This past month marked one year since the combined creative forces of Lusine Simonyan and Anet Abnous opened the Lusanet Collective in downtown Burbank.
Unique among the restaurants and shops in the area, the Lusanet Collective is the type of establishment that cause those who pass by to wonder: “Just what is that place?”
The answer to that question is not a simple one.
Compared to the other businesses that offer drinks, food, books, clothing, mattresses, cosmetics and beauty services, a game of billiards, a workout venue, an evening of comedy, or the latest film, the Lusanet Collective is something of an enigma.
So, just what will one find behind the always tastefully designed window displays at 124 E. Olive Ave.?
Simply put, the Lusanet Collective is a retail space that showcases artisan items for sale. But it is also much more than that.
The venue was established to serve the creative community as an idea-exchange platform, a resource bank, an exhibition venue, and, most importantly, a gathering of like-minded creative professionals who can come together as part of a nurturing and encouraging environment focused on business development and professional and personal growth.
Through monthly pop-ups and curated events, members of the Collective, which include artists and designers, gain access to new audiences and critical resources to elevate their businesses and brands and enable them to discover new partnerships with investors, manufacturers and developers.
Last year, as the ribbon was cut on the establishment, Simonyan explained that they would be providing small- and medium-sized businesses with resources centered around a creative hub to connect creators with numerous opportunities to promote their businesses and creations.
“We [are] creating a collective where they can have retail space that works for their needs — space they would otherwise not be able to afford,” she said.
Over these past 12 months, as the Collective has grown, numerous personal connections have in fact been fostered which are supporting, empowering, and guiding artists, designers and small business owners as they discover the endless opportunities available to them.
As a fine art, jewelry and fashion retail center, the collective also features the work of photographers, artists and designers of every discipline. Beyond that, the collective also serves as an educational venue for collaborating vendors, regular customers and the public at large.
True marketing gurus, Abnous and Simonyan, have presented fundraisers and events featuring experts from the fields of fine art, jewelry-making, wine selecting, book signings, poetry readings, musical recitals, and mini beauty and wellness seminars. They have also hosted Valentine’s Day and Christmas shopping tips events and a reception with Liana Markosyan, a premium perfume aficionado who presented what she called a “master class” in the creation, selection, use and etiquette of fragrances that have been created by artistically blending essential oils, aroma compounds, fixatives and solvents.
This past month, in celebration of this unique business completing its inaugural year of operation, Abnous and Simonyan served as the hosts for an anniversary party.
“Tonight is our chance to offer a heartfelt thank you to our amazing supporters, friends and VIP clients who have been the driving force behind our success,” said Abnous, as she cracked open a bottle of champagne.
As the recipient of the first glass of the bubbly, Simonyan offered up a toast to the assemblage.
“We owe our achievements to each and every one of you, and this celebration is our way of expressing our deepest appreciation and looking forward to the incredible journey that lies ahead,” said Simonyan.
Married to Burbank Police Commissioner Romik Hacobianon, Simonyan is the founder of Miray Collections, a Burbank-based online platform working with local and internationally based Armenian artisans and designers. She is also an instrumental member of the Burbank Cultural Arts Commission.
Abnous, a fashion designer and the founder of Anet’s Collection, a company featuring wearable art such as scarves, jewelry and leather goods, has her one-of-a-kind handcrafted items showcased in retail stores and museum gift shops nationwide. Inspired by her father, Marcel Abnous, a renowned designer in Iran, she has curated exhibitions featuring women artists in New York and Southern California and has expanded her work by virtue of a grant from the Tory Burch Foundation, which empowers women entrepreneurs by providing access to capital, education and digital resources.
For more information on the Lusanet Collective, to peruse featured items, and find out about upcoming events and vendor opportunities, visit lusanetcollective.com.
DAVID LAURELL may be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or (818) 563-1007.
First published in the August 19 print issue of the Burbank Leader.