Grand Opening this weekend in Laguna Hills, CA
The new Open OC Market looks to build community by providing not only unique places to shop but also places to gather and learn. I spoke with the General Manager Holly Simmons, who is one of the genius minds behind the new market experience. She said that she and the Owner, Brian Voigt, worked together in a furniture business and she has had this idea for the market for quite some time. As she worded it, when she and Brian were discussing details on how it could all come together, she had the seed and she put it in an envelope and then not only did he and Ian Winterbotham, the Director of Operations, water it to help it to grow, but they added steroids. That is an understatement! The management team has definitely created a unique business experience that is much more than shopping.
During my tour of Open Market OC during the soft opening, Holly introduced me to a few boutique owners, artists, and some shop owners. There are almost 200 vendors in the shop spaces, and they are very diverse. Angelina Hart Boutique is a high-end boutique with beautiful accessories, including her own make up line, jewelry, scarves, and handbags. Rick Hohmann, Multi Medium Artist, creates unique art pieces out of common household items and metals that become unique statement pieces. And Farm Stand Apothecary handmakes soaps, doggy shampoos, and shower melts, with names like “Not Today Satan,” and “Swipe Right.”
We wound our way through shops featuring hand dyed scarves, home decor, and artisan jewelry toward the back classrooms that were still being renovated for the Grand Opening. Holly shared their vision for the rooms, one being a yoga space, another a children’s classroom with a chalk wall, and yet another with a whimsically decorated space that reminded me of Alice and Wonderland, down the rabbit hole. There is a cafe all set to go, with WiFi, coffee, and drinks, and table and chairs for about 50 people. Their first Farmers Market was held today, and is planned for every Friday out in the parking lot. It is very evident that the team that runs Open Market OC wants to provide a unique experience for the community to include shopping and much more.
The Owner, Brian Voigt, says “this type of business gives everyone the opportunity to have their own storefront, and having their own brick and mortar store, because in California you can’t really do that, right? It’s just not feasible in California, so it really gives them an opportunity of having that business that they wanted, and that’s really what I like about this whole thing.” There is a sense of understanding and determination to create a space that is available to all, and that gives back to the community.
Open Market OC has their grand opening Saturday, October 5 and has plans for classes and demonstrations and food and drinks the whole day. It is located on the top floor of the Macy’s building in Laguna Hills Mall above the furniture store. They just installed their huge exterior sign so there’s no longer any doubt where they’re located. Holly shared that Open Market OC intends to remain in that space as long as it is available for at least four years.
Check out this unique new space and all of the ‘shop’ owners. And I suggest you continue to check back as more and more classes and experiences will be added to the calendar. I believe the market will be in ever evolving positive addition to our local southern California community.