We had the good fortune of connecting with Julia Gogosha and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Julia, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
I’m from parents who fled the former ussr pregnant with me to come to the States to pursue a life of possibilities for themselves and their kids. In the old country, my father was a welterweight champion boxer in his 20s who became a coach and physical therapist and my mom a chemical engineer. When they came to the states they started over with no language and no credentials.
We lived in a blue collar community where my dad could walk to his factory job on the outskirts of Detroit, MI.
For a few of my formative years my parents had a small kiosk in a jewelry exchange which was my default daycare.
Behind those counters I learned the value of product knowledge, connecting with strangers, overcoming objections, customer service, differentiation, profit margins, value of a dollar, overhead, risk, just to name a few. It was my entrepreneurial foundation.
My immigrant parents taught me that we could’ve afford to buy cheap. Cheap things were more expensive on the long run. We’d buy the best we could afford. We’d save to do so. Because as they would say, we couldn’t afford to replace it. They taught me where the value lies. In time, knowledge, material and construction. Both my parents were very stylish in their own way. My dad had a few good things made well that are still in his wardrobe today. My mom made the most with all she wore and looked like herself, no one else. She has a knack for it.
We would take breaks to go to the lake and hang with friends. A tight knit community with a lot of opinions.
I was taught to enjoy life’s pleasures and to be naturally myself. Encouraged to pursue any career I wanted, the only caveat was I had to be the best at it. Here we are, I’m the age of my mom when I was about 2 years old beginning to learn all these lessons. I am their wildest dream. Applying all the lessons, spreading the love and growing a business.

Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I opened Gogosha Optique in March of 2008. In the grips of the Great Recession, I decided to offer a niche within a niche. Eyewear made solely by independent makers. No licenses. No logos. I created a space devoted to independent eyewear and the experience of being fitted with expertise without judgment or labels.

We built our dream flagship location in 2018 in Echo Park, we call the Tetris cathedral.
We work one on one with bespectacled folk with discerning tastes and specific needs. We built the business in a sustainable fashion, rooted in community and experience. We’re become a cult favorite among those in the know.

We’ve pioneered brands such as Jacques Marie Mage, Ahlem, Sabine Be, Kuboraum, Rigards, Masahiro Marayuma, to name just a few, being the first retailers in the states to support these independent designers. We work with the creative heartbeat of Los Angeles along with visible and recognizable faces.
Everyday, we introduced people to a new way to think about their eyewear and it’s place in their wardrobes. How to wardrobe eyewear, how to achieve the best fit for your features and how to chose eyewear that’s made to last. We’ve cultivated a space and a clientele that’s rooted in authenticity.
Is it easy? Kinda, not at all, but it’s natural which makes it easier.
The challenges are many and frequent. We have a strong capable team of opticians and always looking for more.
We learn as much as we teach.
The client is always the focus while we guide the process. We’ve learned to listen and question. We challenge our clients to question the thinking that we’ve all been indoctrinated by and encourage them to listen to themselves and not all the other voices that guide their choices and filter their point of view.
This year we learned that our clients our loyal and adaptable. Since March 2020 we transitioned this very intimate, tactile experience to an online platform and at-home delivery. And it worked! Not only are we still here, dare I say, some days we’re thriving.

As we begin to welcome clients back into our space, we’ve implemented appointment based consults and continue to expand our clientele through a methods we devised as a survival service. Now we have clusters of clients in different cities around the country.

I’ve always wanted to work by appointment, and now that’s exactly what we’re doing. All of our time is valuable and intentional. We all get more done and can do it at a higher caliber. Clients with busy lives can schedule a joyful errand like biting glasses, and have us to look forward to on their calendars.
This last year we even created a new technique of Tiedying frames and lenses for a one of a kind piece for those who want the next level of speciality.
We’ve collaborated with cutting edge designer BAARS to create our own exclusive designs that we sell through chosen partners across the globe.
We offer custom colorways we’ve devised with Ahlem, Jacques Marie Mage and Kuboraum. Creating some extra special pieces only available to our clients.
It’s been 13 years, and it feels like we’re just getting started. Everything is possible. It’s still exciting and inspiring. What more could I ask for other than for everyone who needs glasses to want to get them with us.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I love to get lost in LA. Top down in my mini, shuffling Grace Jones, Free Nationals, Tierra Whack, Yola, Duckwrth, Channel Tres, Thundercat and John Mayer for good measure. I’d drive through the ribbon roads of Elysian Park with some A+ views of the city. Bfast at All Day Baby, happy hour dinner at Ceviche Project. Ice cream at Wanderlust.
Next morning start the day at Bloom and Plume, visit the flower market in DTLA, then swing to Highland Park to Sisterwife for a vintage treasure. A bite to eat at Freedman’s and catch the cliche LA sunset, because they’re breathtaking, even after 18 years of experiencing them. All of these are shareable experiences any of my friends would be down.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Selima Salaun- Selima Optique NYC

Website: Gogosha.com

Instagram: @gogoshaoptique

Image Credits
stephen schauer

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutLA is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.