What are Little American Businesses? Shaheen Shadeghi makes a compelling case for why American’s are in search of the authentic more and more today. Through an introduction from the talented Andrew Consigli, we were able to have a chat with Mr. Shadeghi earlier this month. It was fascinating to hear about the early days of developing the Lab and the Camp. For those interested in how to nurture a locally oriented and people friendly destination there is much to learn from Mr. Shadeghi and the 20 years of Lab Holding‘s work. I have been reflecting on several of his placemaking concepts since our conversation that I will certainly be expanding on in future posts. Here is a preview of some of that wisdom he dropped on us:
- America is maturing as a country and the palette of taste’s throughout is becoming more varied. Truly authentic places are picking up on a local cultural and tapping into that culture to make their businesses distinct.
- American’s are more interested in paying for a $6.00 latte and sitting at a cafe with friends then buying a $7.99 pair of jeans from a national retail chain. Real places include a social experience.
- Don’t be afraid to do it yourself. If there seems to be a market in a place for a barbershop that doubles as a bar and no one wants to open one then just go ahead and open one. (This is also a great example of the “Micro-mixing” trend we pointed out in the latest version of Tactical Urbanism.)
There is definitely an art as well as a sciences to what LAB Holding’s is working on. More on creating authentic places to come. Have a great weekend.