So, crazy news: After months of scouting out neighborhoods and possible retail locations with friends and longtime clients, Erica + Sara Kubersky of NYC’s MooShoes, Katie + I are officially announcing that we will be helping them to open their first ever expansion—MooShoes Los Angeles.
The space is in the Silver Lake neighborhood in a historic building with a little bit of a New York feel and a lot of excellent light and high ceilings. We’ll be designing the space and working with our local contractor to bring our ideas to fruition, hiring staff, ordering lines for the store—some of which will overlap with New York City’s merchandise, some of which will be exclusive to LA—and then managing operations once we’re open, later this year.
Before you ask, YES, we will be continuing to run raven + crow studio and expect little difference in terms of our delivering projects for our design clients…we’ll just be sleeping a lot less. But who needs sleep, right?
To learn more, download the full press release—also included in-line below. But, clearly, expect to hear more about everything in this space in the months to come.
Neysha Melissa Vázquez
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NYC Vegan Shoe Store to Open Second Location in LA
New York City, NY (June 16, 2014): After nearly 13 years in New York City, first-of-its-kind vegan shoe store MooShoes, plans to open a second location in the Silver Lake neighborhood of Los Angeles.
Originally founded in 2001 by sisters and Queens natives, Erica and Sara Kubersky, MooShoes is a vegan-owned store specializing in cruelty-free footwear, bags, apparel, and accessories. Located at 78 Orchard Street on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the store currently functions as the company’s sole retail location, complemented by what has grown into a robust online storefront.
The sisters have now partnered with long-time graphic designers, Katie Frichtel and Troy Farmer of Los Angeles-based raven + crow studio to open MooShoes LA at 3116 Sunset Boulevard in the popular Silver Lake neighborhood. Though the sisters have long explored the idea of expanding beyond New York, this is the first opportunity they both considered feasible.
“LA has such a strong vegan community now, it really just makes sense for us to be as present there as we can,” said Erica Kubersky. “We just never felt comfortable having people we didn’t know well representing something we’d created from the ground up—it’s always been a really personal business for Sara and me.”
Though MooShoes claims humble beginnings in a defunct butcher shop near Gramercy Park, the company saw a near 10% increase in sales annually for their first 9 years of business, growing steadily to meet the demand. With a strong online presence and a well-known location on the Lower East Side that’s become a destination for many New York visitors and a hub for vegan-centric events, the sisters feel that the next step in their growth is a Los Angeles location. Putting it in the hands of long-time business partners and friends only seemed natural to the Kuberskys.
“We met Katie and Troy in 2003, not long after we started our store and right around when they were starting their own business. We clicked right away, both in terms of work and personally. They’ve been defining how we present ourselves ever since, creating our brand, ads, Web sites, signage, and designing our stores. When they told us they were moving things from Brooklyn to California last year, we immediately thought of this.”
Husband-and-wife design and marketing team, Frichtel and Farmer, started raven + crow studio officially in 2006 after years of freelancing. The studio specializes in corporate branding, print, and Web design, working primarily with non-profit agencies, small businesses, and relief agencies like the United Nations. Long-time vegans, the two hold in common with the Kubersky sisters their mutual interest in animal welfare.
“Katie and I have always made a concerted effort to work with clients we think are making the world a better place, one way or the other,” said Farmer. “We really love what we do day-to-day, but that’s what keeps us going—knowing that we’re promoting something bigger and better than our work. For all of us, this isn’t about selling shoes, it’s about not killing cows; it’s about providing a great, cruelty-free product that also pushes a message that it’s easy for us all to make a difference for the better.”
MooShoes Los Angeles promises to continue the tradition of bringing together the vegan and animal rights communities, acting as both a store and a community event space.
“It’s so awesome that the vegans of LA no longer have to go barefoot!” said celebrated vegan cookbook author, chef, and restaurateur Isa Chandra Moskowitz. “Let me state the obvious by saying that MooShoes has great shoes that will satisfy your every desire. But more than that, they’ve also been a pillar of the vegan community for over a decade. From book signings to bake sales the MooShoes girls and their fabulous staff have been there, bringing people together and making sure we look fabulous (and comfortable!)”
“MooShoes has been a pioneer in footwear since they were founded in 2001,” said New York vegan menswear designer and Brave GentleMan founder, Joshua Katcher. “They’re a palpable driving force in future-footwear innovation and provide a rare and crucial space for emerging designers with rigorous ethical standards to develop, test and showcase their work. MooShoes is a destination, a hub and a beacon in an industry that is otherwise known for ruthlessness. Without them, Brave GentleMan would never have succeeded. Their success and expansion to Los Angeles is not surprising, but it is exciting.”
Celebrity vegan chef and Cooking Channel TV Host, Jason Wrobel agrees—”MooShoes is THE bastion of fashion-forward ethical footwear,” said Wrobel. “I’ve been to many vegan boutiques around the world and nobody comes close in terms of stylish, quality-made footwear. My closet is peppered with incredible pairs of boots and sneakers that I’ve purchased from their NYC location since I first set foot there in 2005. And now my vegan shoe fetish is about to reach a new crescendo—MooShoes is FINALLY coming to Los Angeles. Can you hear the whooshing noise as I backflip with delight? Good. Now get me to the opening party, stat.”
“MooShoes is the first place I visit when I go to NYC and now LA—how exciting to have stores on the West and East coast that stock quality vegan shoes for all occasions,” said Sarah Kramer, author of How It All Vegan.
Frichtel and Farmer will be continuing to run their design business as they take on this new role with MooShoes, managing operations for the LA store once open, planning in-store events, acting as west coast points of contact, and overseeing design of the new space, set to open fall 2014.
For more information on the new Los Angeles store and press inquiries, please contact MooShoes Brand Manager, Neysha Melissa Vázquez at firstname.lastname@example.org.