Recovery and Business Community Mix and Mingle at My 12 Step Store 15-Year Anniversary

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My 12 Step Store had much to celebrate this past Wednesday, September 22, during National Recovery Month. The recovery book and gift store located at 8730 Santa Monica Boulevard, in the heart of West Hollywood, partnered with the West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce to celebrate 15 years of servicing the recovering community with an alcohol-free party and business mixer.

The Los Angeles recovery community joined the West Hollywood business community to mix and mingle in front of the store, which was converted into a party venue with giant balloons, flowers, live DJ, and an open bar that served mocktails, with food from local restaurants like Locali, Kitchen 24, Fresh Brothers Pizza, Chop Shop and Im Burger to name a few. The celebratory cake was a creation of Cake and Art, the cake shop located across the street from the store on Santa Monica Boulevard.

Milestones are vital to one’s personal recovery. The same can be said for a brick and mortar recovery retail store–especially one that dares to open shop in the middle of popular restaurants and bars where alcohol consumption is the bread and butter that sustains them. My 12 Step Store has seen many of its neighbors open their doors and then inevitably shut down in the past 15 years.

West Hollywood Mayor John Duran was on hand at the mixer to present My 12 Step Store founder, CEO and director of marketing, RJ Holguin, with a proclamation from The City.

“RJ has an incredible place, not only in the history of the city, but in the community as well,” Duran said during the proclamation. “…so many of us have so much to be grateful for. One of the things that we have to be grateful for is the presence of RJ and the 12 Step Store, because it is one of the anchors that helps all of us stay clean and sober.”

Duran thanked Holguin for having a vision to create the store and keeping it in West Hollywood for so many in the recovering community.

“It’s been an amazing journey to be a store that’s 500 square feet and is still open in this climate affecting small businesses today,” Holguin said in a speech. “A large part of our business is online, but when we’re online, we’re representing the city of West Hollywood and its recovery community. And we shine thanks to everyone who helps keep our doors open.”

Other speakers included Rich Colbert the publisher of the Sobriety Calendar and board member of the Van Ness Recovery House, Alexis Sanchez of Institute for Public Strategies, and Author Amy Dresner who was celebrating the launch of her soft cover book “My Fair Junky”, a memoir about getting dirty and staying clean.

“I love this store,” Dresner told WEHO TIMES. “I live like two blocks away. This store is amazing. I can’t believe it’s been here 15 years. When I’m secretary at meetings, I come here to buy chips and literature. I came to a party here many years ago when I was in rehab, so it’s sort of ironic to be here selling one of my books at the same place years later. I came down here in the druggy buggy. Tonight was a great party. I had a great time.”

The evening ended with the cutting of a giant cake, followed by more music, food and there was a chance to win raffle prizes and giveaways from local business.

MY 12 STEP STORE is a recovery book and gift store located in the heart of West Hollywood with an online presence that ships worldwide. Whether it’s addiction to alcohol, drugs, sex, love, food, meth or codependency, to list only a few, we have something for you and those you love. The store offers the largest collection of splashy medallion styles, racy clothing, 12-step jewelry, including the Surrender collection, along with prayer bookmarks, unique gifts and inspirational recovery cards. The store specializes in the most unique gifts for you and those you love, complete with gift wrap options and greeting card enclosure and offers a variety of shipping options which includes Priority Express 1-2-day delivery shipping. The store attracts those interested in recovery from all over the world and has a large celebrity clientele who shop for themselves or those they love. https://www.my12stepstore.com/.

West Hollywood Chamber of Commerce is a 501(c)6, non-profit organization that fosters prosperity and champions local business by providing resources and leadership to advance activity through economic development. Traditionally, the Chamber’s signature mixers are held at various nightlife venues. They are one of the most popular events for networking professionals in the City of West Hollywood. Last year My 12 Step Store partnered with the Chamber to host an alcohol-free Mix and Mingle event at store. The turnout was an incredible success. To learn more, visit: https://www.wehochamber.com/.

Photos by Paulo Murillo

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Paulo Murillo
Paulo Murillo is Editor in Chief and Publisher of WEHO TIMES. He brings close to 20 years of experience in LGBT media and more than two decades as a West Hollywood resident. Murillo began his professional writing career as the author of “Love Ya, Mean It,” an irreverent and sometimes controversial West Hollywood lifestyle column for FAB! newspaper. Murillo’s work has appeared in numerous print and online publications. He was a contributor to LGBT magazine IN Los Angeles. He is known for the “Hot Topic” column in Frontiers magazine, in which he covered breaking news and local events in the City of West Hollywood. His recent work has been published in the Los Angeles Blade and his articles, essays and photographs can also be seen on the pages of THE FIGHT Magazine. He started “The Share” feature for THE FIGHT, which spotlights members of the Los Angeles recovery community who share about their sober journey. He can be reached at editor@wehotimes.com