Karla and I met at the very first session of Southside Booty Camp… she braved the March weather and despite that came to love camp for the way she says “we are pushed in such a positive non-competitive way… you are able to accept where you are at and then are supported to improve from there”.
The other day, Karla and I sat down in the Seward Park Cafe Vita to discuss her current thoughts on retailing locally in the Columbia City area. A former journalist, she opened the shop as a sideline to her journalism work in 2005. During that time it was hard not to take note of the struggling print news industry and she jumped early from that sinking ship to become full time lifestyle shopkeeper.
Her sweet little shop is packed with an incredible array of items to suit many tastes and budgets. Local jewelry craftspeople sell their wares at her shop, her clothing lines are chosen carefully, and the rest of the store features gifts, toys and unique household items that fall into Karla’s eclectic and funky style she describes as “Urban Outfitters on acid”. (Craftspeople take note.. Karla says she is always looking for new local designers that fit into her shop aesthetic!)
This First Saturday, the 5th she is has a 10% off offer for shopping local and Sunday, the 6th, she hosts the now annual Columbia City Sip and Shop in partnership with Verve. From 2-7pm you can try wines at Verve and browse a selection of items brought over to the wine cafe by Karla, as well as local designers, including Nikki Jacobi Jewelry, Cyn City neighborhood map pendants, and Jenna Rose one-of-a-kind jackets and hats.
Karla has undoubtably been affected by the struggling retail economy, particularly as a single mom. She says how important it is to keep our holiday dollars local, so that our neighborhoods can continue to grow and thrive. So shop Southside ya’ll! See you on the streets of C City this December!