We had the good fortune of connecting with Ryan & Salina Little Shop of Gore and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ryan & Salina, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
When we first started out, we were both looking for a creative outlet outside of our 9-5 jobs. In the beginning, we were just making art for ourselves and it seemed to resonate with a lot of people. We received a lot of great feedback and quickly realized that we could turn our hobbies into a business. Throughout our journey, we wanted to stay true to making quality products that we would want to own ourselves.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Like most people, a lot of our art is inspired by our favorite films and tv shows. When we first started out, we decided that we wanted to make products that essentially didn’t exist. We would always come up with wild ideas and then encourage each other to bring those ideas to life. Ryan grew up on Horror films and had a fascination with makeup FX which led to a career in the Makeup FX Industry. Even after attending makeup school, starting out in a professional FX shop was no walk in the park. A lot of hard work, long hours and learning from his mistakes had to happen to in order to get to where he is today. Since starting Little Shop of Gore, it has helped Ryan make a name for himself as an artist and small business owner. Most of Salina’s inspiration comes from the works of her favorite directors. When you browse through our shop, you’ll see that a lot of her art is influenced by characters in Tim Burton and Henry Selick films. Salina is not traditionally trained which allows her to think outside the box when approaching complex projects. She’s passionate about the art that she makes and that really comes through in the quality of the products that she makes for our shop. A lot of people assume that we’re a bigger company, but the truth is, we’re just two weirdos making art out of our home. We’re literally working 24/7 making products, packing orders, handling customer service, managing social media…we do it all ourselves. We’re so proud of what we’ve built and the fact that we get to do what we love together, makes all the hard work completely worth it. We didn’t have any help when we first started out and we’re still learning everyday. We know how scary it can be when your first starting your business so we are always willing to share our experience if it can help someone on their journey.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Some of our favorite places just happen to be in the valley. So if you can brave that valley traffic, you’ll be rewarded with some hidden gems. If you find yourself in Burbank, be sure to take a stroll down Magnolia Park. There you’ll find some of our favorite small businesses like Blast From The Past, Dark Delicacies, Motion Picture FX and Halloweentown. There’s also some great eateries in the area like Tony’s Deli, Eat N’ Park, Dad’s Donuts and Yummy Cupcakes. Some more great places to check out are Rad Coffee in Upland, Grill Em’ All in Alhambra and Broadway Video in Long Beach.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
From the time we first started our shop, it was the people of the Horror community who really welcomed us and supported our little shop. The amount of support we received boosted our confidence as artists and motivated us to keep growing. Throughout our travels, we’ve had the opportunity to meet a lot of incredible people including other small business owners. We’ve cultivated some great relationships with other artists, makers, and customers. There’s a ton a great local popup shops, markets & Cons in Los Angeles that have given the makers a place to shine. All of those events deserve a shout out but a few that have been particularly special to us are Salem’s Market, Monsterpalooza, Midsummer Scream and Terror Market.