Open Market OC to bring new shopping experience to Laguna Hills

LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. (KABC) -- When a large store goes out of business, a big issue becomes what to do with the building.

In Laguna Hills, a Macy's store closed down one year ago.

But the building will now provide the community with a new shopping experience called "Open Market OC."

The marketplace boasts 100,000 square feet of home furniture, accessories, jewelry, boutiques, clothing and art.

"This is a unique concept. This is something I see as the future of small business retail," Open Market OC Founder Ian Winterbotham said.

Open Market OC will house more than 100 vendors.

Nathan Gibbs is an artist who creates everything from paintings to sculptures and wood work.

He said the marketplace is a great opportunity for entrepreneurs who can no longer afford to sell their work out of brick and mortar locations, largely due to the rise in online retail.

"It's a great spot to have kind of a location that you can design and make it look like your own store front," Gibbs explained.

Open Market OC is still looking for unique vendors and believes so many entrepreneurs under roof will benefit the buyers and the sellers.

"I just saw an opportunity to create a unique marketplace where vendors of all types, artists, makers, jewelers, could come set up a small store front. We sell for them seven days a week. They do not need to be here. They don't have all the overhead and traditional costs of a small business," said Winterbotham.

And that's not all, when Open Market OC opens on Sept. 1, it also plans to host daily classes and workshops teaching arts and crafts and furniture restoration.

"I expect it to be a great place for the community to come and hang out, get some things to decorate their house with, enjoy fashion shows, music, entertainment and pick up something they wouldn't find at a normal store," Gibbs said.
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