The Good Liver is a lifestyle shop in Los Angeles. Launched in 2014 originally as an online shop, proprietor Bert Youn believes there is nothing more pleasing than seeing and touching a beautifully made product in person, so he opened a physical shop in 2015. The Good Liver specializes in household goods, office supplies, and apothecary products. Bert used the literal translation of the French idiom ‘Bon Vivant’, giving it a personal twist to name his shop. He is passionate about the products he sources from around the world, mostly items he has discovered or used whilst traveling in Europe and Japan. He focuses on the quality and functionality of each product, and emphasizes the story and history that goes into creating each item. Bert cites William Morris, the English textile designer, poet and novelist, who once said “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful, or beautiful”. People who ascribe to that philosophy are The Good Liver’s main customers.
Before Bert Youn became a shopkeeper he was a director/story artist/writer for animation studios in Los Angeles. A visit to Korea in 2009 resulted in Bert being drafted to the Korean Army and spending three years in Seoul. This was a turning point in Bert’s career who leveraged the opportunity to establish a design studio in Seoul, focusing on design and marketing for brands and retail stores. Meeting like minded people through his agency he realized there was an opportunity to start a business selling the homewares he’d been collecting for years. Bert is inspired by Dieter Rams, Nagaoka Kenmei, and all the hard working makers and crafters he encounters. He would love to visit and document the process of all the global makers, manufacturers, and artisans who sell their products at The Good Liver. Tokyo and Kyoto are his favourite shopping destinations. Bert is always impressed by the incredible shopping experience the Japanese deliver.
On The Future of Retail
“I didn’t come from a retail background nor do I know much about it, but as a consumer who enjoys a good retail experience, I hope the retail world can focus more on the experience they provide to consumers. It’s not hard to find brands and corporates that started to focus on this. Consumers are getting smarter by the day and what they expect from retailers is much more than just buying a product. I see more and more consumers choose personal attachment over convenience, and retailers are beginning to notice this. The importance of storytelling and building an image or an aesthetic for what they sell is becoming crucial. Everybody knows you can do that on Amazon or some sort. It’s time for retailers to differentiate themselves to one another.”
705 Mateo St., Los Angeles, California