Offline. Online. Online Offline. Big retailers can’t decide what they want to be in the shopping world these days. And with many large e-vendors re-homing themselves in street-level retail locations, but hardly varying from often impersonal CX, it makes one wonder why department stores ever go in and out of favor.
Enter SSOAK…an alternate kind of experience and the future of commerce.
SSOAK co-founded by Stanley Shimamoto and Oakjoo Lee aims to gather artists and people together to deliberately meet, converse share, touch, and kibbutz in order to relish the joy of community…while also opening up their wallets.
Currently at 357 North La Brea, Los Angeles, CA 90036, as a temporary holiday pop-up entitled, I Thought Bezos Meant Kisses, Shimamoto and Lee bring 18+ years as buyers of luxury goods from Bergdorf Goodman, Saks Fifth Avenue and Gumps San Francisco to offer unique and magical marketplace of thoughtfully curated and approachable gifts of art, home décor, fragrances, ornaments, ceramics, accessories, and fashion.
Inspired by collaboration and the meaningful enjoyment of connecting, discovering and gifting with intention, SSOAK welcomes shoppers, as they would into their own homes, with cheerful smiles and a relaxed vibe.
“Our story and the development of friendships across an exceptional creative landscape established a path that is joyful, beautiful, and thought-provoking; one that we want to share. In our current world of disconnected connection, we are inspired to create an experience that is playful and reflective, and experience that speaks to the soul and to the appreciation of friends and loved ones. We invite shoppers into a unique and tangible moment, unhurried and connective, where they can discover the perfect gift.”
I Thought Bezos Meant Kisses and the collaborative marketplace (originally conceptualized by their friend, LA-based jeweler, Sonia Boyajian) runs from December 6th – 15th from 11:00 am to 7 pm.
“First we eat, then we do everything else.” ~ M.F.K. Fischer
Various sections and rooms contain clothing displays for men, women and children. They had me at the entrance!
Meandering to the back will invite you into a gallery of beautiful artistic endeavors. including a milieu of trinkets and delicate small goods.
I was fortunate enough to be accosted by San Francisco artist Clark Kellogg making his soft Los Angeles debut. Mr. Kellogg spontaneously and generously gifted me a copy of one of his posters which displayed his 365 Project of one art piece per day for an entire year entitled, A Year of Art.
Your gracious host, Stanley Shimamoto