We had the good fortune of connecting with Paisley & Jesse Laguna and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Paisley & Jesse, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
It is important to have a strong vision but also be open to new ideas and evolve. Our mission has always been to support local artists, fair trade and highlight handcrafted US made products. As well use our venue space to host creative workshops and impact the community in a positive way. We are a retail shop so we need to think about what our customers want. At the same time we also need to love what we are creating in our space and be excited to share products or artists we discovered. If it resonates with you it will resonate with customers. We think outside the box. We wanted to create an environment and a space that is unique. We come up with innovative ideas and put a twist on it. For example we didn’t just want to be the first and only rare plant shop in San Diego it had to be something different! We created a Rare Plant Vault complete with steampunk transparent door, rainforest sounds and examples of mature exotic specimens. It becomes an immersive experience. It is also important to pivot and take every challenge as an opportunity. When Covid-19 restrictions prevented us from hosting creative workshops and art shows we dedicated a space for Pop Up Shops. Our Black Market is extension of our store and host a revolving collection of local artist.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Artifacts & Artichokes is an eclectic gift, plant and art shop that reflects our love of handcrafted, vintage and modern design. Our love of vintage is reflected in the props and reimagined fixtures through out. The juxtaposition of new and vintage is what makes our shop unique. Our core products are locally sourced, US based or fair trade. It is an important component of our business to support artists and small entrepreneurs. We started out in retail management. When we opened Nature’s Elements Landscaping 16 years ago we didn’t expect to get back into running a store. When we had to expand our landscape design and construction business; we moved into our current location which was bigger than we needed. But like we said before take challenges as opportunities. The challenges of a fickle retail market is obvious. You need to be flexible enough to find things consumers want but still stay true to your brand. Trends come and go. It is important be up to date on what is current but you also do not want to look like every other retailer. That is why we love handcrafted one of a kind goods. A well made design never goes out of style. There is something special about handmade items. We are proud to provide a shop that showcases these small batch vendors and artisans. Anyone that has worked in a small business knows even though roles are defined you will always be multi tasking. It is important to have solid people on your team. They are the face of your company when you can not be there. So they need to have the same passion and understanding of your business as you do.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in North Park so all the shops and restaurants there! We love the courtyard at Communal Coffee in South Park and flowers at Native Poppy. Gotta try all the delicious eateries in Liberty Station and Little Italy. Architectural Salvage shopping. Balboa Park and the Zoo are favs. A ferry ride to Coronado. A country ride to Julian and stop off at the Barn Vintage Marketplace
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We inspired by all the small business that remain resilient through these difficult times. Awed by the talented artists and craftsman that we have met. We are blessed and humbled by the support of the community. But what drives us to succed and grow is our daughter. She has overcome a lot of challenges. Even when she struggles she pushes through. Instead of being broken she is fearless and strong. She has a beautiful generous soul..