Soy candles, soaps and more, made by Made
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For those who haven’t yet ventured to the skid row gift shop and cafe called Made, there’s a chance to discover its appealing and inexpensive items on the Westside — at Bloomingdale’s in Century City and in the holiday shop at the Skirball Cultural Center. Made carries products made by homeless and formerly homeless women in Los Angeles in support of the Downtown Women’s Center. Opened in May, the store carries hostess and holiday gifts such as sweet cloth travel bags, beautiful soaps, soy candles in one-of-a-kind containers, frames and cards. Using a Japanese book-binding method, women take apart old hardcover books and make new blank journals. One journal ($16) was made from the perfectly suited “Open Secrets” by Alice Munro.
Products from Made will be part of the Skirball’s holiday pop-up shop, which opened on Thursday to go with its exhibition called “Women Hold Up Half the Sky.” The pop-up will have work from 79 women’s cooperatives and artisans from all over the world, said Pam Balton, manager of the museum’s store, called Audrey’s Museum Store.
Bloomingdale’s also is set to carry some of Made’s items, including handmade felt holiday ornaments and succulent arrangements, starting in early November, said Kathy Suto, vice president and general manager of the store and a board member of the Downtown Women’s Center.
Suto said that she is a “huge customer” of the skid row shop, pictured above and at right, and that she realized Bloomingdale’s customers would be happy to support a local effort.
The Made store and cafe downtown are a social enterprise, meaning the profit gets plowed back into the Downtown Women’s Center, housed in a renovated Gothic Revival building at San Pedro and 5th streets. The center is home to 71 women, and an additional 200 women a day come for classes, meals and health services. It also offers job training and other services.
-- Mary MacVean