In Downtown LA, it’s almost become the standard for nothing to be exactly what it seems. In a town where shipping containers are coffee shops, warehouses double as boxing studios, and $100 donuts are a consumer reality, it’s difficult to be surprised. That is, until a visit to The Well.
Operating out of a converted turn-of-the-century warehouse, The Well stands as an impressive hybrid of beauty salon, retail store, studio, and event space. Its concept is intriguing – as founder Alex Weidner describes, The Well is meant to be “eye-catching and different” with a flow that allows it to easily shape-shift for different needs. The original space was known “as a place to get your hair done, but also to party,” recounts Weidner, and the space still upholds such notions. As a salon, “We’re color first,” though the menu still includes blowouts and styling by “Some of the best stylists in the game,” says Weidner. But the salon’s benefits are not just for its customers. Stylists are “Encouraged to flourish creatively” and book their own photo shoots in The Well’s studio space. This contributes to The Well’s ever-expanding ingrown network of creative individuals. A myriad of talented designers finds their clothing stocked in the boutique, ranging from crisply minimalist to fabulously eccentric. Also available to shoppers is The Well’s own locally produced brand, made for both men and women.
While the salon, studio, and boutique are executed with remarkable style, it seems The Well expresses it’s most true spirit in its event production. Prior to its current location, The Well had existed in some form in Downtown for over seven years, specifically in a space near USC that oscillated between hair salon, photo studio, and after hours parties DJ’d by Boys Noize. Today, The Well still oscillates in the same seamless manner – the stylist tool table converts into a bar, and the boutique’s register area transforms into a DJ booth. Meanwhile, the back is a raw warehouse where big name artists including Skrillex and Travis Scott have performed. Still, “Part of our ethos is to book less famous people, we’re not just trying to sell tickets,” explains Weidner. Such ethos will be carried over when this year, The Well serves as the official creative director for the popular Downtown free arts and music festival, Night on Broadway. There, Weidner’s team will be curating a lineup of talented performers. The lineup will range from headliners to local acts and artists, for “Where the opportunity lies, we want to work with locals,” remarks Weidner.
Despite being located a bit off the beaten path, The Well enjoys an extensive list of loyal clientele, while attracting curious Angelenos from all walks of life. Best described as a fluid, creative hub, The Well most definitely boasts something exciting – even surprising for everyone.
Written by Lucy Rogers-Ciaffa
Photographed by Caleb Thal