Los Angeles Business Journal

Deals of the Week: A look at the companies that signed on the dotted line last week

Iconic gym to toe new branding line with foot-shaped shoe

Brand Sense Partners announced an unusual deal last week between its client, fitness chain Gold’s Gym, and footwear company Vibram, known for its FiveFingers brand athletic shoes.

Real Estate Firm Sold on Retail

Partners Trust opens office to designer showcases with sales donated to charity.

Partners Trust buys into a retail experiment by showcasing designers at its office

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Agency Plans to Pick Up Pace on Acquiring Firms

ADVERTISING: Number of targets for Engage:BDR bumped up to 15 from 12.

Engage:BDR is completely committed to buying firms to round out its offerings to clients.

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Advertising Agency Supermoon Starts Fresh Mission

ADVERTISING: New name, execs help guide Supermoon.

Veteran agency hits the trail for campaigns with a new name and executive leadership.

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Mat Maker Not Stressed by Price

BallerYoga forms business around high-price product with football-like texture.

Mats made of football-like leather just feel right to YogaBaller founder Cedric Yau.

Screenwriter Michael Elliot Starts Nail Salon for Men

Dudes across the country will now have their very own man cave-like space to get a manicure and pedicure.

FTC Charges Owner of Sage Auto Group with Practicing Deceptive Sales Tactics

Sage Auto Group in Universal City has found itself in the hot seat. The Federal Trade Commission charged the owner and nine of its auto dealerships with using the term “yo-yo” financing tactics on customers and practicing unfair and deceptive sales on Thursday.

SPECIAL REPORT: Dr. George Berci

George Berci started working at Cedars-Sinai in 1970 and helped introduce endoscopic and laparoscopic procedures to a number of fields, including gynecology, urology, and pediatrics.

Founder Files Manicure Business Under ‘Guys’

BEAUTY: Michael Elliot’s Hammer & Nails buffs up service for male clientele.

Dudes across the country will now have their very own man cave-like space to get a manicure and pedicure.

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Software Firm Works to Get on Track With Weed

TECHNOLOGY: Kind Financial aims to keep pot firms compliant.

Kind Financial switched focus to also put money on pot tracing and tracking software.

Lawyer Checks All Boxes

Every day for the last two years, Nimish Patel has poured over both The New York Times and Los Angeles Times crossword puzzles, turning to his teenage son and daughter for help with the clues he can’t quite get.

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Laser Focus Feeds Facial Clinic’s Expansion Plan

BEAUTY: Skin Laundry sees low-cost service as opportunity to clean up.

Skin Laundry has fleshed out a business strategy with a focus on low-cost laser facials.

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American Apparel Chief Executive to Step Down

Paula Schneider, chief executive of American Apparel, will reportedly step down from her post next month less than two years after taking the job.

Auction House Sees Lots of Advantages in IPO

ART: Investment could lift Carlyle’s business but firm faces online sales risks.

Auctioneer Carlyle Galleries International is bidding on going public to boost its business prospects.

Music Exec Folds In New Venture

Russell Simmons hopes to get people bent into shape with yoga studio Tantris.

Music giant Russell Simmons has thrown a twist into his business portfolio with yoga studio Tantris.

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Jewelry Wholesaler Takes Shine to Flagship Shop

RETAIL: Dogeared forges $25 million in yearly sales with simple necklaces.

Jewelry wholesaler Dogeared’s efforts to polish its line’s prospects include a brick-and-mortar outpost.

Wetzel’s Pretzels Acquired by Private Equity Firm CenterOak Partners

The smell of soft baked pretzels by Pasadena chain Wetzel’s Pretzels has made its way to Dallas-based private equity firm CenterOak Partners.

Agency Searches Online for Lasting Influencers

MARKETING: Galore links female social media stars, brands in long-term deals.

Galore Media thinks long term in its efforts to link female social media influencers with brands.

Shoemaker Hopes to Step Up Under New Owner

FOOTWEAR: Sole Society looks to global expansion as part of Camuto Group.

Online retailer Sole Society of Culver City is fashioning a bigger footprint with the help of footwear powerhouse Camuto Group.

Camuto Group Acquires Majority Stake in Shoe Company Sole Society

Online retailer Sole Society in Culver City is fashioning a bigger footprint with the help of footwear powerhouse Camuto Group in Greenwich, Conn.

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Fitness Pioneer Big on Bespoke

EXERCISE: Boutique Barry’s scales up offerings at studio.

Barry’s Bootcamp looks to step up in the boutique fitness space with added amenities.

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Skater on Board With Arty Venue

Chad Muska’s role includes serving as curator at space backed by Supra brand.

Skateboarder Chad Muska rolls into a pop-up creative space in collaboration with Supra brand.

Driftwood Dairy Bought by Vietnam Dairy Products Corp.

El Monte-based company Driftwood Dairy, one of California’s largest processors of milk and dairy products, was snapped up Tuesday by Vietnam Dairy Products Corp., known as Vinamilk, located in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam.

Kitson Founder Files Lawsuit Against Former Chief Executive

The dust has yet to settle around the closing of the once trendy West Hollywood boutique Kitson, which closed its doors in December.

Ex-Makeup Exec Seeing Bright Future in Shades

FASHION: Toni Ko hopes low price point fits with sunglasses.

Former makeup exec Toni Ko sees sunglasses as a ripe sector for her low price-point approach.

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Cigar Maker Meets its Match

Tobacco company wedded to line of custom marriage- related smokes.

Custom Tobacco’s cigar rolling service is booming during summer wedding season.

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Food Entrepreneurs Have Menu for Underserved

DINING: Everytable seeks to bring health, equity to fast food in poorer locales.

Startup Everytable wants to deliver on its promise of meals priced according to neighborhood income levels.

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Hitching Ride at Theme Parks

MARKETING: Index sees sites as major attractions for toy sales.

Index Promotions looks to ride the theme park boom into more custom merchandise orders.

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Spirited Offer Draws Ad Execs

Duo pours themselves into developing unique take on Absolut Co.’s Our/Vodka.

Steven Ocheltree and Tyler Simmons seek to bottle L.A.’s spirit with their venture for Our/Vodka.

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Founder: Boutique Chain Undone by Legal Ties

RETAIL: Ross Fraser goes after former representation for collapse of his Kitson.

Kitson founder Fraser Ross says his former lawyers and chain’s ex-CEO busted his business and cost him millions.

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Apparel Maker Folds Schedule

CLOTHING: Hale Bob drops calendar for see now, buy now.

Hale Bob has decided it’s time to ditch seasonal apparel rollouts for a see now, buy now approach.

Philanthropy Builds Up At L.A. Mission

PCL Construction renovates restroom for Skid Row institution.

PCL Construction gives, and Los Angeles Mission receives, a new restroom.

Brand Plans Produce Team Players

MARKETING: Ad agency touts low-cost pluses of partnerships.

High Wide & Handsome plays matchmaker for brands seeking social media hookups.

Products’ Safety Highlighted in Makeup Pickup

COSMETICS: Acquisition of Nude by Beautycounter hinged on nontoxic ethos.

Santa Monica skin care and cosmetics brand Beautycounter is making more room on its shelf.

Forever 21’s Exclusive Shipper Breaks Ties with Fashion Retailer

Fast fashion retailer Forever 21 appears to be falling victim to the recent slowdown seen by cohorts H&M, Urban Outfitters, and even larger retailers such as Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus.

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Kit Maker Aims for Target Boost

DIY business MakersKit hopes industry giant Target’s accelerator will help it think outside boxes.

Labels Stick It To Oenophiles

Delicate Estates offers humorous twist on vintage greeting cards.

Delicate Estates adheres to a humorous spirit with its joke labels that fit on real bottles.

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Restaurant Chain Pushes on Prices

DINING: Lemonade sees bigger bills helping to feed expansion.

Investor Butterfly Enterprises is helping get fast-casual chain Lemonade’s expansion up to speed.

Neighbor Shells Out $200 Million to Hop Into Playboy Mansion

The Playboy Mansion has received some neighborly love.

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Pop Culture Not a Stretch For Condoms

Graphic Armor looks to customized designs to attract customers.

Customized condom maker Graphic Armor turns to crowdfunding to get in bed with investors.

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Cutting In

CLOTHING: American Made Supply aims for middle with apparel.

American Made Supply hopes its online focus will help it sew up American Apparel’s former market position.

Tribune Publishing Shareholders File Lawsuit

San Diego commercial real estate developer Capital Structures Realty Advistors filed a shareholder lawsuit Thursday against Tribune Chairman Michael Ferro Jr. and the rest of the board claiming they breached their fiduciary duty, The Los Angeles Business Journal reports. The lawsuit claims that they breached their contract by failing to consider Gannett’s $864 million offer and instead accepting a similarly priced one from billionaire Patrick Soon-Shiong for far fewer shares.

SPECIAL REPORT: Katelyn O’Shaughnessy

TripScope, a mobile app connecting live travel agents with consumers

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Tribune Publishing Shareholders File Lawsuit Against Board

Gannett Co.’s quest to purchase beleaguered Los Angeles Times owner Tribune Publishing has now reached the courts.

Gallery Influx Could Squeeze Veteran Operators

EXHIBITION: Competitive new arrivals draw mixed reaction from old guard.

Influx of new galleries complicates the picture for longtime operators.

Denim Execs Get Hang of Flying Yoga

James Jeans founders form D&A studio to give discipline a lift.

The future of D&A Flying Yoga studio is up in the air.

Subscription Box Business Set to Ship Out Again

INTERNET: Need for more space spurs FabFitFun into second move in three years.

FabFitFun is on the move again as its growing subscription lifestyle box business requires a bigger home.

Bike Maker Adds Chains For Peddling

Durban expands deals with Target, Dick’s for foldable transport.

Durban Bikes aims to ride new distribution deals to more sales for its foldable products.

Activewear Line Fashions Home in Santa Monica

APPAREL: Varley to put down permanent roots in city that inspired label.

Londoners Ben and Lara Mead see Santa Monica as a better fit for the HQ of their SoCal-inspired fashion firm.

Brand’s Revival Apparent To Furniture Firm’s Heir

RETAIL: Loren Kreiss moves to resurrect family business after bankruptcy.

Back from bankruptcy, old-time Los Angeles furniture brand Kreiss seeks to retake its seat at the table.


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