Sonja Rasula is an entrepreneurial force in Los Angeles. The business owner, 41, prides herself on helping small businesses and supporting local communities—oh, and she's also the founder of Unique LA, one of the top craft fairs in the city, as well as the Unique Space, an event and co-working space in the DTLA Arts District. We grabbed her for a chat as she prepares for this weekend's Unique LA Spring Market, for which she has a new offering up her sleeve this year.
Why did you initially launch Unique LA?
I wanted to help people to shop local, and to buy from and support their neighbors. And I wanted to help small business owners gain access to resources and new markets.
Are you doing anything different with the Spring Market this year?
We're launching the Unique Conference, a 150-seat, one-day conference to help people with networking, business growth and inspiration in their work. The conference will take place within the Unique LA Spring Market, with panels, classes, a keynote speaker and a networking happy hour.
There are a number of similar, female-focused events in L.A.; can anyone attend the Unique Conference?
It's for everyone! I'm proud to be a strong female leader and mentor to other women, but my skills aren't dependent on my sex. One of the deepest beliefs is that diversity is everything; it brings innovation, interesting collaboration, different viewpoints and creative conversation. I want to inspire as many people as I can.
You help boost the careers of so many creatives. What's your own creative outlet in L.A.?
I love wandering and taking photos. And I'm addicted to exploring the Rose Bowl Flea Market; I get up super early in the morning and drive over when it's still dark out... I take it really seriously.
Unique LA's Spring Market takes place May 13 and 14 from 11am to 6pm on the 13th floor of California Market Center.
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