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Unique LA brings designers, artists and Caine's Arcade to Downtown

By Hayley Fox
Published: Monday, May 07, 2012, at 04:26PM

(credit: Flickr via supahcute.com) Specialty bags at a Unique LA event from 2010.

Unique LA sets up shop this weekend at the California Market Center with a two-day expo dubbed the "largest independent design show in the country," according to the event's website.

A $10 admission secures access to the event on both Saturday and Sunday -- which includes photo booths, DIY craft fairs and plenty of hydration (there is a long list of free drink samples, including BlackStar Beer, GT's Kombucha and Izze sodas.)

This shopping marathon includes more than 325 vendors all selling goods made in the U.S., the website states, and product types range from artwork to clothing, home decor, stationary and pet items.

For an added dose of pop culture, young entrepreneur Caine Monroy from East LA is bringing his cardboard creation to Unique L.A. this weekend as well. KPCC reports that this 9-year-old constructed a detailed arcade out of boxes from his father's used auto parts store and after a video of his creation made it online, Monroy became a local darling.

Unique L.A. held it's first event in December of 2008, and since then has attracted an increasing number of vendors and attendees.

Before Unique's second event, founder and organizer Sonja Rasula told blogdowntown that everyone (besides herself) was skeptical about her decision to organize an event like this in downtown L.A.

She was confident about her decision and explained in a 2009 email to blogdowntown:

This city isn't just Hollywood and it is no doubt one of the most exciting and vibrant places when it comes to the art and design world. London, Paris, Brooklyn, Montreal - they've all had their design and art scenes praised, but LA has always been an underdog... Once people discover the talent in this city, and the city itself, they love it.

The fair takes place Saturday May 12 and Sunday May 13 from 11am to 6pm both days. Kids under 12 get in free and 10 percent of proceeds go towards the CicLAvia non-profit.

The California Market Center is located at 110 East Ninth Street, LA, CA 90079

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