Emporia on Route 66

Hi everyone!

Emporia Sales Counter

Emporia Counter

We are adding to our blog by interviewing some of the shop owners of the places we go regularly and love. We have listened to all of you and realize that you want to know more about how they got started, the basics of their business. We all dream of opening cute little stores but it takes a lot of grit and determination, not to mention dollars. So hopefully this will be interesting to you and informative, we’ve learned so much.

Our first interview was with Emporia. They are located at 719 E. Route 66 Glendora, Calif. Phone 909-263-5404. Instagram and Facebook are under emporiaonroute66. We first saw an advertisement for them and dropped in about 3 months ago. We’ve been back twice since. What a fascinating place. It is owned and run by Greg and Theresa who also own Shamrock Salvage Design and by Kim and Michelle who own American Vintage Fare. They teamed together to make Emporia. The great thing about the four of them is that they all have skills to offer and combined make up a talented foursome. It’s great to have others to bounce your ideas off. They also had a head start by owning businesses but it is still a learning curve to have a storefront.

Emporia

Emporia

One of the things we liked about this shop is that it is constantly changing. The pieces they have are either handmade, repainted, homegrown, vintage and all unique. They believe, as we do, in preserving the past and protecting our future. In their words “our store is a place that helps the environment by preventing further butchering of our forests and prevents items from ending up in landfills.” We are often amazed at the items we see re-purposed that a few years ago would have been tossed. That’s one of the best things about the current reuse/re-purpose/repaint/remake/relove movement. We hope it goes on forever. Once these precious pieces are gone there’s no history or stories left for our children. American- made is a theme they take to heart. Craftsmanship is a key word also, many of the pieces in the store display wonderful talent and skills.

Emporia vignette

Emporia vignette

The store is a easy relaxing place to browse. It is set up in vignettes, which helps a customer to picture the item in their home. Whenever we go in we have to look around 2-3 times so we don’t miss anything new. Often we get home and look at the pictures and see pieces we didn’t really notice in the store, because there is so much to see and like. What we like is if a piece of furniture doesn’t sell right away (which most of them do), it is re-positioned and styled, so nothing is ever the same or stagnant.

Flag table (photo by Emporia)

Flag table (photo by Emporia)

One of our questions is always “which one is your favorite piece?” Theresa named one that we noticed right away (shown). It’s their American Flag table. She said it was over 100 years old, made of reclaimed wood. All 4 of the owners are super proud to be Americans and their picks show it. We feel the same, being a military mother and grandmother.

One of Emporia’s missions is to help other craftsmen and artists. They want to open additional locations and are always looking for vendors who feel the same as they do about our country and their crafts. As Theresa stated “small business helping small business”.  So if you are looking to place your work give them a call. Friendly and warm are how we would describe them. Often one of our pet peeves is that shop keepers do not acknowledge their potential customers. No fear of that here. A quick hello is often all it takes to make you feel at ease in a store. That interaction is essential to a business and Emporia does it well.

They are open Thurs-Sun. Hours are Th, Fri, Sat 11 am-6 pm, Sun 11 am-3 pm. When we were in the store we were remarking on how many places we go now that also keep that kind of schedule. It gives the owners time to work on projects, go pickin’, and rearrange the store. We like it because we can fit our schedule to meet more owners and see more shops in the same day.

We often get asked about making money from what we do. Nope, we don’t. Bonnie is retired but Amy still works 32 hours a week so she can’t get out as often and does our behind the scenes work. We do have ads on our blog, and we would love it if you click on them when you visit, this will help us to make some revenue to assist with travel expenses.  We both hope to meet a lot more vendors and shop owners in the near future and interview them. Our instagram hit 1500!!!!! this week and we can’t say thank you enough. The knowledge that you like what we bring to the table is wonderful. Remember we have Facebook, Pinterest & Twitter under weremadabout, please like and follow us!

Thanks for reading… Bonnie and Amy.

 

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