On the corner of Broadway and 35th Street, the latest edition of DISPLAY:California’s permanent pop-up shop re-opened its doors in Oak Park on Friday. Curated by Unseen Heroes, DISPLAY is an exhibition of the event marketing agency’s commitment to community collaboration with designers, makers, and artists.
By featuring products made by Sacramento creatives, and beyond, DISPLAY’s venture into creating economic development for creatives has grown into a community staple since 2014. Its ripple effects may not be felt by every person who visits the store, but there is an effect nonetheless, often found in the connection waiting to be made between the designer’s story and the own consumer’s. Beyond Sacramento, it becomes “a California thing.”
For Unseen Heroes’ co-founder, Roshaun Davis, it becomes a personal responsibility to see the local impact translate globally.
“Our whole goal and our mission moving forward is to put California-made products in homes around the world,” said Davis. “So, anything that you can think that goes in a home, we’re going to try and supply it.”
While no home holds an identical soul, Davis and his team are tapping in to find out what works best for DISPLAY, its products’ designers and the consumer.
“And that’s the beautiful thing,” said Davis. “Every product has a story and we sit down with people, we seek people out that have that story, so then that way we can tell it, so we’re an extension of them.”
In taking on the extensive role of curators, Davis and his team become a part of the story, while narrating and allowing each individual character, otherwise known as businesses, to flourish on their own. The stories told could come in the shape of beer-infused soap, Sacramento apparel, hand-made greeting cards and patches, or quite literally a bilingual children’s book. Whichever the case may be, creative business minds are being featured unlike any other shop in the region.
A prime example of DISPLAY’s impact comes in the success of Burly Beverages. Once an unknown company that got the opportunity to sell its products at DISPLAY as a first-timer, Burly Beverages now has its own shop in Del Paso Heights, as well as an exclusive partnership with Golden 1 Center. Today, you can still find their drinks at DISPLAY as best-sellers.
Of course, not every entity experiences success.
“This a good place for you to test your product,” said Davis. ”And that’s one of the reasons we started too – to give people that platform to say, ‘Yo, if you have an idea here’s a space to either test it and see if it works,’ and maybe you’ll go and business will flourish or maybe you’ll figure out, ‘This isn’t what I want to do.’”
For Davis and the rest of Unseen Heroes, the work necessary to keep things moving is a constant opportunity to understand the local scene, as it pertains to the current and future of creative cultures. With DISPLAY, Unseen Heroes is sure to have a say in the future of Sacramento’s self-sufficient model of California culture.
“You would think that this would go perfect somewhere else,” said Davis. “But it’s just the way it’s designed, the way it’s curated, the way that it’s managed, the way that it’s rolled out and the marketing. You always have this perception, like ‘Aw, man, someone else is doing it better somewhere else,’ but then you have people from other places that are like, ‘Nah dude, you guys have something special HERE.’”
DISPLAY: California is now open, Tuesdays-Sundays.
Photos by Bethany Harris.