The LAist Interview: Lyvonne Hill
While big box stores are turning the retail landscape of this country into an undistinguishable monolithic entity, creative retailers like Lyvonne Hill, owner of Grometville in Silver Lake, help beat back this trend while adding to the character of our neighborhoods. Seemingly superficial activities and consumer choices nevertheless are tied to the texture and appeal of life in Los Angeles (even though we all know opportunities to shop and consume are not the end all and be all of life in major metropolitan areas). Come holiday season we’re additionally thankful to live in a city with many unique, local small businesses where we spend our hard-earned cash. Lyvonne’s shop for kids and babies (i.e. their weak-willed friends and relatives) on Rowena Avenue fits the bill.
1. Age and Occupation:
I’m 36 years old, I own a children’s boutique in Silver Lake and work freelance as a Post Supervisor in film and television.
2. How long have you lived in Los Angeles, and what neighborhood do you live in?
I have lived in LA off and on all my life. I was born here. I lived in San Francisco and Santa Cruz, California for some years. However, now I live in the Silver Lake neighborhood.
3. Grometville has been noted as helping to jump-start the hipster moms scene in LA that was featured several months ago in the Los Angeles Times. Have businesses such as yours increased the demand for alternatives to Carters and its ilk? In addition to the stores, are there more producers of creative kids' wear now, too?
I guess we may have given a slight jump start to this “hip” scene – however I think personally that there’s been alternative parents around for a number of years and now there’s stores catering more to their taste.
Yes, there are definitely more producers of great kids stuff, I know that Grometville has had the wonderful opportunity to work directly with many of the creative parents/people in the community and outside the community to help them get their lines out to the public. We feel honored to have been a part of helping a lot of these amazing people get their lines out there. That’s probably my favorite part of this business. And, watching the faces of the customers when they find products that make their day or just give them a good laugh!
4. What’s your response to people who accused the moms in the LA Times article of using children as accessories?
That’s ridiculous, everyone – be it the mom who dresses their kids in “Winnie the Pooh” to the mom who dresses their kids in “P is for Punk” are choosing to dress their children in clothing that somewhat reflects the lifestyle of the parent/parents. Sorry that some parents might have different taste, but the accusation has no validity. We just have a bit of a sense of humor when it comes to life, love and family and choose to share that with our children. No harm done.