For Anna Yagodzinski, opening Boulevard 34 in Montrose has been the culmination of years of work. After being a retail manager at Handmade Galleries in Sherman Oaks for five years, she decided to open her own shop after Handmade Galleries closed.
Yagodzinski knows Montrose well. She grew up in the area and went to La Crescenta Elementary, Rosemont Middle School and Crescenta Valley High School. Her new shop is located on the very southern edge of Montrose at 3427 Ocean View Blvd. and was scheduled to host its ribbon-cutting ceremony on Wednesday.
"I always loved Honoulu [Avenue] and just this whole area I think this is such a great little extension off of Montrose that is kind of unknown. It’s a really cool little section," Yagodzinski said.
The "little section" Yagodzinski is referring to is the small shopping center where Ocean View meets Verdugo Road, home to Berolina Pastry Shop and Schreiners Fine Sausages. Boulevard 34 is is about three long blocks south of Honolulu, which is lined with many gift shops and boutiques catering to shoppers that travel from all over Los Angeles to visit the quaint neighborhood.
"That is the challenge, is getting people down here. But I think we are unique," Yagodzinski said. "We have a lot of local artists. A lot of our products are handmade. The other half of the product I try to keep made in the U.S., eco-friendly, non-toxic kids products.
"I just brought in a line of non-toxic kids products that's good for moms-to-be and kids and women with health problems. So I'm trying to keep it really unique and keep the product selection a lot different than everything that's on Honolulu so that I can set myself apart."
Yagodzinski said many of the store's products are made locally by artists in the L.A. area, including several from Montrose. Quite a few had sold their products in Handmade Galleries.
"A lot of the artists needed a place to go, and I'd been thinking about
doing this for a long time," Yagodzinski said.
At Boulevard 34 you can find jewelry, candles, scarves, toys, books, decorative items and more.
"I'm trying to support local community and artists and the local economy," Yagodzinski said. "We have gifts for everybody."