Store owner comes full circle back to Echo Park

It’s taken a decade, but Charlie Marder is back where he started – Echo Park.  Marder is one of the owners behind  Mi Alma, a shop that showcases his customized lamp shades, chandeliers, vintage finds and other home and garden accessories. Ten years ago,  Mi Alma Lighting operated out of an Echo Park storefront on Sunset Boulevard before moving to several locations across Los Angeles.  After operating the last three years at Sunset Junction in Silver Lake, Marder had to look for another location after the landlord put him on a month-to-month lease. That’s how he ended up back in Echo Park at the corner of Echo Park Avenue and Avalon Street, where a developer has abandoned plans to build eight homes and leased the space for Mi Alma Lighting & Echo Garden.

What does Marder, who is working with partners Hector Diaz and Gloria Root, have planned for Mi Alma’s new home? A little bit of everything, including selling pots, sculptures and items for the garden as well as indoor lighting fixtures and other finds. There are also plans for a “wi-fi” garden where customers can lounge outdoors while sampling jams and toast, Marder said.  “I’m trying everything,” said Marder. “I’m going to have fun with this spot.”
Marder plans to have Mi Alma Lighting open by early May.


  1. I am so happy Mi Alma is OK. I spotted the For Rent posting on their Santa Monica / Sunset Building yesterday and was very sad at the thought they went out of business.

  2. hOWDY NEW /OLD NEIGHBOR, Nice to see you up and running. Love the Idea I wont hAVE TO RUN TO HOME DEPOT FOR PLANTS ANYMORE. WELCOME TO ELYSIAN HTS.

  3. yay.. i love mi alma. hopefully you’ll still have room for all those fun finds like my dresser, coffee table and two desks that all came from the silver lake store xoxo!

  4. Mi Alma was awesome… in fact I’ve decorated my home in Highland Park with beautiful things thanks to Charlie. Looking forward to visiting the new spot!

  5. Lynnae Hitchcock

    Just want to correct the line about developer Jeremy Paige having “abandoned plans” to develop eight homes on the lot. This was not his choice….his plans were disapproved by the city planning commission. Mi Alma is exactly the kind of small business that was intended for the space, and as its next neighbor I am thrilled that they are here!

  6. Very happy to have you as a neighbor! I hope the location works and you stay for a long time.

  7. I love everything this guy Charlie does. I cant wait to see what he has up his sleeve for the up coming summer nites movies!! So happy to have in in my hood! Did i mention his lighting designs, gotta see them!!!

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