Cash Mob: Let's Start Talking About Solutions

This is the first in a serious of announcements about Cash Mobs held in support of our local Altadena businesses.

In the ongoing debate about Walmart’s pending arrival in Altadena, many folks have expressed frustration that there weren’t enough solutions being presented in the discussion. They have asked for ways to enact positive change in Altadena.

How do we as a community use this occurrence as an opportunity? How do we use this as a wake up call? All of us who have entered into the many passionate discussions going on in our community about this issue share a common bond, we care about this community, no matter if we are pro or against.

Can a Phoenix rise from all of this? Can we use this as a call to action that everyone can answer? Can this be a beginning to a new level of participation in this town we all hold so dear?

So, here is the first tiny step, the first, hopefully of many steps toward building a better Altadena.


On Saturday, July 21st, there will be the first of a series of Cash Mobs held throughout Altadena.

There will be a new cash mob announced here and around Altadena, every week, so that Altadena residents have a way show our support of Altadena small businesses and to further the discussion of how we can all work together to make our community the best it can be!


The first cash mob will be at Webster’s Fine Stationers on Lake. 

Go there at any point in the day, and spend what you can. 


We can make a difference and revitalize our community! 

Remember, July 21st !!! Webster’s Fine Stationery


There will be cash mobs all over Altadena, on Lincoln on Lake, on Altadena Drive, on Allen, stay tuned for upcoming mobs. At this point the cash mobs are not limited to any specific hours, everyone has busy lives and we want to maximize the benefit to the businesses

Every week we will ask our business of the week to tell us a bit about themselves. This is what Lori and Scott Webster had to say:

"Webster’s Fine Stationers is more than a retail shop. Beyond trends, there is a story behind what we display and sell. This is a place where selling isn't the only objective - inspiration is encouraged! WFS represents over 50 Altadena and Pasadena artists of every genre, from fine art to music, and are adding more all the time. Our emphasis in on buying within our community; within the Southern California area; and within the U.S. whenever possible. Giving back is part of our Mission Statement, and you’ll find fair trade items and products from companies that donate to worthy causes at WFS!"


In closing, please leave the name of your business or an Altadena business you think is deserving of a little extra love and attention.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Angela Odom July 18, 2012 at 03:32 AM
@Laura, I have some friends over here who will be shopping at Walmarts. They work two jobs, or they're working during the day and are at school at night, or they're working long hours. With Walmart open til 11:00 p.m., it will be a great thing for some of us. It's convenient, the prices are right. It works. I have another friend who is now raising her three grandchildren, yep, Walmart. Smart & Final is a excellent store and since they now have a fresher, cleaner produce section, its even better now. So I do understand, I hear you and I will probably be in that Walmart if in a pinch. You can't always shop locally. In fact, the other day I couldn't make it out to Steve's Pets until after 5:00 p.m. and they were closed. I have a back-up place for those days over in Pasadena. Yeah, I missed Steve's but there's next month. In my case, I do what I can with the time and money I have. That's all I can do.
Leslie Aitken July 18, 2012 at 05:13 AM
Thank you for the support Monica -- I appreciate it -- And btw -- your pillows should be ready soon! : ]
Leslie Aitken July 18, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Revvell -- sometimes one day is just the shot in the arm that a small business needs. Plus, when it is a community effort -- more folks will stop by. Lori and Scott need that shot in the arm!
terry Morris July 18, 2012 at 02:46 PM
If a resident of this town neither has the desire or the means to participate in the Cash Mobs, then I do not believe anyone would expect them to. But Lisa, that is a great idea, Cash Mobs for residents! Helping our neighbors doesn't have to be limited to businesses. Maybe it can expand to Cash Mobs for the Community!
terry Morris July 18, 2012 at 02:49 PM
Laura, I think that a real and honest discussion of the issues that impact this community have to include the price of things and how we can address that.
Karen TenEyck July 18, 2012 at 03:59 PM
Although I realize that price is a major consideration for many people, that was not really my point. I find that many businesses in Altadena just don't think outside the box. Why do I have to give a person behind the desk my stuff to copy instead of being able to use the machine myself? Why is there no Fed Ex drop off box in front of your store? Sometimes it feels like business owners aren't really trying and they expect their "mom & pop" businesses to be supported "just because" even though their establishments are somewhat sad and creepy. I will admit that "Food Truck Friday" is a great idea and definitely "out of the box." LOVE the hardware store, they did what it takes to stay in business in a market economy.
Lori A. Webster July 18, 2012 at 04:35 PM
Karen, I'd love to talk to you about what you've said. Call me any time at 626-797-1135.
Lisa Hastings July 18, 2012 at 09:51 PM
First on your Cash Mob list should have been the Arroyo Food Co-op because it is the perfect solution to the out of control corporate take over of local food economies. Also, you should focus on local businesses that provide the community with the basics such as food, household items, school supplies, basic clothing, medicine, etc., because these are the local businesses that are most threatened by corporations such as Walmart.
Revvell July 18, 2012 at 10:07 PM
Not really Gary but, go 'head on and let's see what happens. IF people shopped there long-term... then yeah, but, thinking no. Let's just see how this works in the first place before we look at long-term, eh? Lots of people need that, Leslie. Of course, they need it yet, I don't see what's going to happen long-term which is what they REALLY need. So, I'll wait to hear from them over the course of say, the next 2-3 months what REALLY happened.
Revvell July 18, 2012 at 10:09 PM
BTW, I'm not saying NOT to do it.... I'm just looking at long-term bennies.... what can people do to assure THAT? I KNOW Lori and Scott will gladly receive whatever this brings.... understandable ... yet... as I said, let's see if it's a B-12 shot or a placebo.
terry Morris July 18, 2012 at 11:13 PM
Thanks for the suggestions. This was not some giant thought out campaign. It was a spur of the moment idea I had while standing in WFS. I thought, "there should be Cash Mobs for local businesses, starting right here". So I did one, and plan to do more. There has already been plenty of criticism about the first choice, and there will no doubt be criticism of the second choice and the third, there will be plenty of suggestions of what I SHOULD be doing, and how it should be done differently. So I apologize. I apologize to anyone for making what they feel has been the wrong choice and for any wrong choices made going forward. But it will go forward, and hopefully when we get to each person's correct choice, it will all be okay.
Monica Hubbard July 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM
Hey, Terry ~ Awhile back I went through a training by an organization called Visions, Inc. The very first guideline we learned when working with other people is, "Assume good intentions." I LOVE your good intentions and am looking forward to the first, second, third and all subsequent Cash Mobs that you are putting your time/energy in to organizing for the benefit of our community. Thank you for caring!
terry Morris July 18, 2012 at 11:30 PM
It is all good.
Lisa Hastings July 19, 2012 at 02:29 AM
terry, your article asks for the names of businesses that should be on the list and I with my good intentions gave you my opinion. So now why is that being critical of what you are doing?
Lisa Maiorana July 19, 2012 at 02:59 AM
The Cash Mob should be a lottery system where everyone has the same chance, not just a friend of a friend. As I said before, everyone needs help some more then others.
Gary Edwards July 19, 2012 at 05:07 AM
way to be positive! sure you're thinking you're realistic tho. you plant a seed, water it and see if it grows. as long as you water, you have a good chance. consider this watering and see if it grows. no guarantees, don't know till you try it.
terry Morris July 19, 2012 at 05:19 AM
Exactly, Gary! All you can do is try. There is no way to know if it will work or what will come of it. If it doesn't you try something else. But to do nothing unless there is a garauntee of success or an exact knowledge ot outcome? The world is flat.
maryam hosseinzadeh July 19, 2012 at 05:48 AM
Lisa, Check out the Arroyo Time Bank. Even though it doesn't pay mortgages, it effectively functions in the supportive way you are mentioning and everything is cashless (service in exchange for service, from alterations to last minute babysitting to mechanic help on cars to help with a yard sale when you do need to make cold hard cash or a ride to work when you have no other way of getting there). That support is so important, and it has gotten me through times when there's really no extra cash at all. As far as I understand, they also helped to light a fire under the movement to bring a farmer's market to Altadena, and that farmer's market will soon be accepting EBT for families in need, so great all around. Angela, I agree about stores needing to stay open later for sure. Is that a business owner decision? Why DO Altadena stores close so early? Terry, you know I'm with you on the cash mobs.... Oh, and here's the website for the Arroyo Time Bank - we're over 700 members and growing, and a TON of members in Altadena. http://www.arroyotimebank.org/
Meredith Miller July 19, 2012 at 06:55 PM
A cash mob, while innovative, will not solve any long or short-term issues in Altadena. As the "new" owners of Webster's Community Pharmacy, we appreciate the turn-around we've seen in our day-to-day business. We've listened to our customers and added in a vibrant new Gift Department that includes a large amount of greeting cards. That was introduced to replace the closed Hallmark store. What is really needed in order to continue to have the independent stores be successful is strong, daily support from our immediate trading area. We are working hard to let the community know about our new offerings, through social media and traditional advertising. Even Fancy Food Truck Friday was created to add new energy into an old location. It's been a huge success and one that we are grateful for. But that is just one monthly promotion for a community get-together. Again, if you really want to support the "mom and pops", come in and do it. Everyday! If we can do our part better, please let us know, but talking about it on a blog is one thing....getting into action is quite another. Meredith Miller Webster's Community Pharmacy
Leslie Aitken July 19, 2012 at 08:52 PM
Good point Meredith. I mentioned this in a post last week. Each store needs more repeat, regular business. Even if 15 to 20 people stop by once a week to pick up a greeting card, package of wood screws, loaf of bread or one or two other things at a local store -- it helps a lot.
terry Morris July 19, 2012 at 09:02 PM
This idea will absolutely not fix long to short term solutions issues facing our community. It was never supposed to. It isn't nearly a broad enough idea to even come close. It is only a beginning, a gesture of goodwill that just about everyone should be able to get behind, and an opportunity for residents of Altadena to come together on something they can agree on (just maybe) and either reacquaint themselves with local businesses, or actually step inside businesses they have never been in before. And hopefully this can be just one of many stepping stones to more community based solutions to those short and long term issues. That is the goal of the cash mobs, nothing more. And obviously we are hoping that this will support more people coming into local businesses every day! People have asked for positive ideas. This is just one very small one, and hopefully doesn't hurt anyone.
Eric Pierce July 20, 2012 at 11:11 PM
Laura, Cafe Culture is very much in Altadena. It does however, fall into a Pasadena USPS address with the rest of that section of Altadena.
terry Morris July 20, 2012 at 11:52 PM
First Cash Mob !! at Webster’s Fine Stationers on Lake. Go there at any point in the day, and spend what you can. We can make a difference and revitalize our community!
terry Morris July 21, 2012 at 06:11 PM
First Cash Mob TODAY !! at Webster’s Fine Stationers on Lake. Go there at any point in the day, and spend what you can. We can make a difference and revitalize our community!
terry Morris July 21, 2012 at 09:15 PM
STILL TIME TO GO.... Cash Mob! Websters Fine Stationery - TODAY Please post here, if you went.
Monica Hubbard July 21, 2012 at 10:25 PM
Tom and I were there. Saw Elliot Gold and Gloriana Casey, too.
Lori A. Webster July 22, 2012 at 07:10 PM
This was a wonderful start to a buy local movement and getting people familiarized with our local businesses - thank you to all who came, shopped and shared their concern! Scott, I, and our crew all appreciate what you've started, Terry, and we all pledge to support the cash mobs for other local businesses in the future. We're very proud to have been the guinea pig, so to speak, for a local business renaissance!
Leslie Aitken July 22, 2012 at 07:18 PM
Suggestion -- How about having a banner made that says CASH MOB HERE, with Shop Altadena in a smaller font under that. The participating businesses could hang it on the day of their cash mob. I believe that by ordinance we are allowed to have temporary banners up for 30 days. This would only be up for one day -- no harm no foul. We could have the banner made locally -- I would donate $$ towards it. What do you think?
terry Morris July 23, 2012 at 05:17 AM
I love that idea, Leslie! The cash mob banner moves around town ? That is great!!!! I will be in touch.
Melody Comfort September 23, 2012 at 11:54 AM
So, Terry, how may we learn about upcoming "cash mob" events around Altadena? Thanks. Melody [& Dale] Comfort


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