Honoring Remarkable Organizations in the 43rd Assembly District

Every year I have the honor of recognizing various individuals, businesses and organizations for their outstanding work. It’s an opportunity to highlight some of our unsung heroes that truly make the 43rd Assembly District such a unique and wonderful place to live. As you can imagine, there’s no shortage of people and places to recognize. This beautiful district is made up of lively, distinct neighborhoods and homegrown communities that are genuinely linked together. This year, I’m proud to recognize two of our longstanding icons: Descanso Gardens and Laura’s Corset Shoppe. These two institutions each possess a unique history that reflects the intricate fabric of the district, which has experienced extraordinary growth and change.

Descanso Gardens. Descanso Gardens is our 2022 Nonprofit of the Year in recognition of its commitment to education and preservation. Our relationship with the land has never been more important and Descanso Gardens is a first-rate sanctuary that’s really about the land itself, where people now experience the flora that is key to our local ecosystems as well as notable species from all over the world. As the climate crisis challenges us every day, the historic property demonstrates harmony with nature.

The layered history of Descanso Gardens starts with the acknowledgment of the indigenous Tongva inhabitants, incorporates California’s journey to statehood and features Elias Manchester Boddy’s role in establishing the garden. The remarkable camellia collection dates back to the 1942 when Boddy purchased 300,000 camellia plants from two local Japanese-owned nurseries that were shut down due to the country’s mass incarceration of Japanese-Americans during World War II. Those camellia plants became the basis of Descanso Garden’s first signature collection.

Today the property is owned by Los Angeles County and managed by the Descanso Gardens Guild, which has preserved the original Boddy House and creates strong programs and exhibits through the support of generous donors and partners. Descanso Gardens has been recognized by the National Register of Historic Places for its historical, architectural and archaeological features. Collaborating with local schools, the Descanso Gardens Guild continues to foster a love for nature for the next generation. Their work to offer both educational and recreational opportunities makes the institution an invaluable asset to our community. 

Laura’s Corset Shoppe. Laura’s Corset Shoppe is our 2022 Small Business of the Year. It’s a fantastic locally-owned lingerie store that serves women of all sizes and is focused on supporting people who have had mastectomies and need prosthetics. Storeowner Hayley Trivoli sources the top American and European brands and serves the community with great care. It’s an accredited Medicare supplier and works with various healthcare-coverage plans to help patients cover costs.

The history of Laura’s Corset Shoppe starts in 1922 when it was founded by two sisters, one whom went by the name of Laura. In 1948, the store incorporated and underwent multiple changes in ownership over the years. It was in 1987 when current owner Hayley Trivoli, a college student at the time, was hired to do accounting for the company. Two years later, she was offered a partnership. Now going on 33 years, she is the longest tenured owner of the store. 

The story of this shop is really about human connections and helping one another. Hayley has always worked closely with her clients but in 2020 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and found a new bond between herself and her clients. She and customers relate more than ever as they see her as a survivor, too, and she understands their struggles. Customers sometimes bring Hayley lunch and chat at length; her generosity and attention inspire that kind of gratitude. Deeply rooted in the community, the shop really gives people a safe space, especially for those who’ve gone through the trauma of cancer, to heal and move forward with support. 

As a breast cancer survivor myself, I am particularly grateful to Laura’s Corset Shoppe for the outstanding commitment to meeting the needs of survivors in such a warm atmosphere.

This year’s honorees have persisted over time for their great value and distinguished offerings to both locals and visitors from well beyond the district. We have amazing organizations and businesses in this district and it has been a joy to spotlight some of the best of the best. Please join me in congratulating and supporting Descanso Gardens and Laura’s Corset Shoppe. 

If you have suggestions for businesses and organizations that we should recognize in 2023, or if you’d like to share your thoughts, questions or general concerns, you can reach my district office at (818) 558-3043 or by email at

Assemblymember Laura Friedman