I didn't have anything to lose, so I thought let's just go for it. lol
- How long has it been since you opened your shop?
It’s been about 4 years since I opened my first shop and my second shop Q2 opened last November. I wanted a larger space for art shows and now I use the space mainly as a gallery. When I organized the Sailor moon show in the first shop, 1500 people came and made a huge line!
- Wow 1500 people is impressive! How do you promote your events?
I announce them on Facebook and Instagram and I also have a mailing list of over 2000 people to notify them about events. Every time after a show we have received great reviews from fans and got more attention and recognition. After opening Q2, we have events every month. We have all shows lined up for next year.
- What motivated you to open a shop?
I earned my MBA and in my home country Thai- land. I’ve had experience in working at a modeling agency and running a dry cleaning business so I wanted to do something with what I have achieved from my experiences. I worked as a Bartender af- ter my MBA and met my husband Chris, which was a trigger to starting a new business. My husband loves toys and items from Japan and his collection caught a lot of attention from his friends. So we decided to collect those fun items and open a shop! My husband has many artist friends and had many opportunities and connection with valuable anima- tion and art so I wanted those to be a big part of the business as well. My husband works as an animator for DreamWorks so naturally there are many tal- ented artists around him.
- How long did it take you to open a shop after you came up with the idea?
We opened our shop in just 6 months after we came up with the idea. It happened really fast after we started looking for a location. I didn’t have anything to lose, so I thought let’s just go for it lol
- There are many unique items in your shop, where do you get them?
We have them sent from Japan and sometimes Chris will fly to Japan and find them so it really depends. We have people helping us in Japan so we have prod- ucts sent to us on a regular basis. Most of our prod- ucts are introduced by the artists’ connection so we really do stumble upon interesting items. We actually have some items from Thailand that I find every time I’m home or my family will send them to me.
- It looks like you have limited items and one-of-a-kind items. Do you pur- chase them in the same way?
There are art works that artists created just for Q-POP and sometimes they create limited colors for Q-POP so there are many items you can only get here. There are times when our items had a huge price and value without us even knowing!
- What is your goal right now?
Our goal right now is to make our original items. We actually have an ongoing project and we are creating original T-shirts and items. The designs are finished and we are just about to commercialize them. Chris of course designed everything and we are aim- ing to launch this year or next year at latest.
- What are the enjoyable part and the difficult part of owning a business?
The fun part is that we can run our shop the way we want to, although that is also the difficult part lol. We have to take full responsibility and so patience really becomes key. Chris is really enjoying his job and the shop is filled with items he likes so that makes this a wonderful job. Chris comes to the shop after he fin- ishes work at DreamWorks everyday so he is extremely busy. If this business wasn’t fun for us, it just wouldn’t work out. For me, it is great joy to be able to meet tal- ented artists.
- Can you give a message to JPy readers, JOBOT and LOCOT users a message?
Don’t wait. Just do it wisely!
Q-Pop Shop128 Astronaut E S Onizuka St, Los Angeles, CA 90012
Q2 mini gallery312 2nd St, #121 Los Angeles CA90012