take up the gavel as President, with the support of M. “Charlie” Ferrazzi as Vice President, Ann Haight as Secretary, with Faye moving to the position of Treasurer. Kathy Willman and Jill Webb were introduced as the newest members of the Board.

Julita Jones, Founding Member, Pat Whiteside-Phillips and Mary Rabe, all long-time Board Members, were given the status of Emeritus Member. In recognition of their years of service to the group, each was presented with a commissioned glass piece created by Laguna glass-blower Muffin Spencer-Devlin.

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CAP 2018 Board (L-R) M. “Charlie Ferrazzi, Faye Baglin, Laura Mayo, Ann Haight

Attendees also enjoyed a visual presentation by Marlo Bartels of his recently installed commission for Shea Homes in Brea. The Blackstone Project, his largest project to date, which took three years to complete.

CAP’s mission is to increase the visibility and appreciation of Art and serve as a catalyst for Art Education. CAP provides ongoing exhibition in The CAP Gallery, Banking on Art in the Rotunda Gallery space located on the second floor of the Wells Fargo Building, 260 Ocean Avenue. 

The CAP Gallery is a unique space for juried, solo and retrospective exhibitions.

Visit http://www.caplaguna.org for information about ongoing or upcoming exhibits, to be on our e-mail list or to become a member and supporter of CAP. CAP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit funded by the member supporters, the lodging establishments and the City of Laguna Beach.

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