By: Victoria Clark
East and west coasters are always debating, or arguing (in some cases), which side of the country is better. In many ways LA has its advantage over New York, specifically when it comes to weather and a certain quality of life; however, New York certainly has its qualities that the warmer western city does not offer. Aside from its incomparable character and lively fast-paced culture, from a fashion and arts perspective, New York has some of the best stores, boutiques, museums, and galleries that the world has to offer.
However, and thanks to New York transplants, Alissa Jacob and Aliza Neidich, LA now has a place to get some of that New York edge that it had been missing. From art to accessories and of course, an amazing collection of carefully picked designers, Reservoir is more than just a shop, it’s an experience, and that is exactly what these two fashion veterans had hoped to create.
So, whether you are in the market for swimwear (may we suggest La Marée!) or shoes, accessories, and clothes from favorited brands like Zimmermann, Orley, Ryan Roche, Wendy Nichol, Alexander Wang, Re/Done, The Stowe, Edie Parker, and many many more, then you’ve come to the perfect place.
Continue reading to find out what this dapper
1. Can you tell us a little about how the idea of Reservoir came about?
The idea behind Reservoir was initially born out of a void in the LA retail market. When Aliza moved to Los Angeles a little over four years ago from New York, she fell in love with the east side, first living in Echo Park and then Los Feliz. She noticed there weren’t really any great places to shop on the east side, despite noticing that the women in the area had such great style and that their style was really unique to LA. When Alissa moved two years ago, we began talking about what we could do to cater to these women who had nowhere local to shop. So we set about thinking how we could fill this void, eventually deciding we wanted to provide a convenient one-stop shop, and that’s how Reservoir was born.
We carry clothing, jewelry, accessories and home goods, so everything from t-shirts to dresses, handbags, jewelry, tableware like French presses, dishes, glasses, salt and pepper shakers and serving trays, to bicycles, furniture, books, leather organizers and more. Brands include Alexander Wang, Ellery, Rag & Bone, Dosa, Vince, Sidney Garber, Anita Ko, Ryan Roche, Wendy Nichol, Opening Ceremony, Linda Farrow, and more (list available on (http://reservoir-la.com/pages/brands-index/). Additionally, we partnered with Tappan for a pop up shop we’re currently running while our Silver Lake store is under construction, so we have a selection of art on display at the space that is available for purchase.
2. Starting a business is obviously a huge undertaking / decision to make. What would you say has been the biggest challenge in starting Reservoir?
The biggest challenge for us was actually finding our brick-and-mortar space and working with the city to build our vision. There has been a fair amount of development in Silver Lake and we wanted to find our own unique space that could accommodate the shopping experience we want to provide our customers. The real estate market is super tight in that area, and we wanted to fit in seamlessly with some of the older establishments that have provided for the neighborhood for decades.
3. When looking at the website, the store aesthetic, and even your Instagram page, it is very evident that you guys have put a lot of thought into launching the store to create a very unique yet appealing story. Is there is one thing that has surprised you most in this journey thus far / something that you didn’t anticipate? If so, what would it be?
First, thank you! It’s been a lot of work to have our vision realized, and with the prevalence of social media and all the available avenues of expression, it takes a lot of work to ensure that your aesthetic remains comprehensive across all channels.
The most surprising thing has honestly been how supportive the brands we are carrying have been of our endeavor. We initially thought we’d be met with indifference or some resistance from brands, given the stereotype of exclusivity that the industry can sometimes project. However, it was just the opposite for us, and we had an overwhelmingly positive response from those who we reached out to. It was such a pleasant surprise and was one of our biggest motivators.
4. Who are some of your biggest business/fashion inspiration and why?
We’re constantly inspired by other women entrepreneurs, both designers and executives in the industry. Some names that come to mind are Lauren Santo Domingo, both for her style and capabilities as a businesswoman; Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, who have created a brand filled with timeless and impeccably tailored pieces, and their dedication to and involvement in their company is truly admirable; and Brooke Garber Neidich, who owns and runs Sidney Garber Jewelry. In addition to significantly growing her business in recent years, she gives all profits to not-for-profit organizations dedicated to children’s mental health and wellness, to education, and to the arts.
5. Are either of you big music fans? If so, who are some of your go-to artists to listen to and even play in the store?
We’re big music fans although some of what we love personally doesn’t necessarily translate to a normal shopping experience. We mostly gravitate towards music from the 70s and 90s, so we can be found basically alternating between the soundtrack from Cruel Intentions and the full Funkadelic discography on repeat. Is that weird?
6. Finally, if you could give aspiring entrepreneurs a word of advice, what would it be?
First, talk to as many people as you can. There really are so many helpful, wonderful people out there willing to share their experiences and what they wish they had known starting out. Second, you’re going to make mistakes along the way, but the best thing to do is to confront them face on, learn from them and then keep moving forward.
Even if you aren’t in LA, but want to get your hands on some of the great things that Reservoir has, fear not for the amazing world wide web enables us to shop online- go figure! Some of our personal favorite items are the Miss Mochila bags, the Wendy Nichol Whipstitch Bullet Bag, Jennifer Fisher’s Chaos Ring, the IRO Florie Top, and last but not least the Frayed Burlap Sleeveless Dress from T by Alexander Wang (plus many many more).
All images by Jason Landis – click HERE to see his amazing work!