Why would anyone want to open a business these days?

The Dow has plunged, unemployment has soared and everyone is thinking twice – make that three times -about spending money. It’s probably not the best time to open a store, but it’s too late to turn back for several entrepreneurs who have recently or are about to open up shop in Echo Park. A few owners spoke about their prospects in a scary economy:


Annabella Dantes’ new Sunset Boulevard flower shop, Ohana Flowers, had been open only four days but she’s already had to cut prices to generate business. The only other people in her store, the size of a small liv for her design services sinking with the economy, Alla Aslanyan said she might as well try a new business in partnership with friend Nina Bruckner and their families. The Coffee Pot, located on Echo Park’s Antique Row, is still several weeks away from opening, but Aslanyan has already put her design skills to work, creating a comfortable, lounge like space dominated by a large wall mirror and club chairs.

“It’s a scary thing to do but we don’t have any other choices,” said Aslanyan, who lives in Hollywood. “At least our families can work here.”

The two Russian women, who became friends after both arrived in the U.S. more than twenty years ago, were introduced to the area by Nina’s daughter, who is a big fan of Intelligentsia Coffee in Silver Lake.

“It will be tough,” Aslanyan said, “but we know we will survive.”

The Coffee Pot, 2201 Sunset Blvd. at Mohawk St.

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