12345 Boutique Stakes a Claim in Downtown LA Arts District
Thed Jewel could not think of a name for his retail store. He knew he wanted a five-letter word that reflected the craftsmanship of the designers. Ultimately, he went for simplicity, naming his downtown Los Angeles boutique 12345.
The men’s and women’s apparel and accessories boutique is tucked away in the Arts District, where colorful graffiti align the walls and open-window cafes stream the neighborhood.
Jewel and his partner, Toki, decided to open 12345 in this area because they felt it was a great opportunity to expand alongside a growing community of businesses. Despite dour economic forecasts, retail space, specifically in this location, is expanding. “Before it explodes, we thought to ourselves, ‘We should locate here.’ It is up and coming and very destination-driven. Plus, there is no seller conflict with other retailers,” Jewel said.
Jewel handles the creative side of the business output, and Toki oversees the business side. The 2,000-square-foot, red-brick space carries mainly international brands with a range of high-end and mid-tier price points. Brands such as Henrik Vibskov, Timo Weiland, Won Hundred, Acne and Blk Dnm hang like art pieces in the space. Jewel is adding forward lines such as Peter Jensen, Craig Green, Robert Geller, MM6 Margiela and Assembly to the mix to complement the tailored and structured brands they currently carry.
“These are lines I like—how I would like to dress and believe and trust in. It is really simple,” Jewel said.
Jewel and Toki use this same logic in the business strategy. Since opening last year, sales have been steady at 12345, Jewel said, but they have not “attacked public relations” just yet. This fall, however, they plan on doing more promotion for the store. For now, Samantha Ogle, who runs 12345’s social media, said they use Tumblr and Instagram to publish shoots created for the store. “We work a lot with the people in our community, and the editorial [shoots] are a reflection of the art district—the residents who live here and the professionals who work here,” she said.