Raan and Lindsay Parton
Couple goals? We’d say so. Raan and Lindsay Parton are the dynamic duo behind one of our favorite west coast institutions (not to mention an AllSwell stockist.) Alchemy Works is their retail, gallery and event space located in the Arts District of Los Angeles with a second recently opened at Lido Marina in Newport Beach. We talked inspiration, activism, LA and more below.
Raan, how did activism enter your lives?
From a young age and getting to travel lots as a kid with my family, I realized the opportunity for wanting to channel a marketplace that connects development partners and artisans on the ground with a sustainable arm (AKA a larger global market) to the amazing work they are already doing in various countries and skill sets. It didn’t seem that far apart and yet worlds different when I realized what it took to make that happen.
Raan, what is your most transformative travel experiences?
I would say my early travels that shaped our brand Apolis is what is most formative in my mind. We realized that no matter where we went everyone had the same goals and desires to love, learn and provide for their families. This was a catalyst to create product with people globally that we could impact by bringing it to a larger market in the US and worldwide. Some of those travels were to places like India, Nepal, Japan, Portugal and Peru.
The Interior of Alchemy Works
Lindsay, what are the most magical aspects of LA’s art district?
When Raan and his brother first took an office here almost twelve years ago I didn’t see the magic in it, but Raan believed in it from day one. Now I think having been here and established business and friendships here for so long, I love the feeling of a small town in a big city. I love that it is historical buildings that never went through the bad ‘90s redevelopment and it has a unique community of artists and creatives that is hard to find anywhere else in LA.
Raan, what does surfing mean to you?
Surfing is my favorite past time, something that I have been very involved with from a lot of different aspects over the years and invested lots of time into but now wish that I could do it more often than I have time for…hoping that changes this year.
Lindsay, what does California mean to you?
Well, growing up in Denver I had an ideal of California lifestyle that was all surfing and laying on the beach so my perspective has changed a bit from that dream but I think the cult heritage of the state, with its creativity, designers and influence has made me appreciate being here and doing business here more than anything. And don’t get me wrong, we use the beach quite often but I have a different appreciation for it now.
Raan, you just celebrated a birthday. What’s your biggest takeaway from the past year?
I have learned that when you build a company you say, “yes” to everything, but to sustain and grow you need to learn the art of saying, “no” to things. As we turn the corner on an unsustainable pace, we are trying to run on fewer better projects this coming year.
AllSwell Journals on Display at Alchemy Works
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned from the other?
Both: We are opposite in how we look at and learn from situations but I think we have learned how to make those opposites benefit us both in our strengths.
Lindsay: I have learned to be more trusting and spontaneous from Raans instincts.
Raan: Lindsay has made me realize the importance of organization and starting my day early in order to do what we want before we get bombarded.
What’s up next for Alchemy Works and your beautiful selves?
We are planning a few more locations in the coming year, attached to more commercial properties in a new department store model we are forming…and also having a baby boy next Spring.
Grab your very own AllSwell notebook at Alchemy Works or purchase online here.