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La Jolla merchants group to look at business engagement and streamlining efforts in 2022

Artillia Marcellous, Lauren Turton and Karen Roque brainstorm ideas to improve integrated marketing planning.
As part of the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s strategic planning session, Razmatazz Boutique owner Artillia Marcellous and LJVMA trustees Lauren Turton and Karen Roque brainstorm ideas to improve integrated marketing planning.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

The La Jolla Village Merchants Association will focus in 2022 on engagement with businesses and the community, along with ways to streamline that process.

The group’s Dec. 8 meeting served as the annual strategic planning meeting at which the board looks at its goals and objectives for the coming year.

During the session, five goal topics were written on large sheets of paper, and board members and others in attendance were encouraged to write down ideas on how to accomplish them. The notes will be condensed and the data will be used to draft a strategic plan, which will be ratified in January.

The five target areas were: recurring events, or smaller occasions that take place on an ongoing basis; signature events, or larger happenings that take place annually; integrated marketing planning; alternative sources of revenue beyond the Business Improvement District fees that merchants pay; and merchant engagement strategies.

New LJVMA President Amber Anderson said a mission within that is to streamline those efforts. “It’s always my mission to make La Jolla a place to live, work and play,” she said. “I think streamlining and really putting a focus on merchant engagement and the whole community … is something we can do really well.”

To do that, she said, the board would focus on reaching target markets with LJVMA’s “La Jolla by the Sea” branding to promote the La Jolla lifestyle, events and businesses.

“When someone is looking for something in our Village, whether it’s best brunch with a view or best place for your dog … we want to get that message out there so when the consumer is looking for it, we are able to support our merchants by providing that content. But we want your feedback as to what that looks like,” Anderson said.

She said she also was seeking ideas to market the “lifestyle of La Jolla,” such as signs leading people to The Cove and the Children’s Pool and then directing them back to the commercial area of The Village.

“La Jolla is a special place and I am excited to really elevate and get some engagement and excitement back in The Village, but with a strategy,” Anderson said. “It’s going to take all of us as a merchant community.”

LJVMA Executive Director Jodi Rudick said, “I really appreciate that Amber wants to put goals out there, and we are in the affirmative: They will be completed.”

Other LJVMA news

Historic executive board: When Anderson was handed the gavel from former President Cody Decker to become president and lead the meeting, it ushered in the organization’s first all-female executive board. Morgan Barnes is vice president, Jo Cullen is treasurer and Summer Shoemaker is secretary.

Morgan Barnes, Summer Shoemaker, Amber Anderson and Jo Cullen
Vice President Morgan Barnes, secretary Summer Shoemaker, President Amber Anderson and treasurer Jo Cullen compose the La Jolla Village Merchants Association’s first all-female executive board.
(Ashley Mackin-Solomon)

“My family lives and works here, my kids attend school here and my [realty] office is located right in the heart of The Village, so I really have a vested interest in continuing to keep La Jolla such an amazing place,” Anderson said in a statement.

Anderson previously created a video series called “Keeping It Local,” which highlights businesses throughout the La Jolla community.

“I truly want to do whatever I can to support and bring business to La Jolla and am excited for this new role as president for the La Jolla Village Merchants Association,” she said. “It’s an honor to give back to this community and watch it flourish and continue to grow.”

New board member: LJVMA board member Kelli Metcalf has decided to leave her seat, reportedly due to increased responsibilities at work.

Two nominations came in to fill the position: Saigon Spring Jewelry owner Jen Pham and chiropractor Maddie Wallace. Pham was appointed and will be sworn in at the next meeting.

Holiday decor: This season might be the last for some of the LJVMA holiday decor — specifically the “Season’s Greetings” lettering that hangs on the pedestrian bridge over La Jolla Parkway and the shooting star lights on streetlight poles. They’re “reaching the end of their life,” Rudick said.

She asked the board members to look at the decorations so they can comment on whether to keep them for an additional year or consider new ones at a future meeting.

“We may need to look at budgeting or fundraising for some new holiday decor or working with Enhance La Jolla to see if it might be time to hand off that responsibility, because it’s not just the merchants that benefit,” she said.

Next meeting: The La Jolla Village Merchants Association next meets at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 12. The plan is to meet in person, though that will be determined as the date gets closer. Learn more at lajollabythesea.com. ◆