Los Angeles is a big city but a small community, said Alan Sartirana, CEO and founder of Anthemic Agency and Flood Magazine.
He and Max Hellmann of Family Industries want to help build their community through WeLoveLA.store. The site is selling limited-edition T-shirts and additional apparel designed by the small businesses it’s designed to aid.
From each sale, $10 will go directly to the partner to help provide COVID-19 relief for their small businesses or will be directed to their charity of choice.
“It’s not a pop-up shop that disappears two weeks later,” Sartirana said. “We want to build that community and find the people who need the help, whether it’s a local coffee shop, a retail shop, a band or an artist.
“There are a lot of people contributing to this thing who are helping others and a lot of people who need help as well. Flood, as a magazine, has done a lot of stuff in the community. Both of us are making sure we take care of our employees and the people around us.”
Some of the charities and associated partners that will benefit from the fundraising efforts include the Downtown Women’s Center (Nick Perry), Meals on Wheels (Punch Punch Kick), LA Mayor’s Fund for COVID-19 Relief (Flood Magazine) and the LA Food Bank (Jon Klassen). Fundraising will help partners not associated with a charity to keep employees employed and their businesses running.
“We need to make sure they continue their business virtually or in the real world,” Sartirana said.
“We want to make sure they’re succeeding and make sure they’re thriving. Those people have families and kids. We have to come up with new ways of having income. It’s a 360 thing. You help somebody and they pass it on.”
T-shirt designs vary from exclusive original designs and LA themes to limited-edition logos and stay-home messages.
“It’s been a rough go for a lot of different businesses,” Hellmann said. “We first tried to do a fundraising store to let individuals put their own stores online.
“Then we decided to throw one of each design from these different artists and musicians online. We have a lot of mutual partners, so we thought we would combine the strength of all these different businesses. Like Amoeba Music, they draw so many people through their store each year. They’re having issues. These people are having to scale business back 75%. We thought we’d use the strength of the connections that are here in LA to bring eyeballs to the same place to create the community in one spot.”
Hellmann said they’re considering keeping the store online indefinitely, as there isn’t a firm date on when businesses can reopen or artists or bands can perform again.
“We have an opportunity to give back to the community,” Sartirana said. “People are losing their storefront businesses. This is going to impact people for a long time to come. For us, we’re fortunate that our business is able to exist.
“Hopefully, we’re able to help other people’s businesses exist.”