Formerly Yes, a museum-like retail space in Downtown Los Angeles, offers well designed and functional goods for the home and office. Founded in 2014 by Brad and Jenna Holdgrafer who wanted to blend work, life, and being creative together. Formerly Yes is designed to showcase an assortment of product from around the world, from the classic Sori Yanagi Kettle to Tapio Wirkkala glasses. Brad, Jenna and their dog, Ernest, take pride in being on hand every day to meet their customers. They talk about their product, discuss design, and chat about the future of DTLA.
Who inspires you? Right now we are both very inspired by modern day writers like Ta-Nehisi Coates. Writers who challenge the status quo and lay out the problems we as a human race are facing. Where there are problems, there is inspiration to solve them.
What inspires you? Participating.
Before I was a shopkeeper, I…. Worked in advertising as a designer and Jenna worked in sales.
The hardest lesson learned in starting a business? Ha. I would say it’s kissing our weekends goodbye.
What task do you like to delegate? We don’t have any employees. So we don’t have the luxury to delegate just yet.
The best lesson you have learned opening a shop? Don’t be afraid to evolve as a concept.
Your advice for anyone wanting to open a shop? Start small and grow and learn and adapt.
Which famous person would you like to visit your shop? I’m tempted to name some designers or architects that we would completely fan out over, but I think we can both agree that if Beyoncé walked in right now, we’d lose our minds.
If you weren’t a shopkeeper you would be..? A writer and Jenna would be an activist (which we can do as being a shop owner).
What is your perfect day off? The perfect day off would be a couple of them in a row in a new place we’ve never been before.
Any favorite shops? For being shop owners we don’t do to much shopping we mainly just eat a lot 😉
I wish I could… speak Japanese
On the Future of Retail
“Everyone will have a 3D printer in their home and office to print the latest trends without creating waste. Say, you are having a dinner party for 16 guests. Someone will go to their printer, buy a design of a dish set from the latest hip designer (most likely subscription based, ha.), print it all out and after dinner melt the molds all down again until the next time they’re needed. Same for tools, furniture, office supplies, etc. Less storage, means smaller houses, means more humans living and working together. Community will be made at home again, not at the mall.”
954 S Broadway, Los Angeles