Outstanding Stores, do you know one??

Raffle by Atomic Loft at Needful Things Addiction

We love all the stores we go to, but must admit there are certain ones that stick with us. It’s not just their merchandise, it’s also the way they arrange and decorate, the way the store is run, and most important, the way they interact with customers. That seems to be a main reason customers return. First impressions and all that, right? If we go in a store and no-one says” hi, call out if you need help, welcome or hey”, we sometimes feel like” whoops, they’re not open yet” or “did we go in the wrong door  I?” It’s nice to notice and be noticed. Even in the Dollar Tree they yell out “welcome” 4000 times a day, it still feels like they are glad you came. And that’s what you want, right?

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Soooo,  still and always one of our favorites,  is  Shabbyology,  534 E. Edna,  Covina. Every person who works there says hi to us, even before they knew us. The owner, Jackie, is one of the most enthusiastic and hard working person we know, simply because she loves loves loves what she does. How can you beat that? The time spent in the store, rearranging and putting up new displays and finding new products, continuously pays off with a store that is welcoming and fun. It also has such an assortment of pieces that you know you’ll find something to take home. A store that stays the same gets boring and Shabbyology never does, just now opening a new section.  And classes keep popping up that bring in customers because they are so different, check her facebook for a schedule. Open Fri Sat Sundays.

Salvaged Treasures at Vintique Alley

Also on the list, Vintique Alley, Riverside. Once you go you will be like us, wanting to move in. Really!! Many different vendors but a continuity of style keeps this shop very popular. The Sip n Shop we just went too was a lot of fun, with the patio filled with vendors for the night, and did we say “free wine?”  Old White Shabby and just that perfect touch of color to set up the displays,  they all look like rooms in a house, ready for us to spend the night!  And they also are very good about welcoming you, and if you need help with a idea or a display they make it clear they can and will go all the way to make sure a piece is right for you. We have seen them sketch out possible layouts for customers.  Great owner and hand picked vendors.  Open Tues-Sun at 3758 Elizabeth St, they are waiting for you-hurry up!!

The Nest

Next, in no particular order, is The Nest in Yucaipa. It’s worth the trip where ever you live. One room, so not too large, but every inch is filled, but not overcrowded. These ladies have the touch. Repainted furniture and innovative displays steal our hearts. Nice and friendly is the atmosphere. When we got there at opening time, people were outside looking in the window waiting. And we have posted their gorgeous bicycle with flowers  out front that tells you you have arrived, check back on our Instagram a picture of it. Shutters and old windows make up some of their shelves and they are so original, it’s on the don’t miss list. 12131 California, lots of antique stores on the same street also. Open Fri and Sat.

The Romantic Home

Another we love and don’t get to enough is The Romantic Home in Long Beach. This smaller store is packed with stuff we want!! How come we can’t bring it all home?? Romantic is the correct word for it too, some clothes, some furniture, some just decorative pieces, some dish towels, some jewelry–all arranged so well. Allow some time because you have to really look to see everything. Never cluttered or messy, we love browsing here. We will be back there soon! 1204 E Wardlow.

The last on this list, and it is hard to narrow it because we love all the stores, that’s why we keep going back, is a new one. We did a few posts on it already because we are drawn in by the history of the building and the happy attitude of the owner and vendors. This one would be Needful Things Addiction in Lake Elsinore. 115 W. Franklin, open Wed-Sun. Get over there for their Grand Opening on Sat the 24 th. Raffle tickets available and you won’t believe the prize by Atomic Loft, a vendor there. This #marketshoppe is going to be constantly evolving and since it’s amazing already, we can’t wait.

By no means are these all our favorites. If we keep showing up at the door, you know we love your store. A bad impression leaves us not going back and we don’t want to give bad reviews. There are too many stores that are working hard to create a good image, and those are the ones we talk about, and ignore the others. One of the things we noticed about most of these stores is the vendors are required to work a few hours a week. We think that’s a great idea, not only because their booths or spaces are always fresh and neat, but also because they keep the stores that way too. No use having a great booth if the store is a mess, and none of these are.  Owners and vendors that care and encourage others are among the best. There is more than enough room for all and small business flourishes with that attitude. That seems to be a constant with these 5 businesses that contributes to their success. The other thing that will help is telling others about them so they also get out there. Let’s not lose any more of these independent {mostly} woman-owned shops. We’re doing our part by posting about them-are you doing yours by visiting and buying???  We want to visit more stores, run by anyone, anywhere,  and keep them in business. Be sure and check times and days open before you go, they do change from time to time.  Let us know if we haven’t made it out to your favorite store.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy

Disclaimer: There are some ads on the right side of this blog, if any purchases are made we will receive a small percentage from them.

The Vintage Marketplace, Rainbow Calif.

The Vintage Marketplace photo booth

We love The Vintage Marketplace. @thevintagemarketplaceca. There is no question, no doubt, we just flat out l0ve it. We have met so many vendors there, some we see only there, others we seem to follow wherever they go. It turned into a great way for us to get to know customers too.

Many times we are waiting to say hi to a seller and get into conversations with customers and a whole lot of those customers are also junkers or crafters or “pick up stuff curbside” type of people.  They end up telling us about other venues, or sales, or good stores. We love the atmosphere that promotes friendliness. And we love following everyone! So many ideas brought to life.   Can’t wait till Sept.!!!!!!

Signs Signs and more Signs

Seahouse Design

Hi, it’s Bonnie,

We had such a good response to our tips blog, thanks guys. We thought maybe a few more ideas and signs would be nice.  One of the first signs we noticed was from Lilwoods and we have never seen another like it. Clever isn’t it? We remembered her booth long before we actually met  her, and her sweet personality and great picks, which keep us going back to see her and her booth.

Lilwoods Vintage

One key thing to think about is keeping all your social media the same as the name of your company. Names are so important. I remember the name of your booth first, then I think of yours-because I’m on Instagram so much. Having a good catchy name helps you to gain followers, customers and friends! We brainstormed for months before we hit on Weremadabout, and it took us another two weeks to agree on it! Remember mother/ daughter duo!!!  We have had trouble following vendors when the names don’t match up. I love when a vendor puts up a great sign. Tell us your name, tell us to follow you, tell us where you are selling next, put up a sign that customers remember and show them you are active on social media. Lots and lots of times we have found a vendor or a venue because of a Instagram photo. When we ask “do you have a business card?” or “are you on Instagram?” it is because we want to find you again and follow what you do. When a vendor doesn’t have either, I always ask “are you on Facebook?”  Please be active somewhere if you want to be a more successful dealer. It is a great tool for sales and encouragement too, which we all need. Girl power, man power, people power, whomever, praise and acceptance are so valuable.

I am always surprised, happily, at how most of the vendors we meet are so generous with their information and referrals. Lots of times we have been told, “I sold all mine but so and so has some”.  Absolutely love that! There is room for all of you, look at how many vendors do similar items already. It’s all how you arrange and decorate your booth and how you present yourself. If you never stand up and talk to customers you won’t get sales. Sales are hard, no one wants to be rebuffed, but it’s necessary. Pushing yourself to be friendly, generous with your ideas, and open makes you one of my favorite dealers. I’m not coming back if you aren’t nice, who would? Luckily that doesn’t happen often. Most of the dealers we know are professional, happy and they love their pieces as much as we do.So think about your overall impression on customers, we notice it all. It makes a difference.

Thanks for reading, Bonnie and Amy…

P.S. You may notice the ads on the right side of our blogs, if any purchases are made from these companies, we will receive a small amount of compensation to help with our expenses in creating the blog and Instagram.

 

Increasing YOUR sales and visibility

Hi, this is Bonnie.

We started our Instagram a little over a year ago. We now have over 3800 followers. It’s our little business and we try to be careful with who we promote and who we follow. So that got me thinking about a few tips for some of you from what we have seen.

One of the things we like is to be able to find (stalk) dealers who keep current with the trends, keep their booths and stores fresh, keep changing up pieces, are friendly, are happy to see customers and just nice people. We now know quite a few of you because you are business people, and that’s obviously how you stay in business and why. But….when we can’t find you at a venue it’s annoying. I know, I have tried to hunt out dealers ( maybe they are hiding from us now??) A good way to be found is to have a good sign. This post is to show some of the great signs we have seen and loved so if you don’t have one you might get inspired. Don’t worry, we are not trying to sell you anything! But…we do know some great vendors who would make you a custom sign to show off your business, if you don’t have one.  For one, one of our favorites” Far Away Hood.” If you check out their ig you can see they have made signs for a lot of different homes and businesses. They made the one shown for Sweet Peas Charm and, of course, their own. You can find them at many shows, Driving Miz Daisy, for sure, and on their web site Farawayhood.com.

Second,  Made New Home Furnishings at 113 S Harbor, Fullerton. Phone is 405-7428937.  The pictures we put up of her shop recently show her versatility. Custom-made the way you want and professional looking.

Made New Home Furnishings

The pictures on here are all great examples of good signs. Put up a sign please!! Or bring the one you have ( hint hint one of our favorite vendors). We are surprised not all of the venues require this. Promote yourself!!!  It really helps customers to know it’s you and to follow you wherever you sell. That’s the point, right?

Some of my top shops found a way to stand out. The Nest in Yucaipa at 12131 California, take a look at their place. Does that get your attention? Shabbyology in Covina, 534 E Edna, put red chairs with polkadots at each corner by her store so when we see them we know we’re close. Both great ideas.

The Nest

So on Instagram we have a few rules. We follow back only if they actually liked our photos. Too many times you get a follow just to make you follow them back, and they have never even looked at your pics.  We also follow only if 1-it’s a personal ig that shows they have interest in home decor or flea markets or historic houses-something somewhat like the pictures we share or 2-if it’s a business, say like Habitat for Humanity or a salvage or a restaurant near a venue we frequent. We usually don’t follow real estate agents, gyms, hair dressers because we want people to follow us who like what we do, not just to get more followers who want to promote their business anywhere anyhow.

Mrs Darling

If we get a follow from a site “Get 10,000 followers ” etc.. we block them. We don’t want that kind of junk (get it?) on our ig. That’s not a way to grow. There are plenty of people who like the same things we do, it’s only a competition between Amy and I (joke), there is no reason to get followers that way. When we get a new follower we check out their ig. I do this every night. Then I like the pictures if I actually like them, and I follow them back, and often comment. I also make sure when a follower likes one of our pics to check their site and do likewise. That’s common courtesy if you have the time and I do. I hit “send notifications” on the ones I regularly follow so I can see all their new stuff as they post. P.S. it’s fun and it’s nice to encourage people.

Also if you are a vendor or a dealer make sure you have a business account with Instagram. It’s easy to switch over from personal. We like it because it gives you a little more info. It tells how many people looked at your picture even if they didn’t actually take the time to like it, and how many came back for a second look. We really appreciate this feature. When we see over 1,000 looked a picture we know we are on the right track.

If you want to comment on our pictures or our blogs, do so down below. We always welcome input and would like to know if this blog helped any of you.

Thanks for reading…Bonnie and Amy.

Road Trip!!!!!

Three Speckled Hens

We did it! We finally got on the road and went up north to Paso Robles for Three Speckled Hens. Everyone told us it was one of the best—and guess what? They were right. We loved every minute. Got to see so many vendors we know, Liz from Countryside Barn, Micayo from Lilwoods, Michelle from The Junk Diva, Lisa from BBlessed Flannels, Diana from Broke Jewels, Michael from Miller Rustic-Ivis was out shopping… Who else? Junk Style Design, Through the Porthole, Atomic. Rust, Show your age and many more, plus we met some wonderful dealers. Some pictures are up on Instagram because we wanted to get them out there, then if anyone was thinking of going it might persuade them to go on Sunday. We will be back for the next one for sure, with a truck! The fairgrounds there are very pretty, flowers, waterfall, the people were great-not a sour word was heard. And they were busy, the early birders bought so much, every dealer was moving stuff by the time we got there at 10. Lesson learned—-Go Early!!

Junque Love

We also went to Morro Bay and met Doug at Junque Love. It’s at 699 Embarcadero and we want to go back–like today, but maybe in a month. Fantastic store, loved Doug’s stories, want to meet his wife because she has a eye for design! Morro Bay was having a classic car parade-love seeing all those restored vehicles. Another kind of recycling.

Stopped in Solvang because we came home down the coast. We must of said “it’s beautiful” about the ocean about 400 times till we started saying SHUT UP, ENOUGH!!! You’d think we lived a long way from the beach, instead of about an hour, the way we behaved. There’s something about getting away from home, even for a couple of days, that makes you appreciate every site you see. We all got along, this mother-daughter duo did good, and our friend Barbara put up with our friendly banter with good grace.  Can’t wait to go again! We are planning a trip to Arizona next. What has been your best trip? Got suggestions for us? Let us know.

Thanks for reading…Amy and Bonnie

 

April Activities

Hi, it’s Bonnie

 

 

Happy May! Does anyone else remember May poles? What a simple time that was. Our school would dance around the pole winding fabric lengths and make a bow at the bottom. God I’m old!!! But it was fun!!!

Speaking of  fun, in April we started off a great month,  with BarnHouse Chicks market in Thousand Oaks. Wow, the vendors were great! Even vendors we know were talking about the other ones, saying they had wonderful merchandise and arranged their booths expertly. Met some we didn’t know and are now following to see where we can find them next. Make sure you follow the ones you like, that’s why I add the @ instagram tag.

As you can tell we are trying to find more of these special events and shops so if you know of any we haven’t mentioned please put in a comment here or on our Instagram, we’re mad about, where we now have over 3500 followers!!!! Pretty good for not having a store or selling anything!  The saddest thing happened last week, we went to a store we love and found out they are closing. The rent is going way way up and they decided to try other avenues. I hate to see that happen and the only way we can keep all these places in business is to give them our business. We are trying to get to more events from Ventura to San Diego. We want to see more of you! We are planning a trip to Paso Robles on May 6th for Three Speckled Hens, already got our hotel and tickets!! We also want to go to Arizona soon and on the bucket list is Round Top Texas, of course!!!

Stores we stopped at in April include the ones in  Crestline’s TopTown,@ The_Rusty_Bucket_, My Favorite Things, @Encompass, and Sara’s Antiques and Atelier, it is gorgeous in the mountains and a lovely days trip! We only went up that far but next trip plan on hitting Lake Arrowhead and Big Bear too. It really clears your head to go up there. I used to live in the mountains and I really miss it. Nothing like fresh cool air. Did I say it’s beautiful up there?

We hit Savoir Faire in Fullerton, which is always the first Sunday of each month. It is growing rapidly and is one of the markets that has vendors who only sell there.  We always get to see @Rusticandrefined_Vintage and Love_picking_junk there as well as @Piers2oranges, three of our favorites. It’s a place to see unusual pieces from some vendors who have been doing this a long time. And of course, we always make sure we get to@ Drivingmizdaisy,  2nd Sunday of each month. We are using the @ for Instagram on purpose so you can look them up easily. If you go to no other fleamarkets or stores we would recommend Driving Miz Daisy for the one you can get too. It has a great selection of booths, it is very well divided between furniture, handmade, food booths or trucks, jewelry and clothing. Some markets have an abundance of jewelry or all the same booths, Not here! Food trucks all over. It also has a booth with fresh fruit, we got yummy strawberries last time, and they really try to arrange the booths so you have a variety of things to browse. Plus they always have music, sometimes 2-3 small bands, which is fun to stop and refresh and listen to. It’s at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo, lots of trees and green around. Did we mention real restrooms? Add all this together and it will be your favorite monthly adventure. You never know what you will find! We go every month.

We try to get to stores in-between flea markets because we are so firm in our belief that we need to keep all of them in business. We don’t buy much, our houses are full, and it’s impossible with all the great pieces we see, but we believe that we are doing our part by writing about them, and putting them on Instagram and Facebook. Let us know events you are selling at or going to.

One of the pictures is of @ Newagain_furnishings in Glendora. It’s fairly new so get over there and support them, at 1200 E Route 66, Glendora, Calif. Open Thurs-Sat. I am in love with just about everything in the store. I think Joann has a great eye for home decor.

 

Thanks for reading…Bonnie

 

 

We’re Back…………………

Matilda’s Mouse

WE ARE BACK!!!

This is Amy…

After a seemingly forever un-intended and unwanted hiatus, we are back up and running. We would like to thank everyone for their support while we worked through this. Our site was hacked and infected with some malicious spam. Our blog links were re-routed to some unsavory content. Our host Siteground protected us and our readers by taking the site down immediately.  We would highly recommend Siteground for hosting. Sucuri cleaned our and will be keeping us safe from now on. Once we decided to engage Sucuri, they had us back up in a few hours.

Matilda’s Mouse

While we were down, we were quite busy. Mom (Bonnie) has been visiting lots of markets and keeping everyone updated on Instagram  and Facebook. I am so thankful for her.

We are quite excited to say we will be going to Three Speckled Hens in a couple of weeks! Our room is booked and tickets printed. This is our first (really) out of town event!! We are looking forward to seeing everyone we know and meeting new vendors. Watch for us, we will be sporting some new We’re Mad About… swag.

This is Bonnie…

Boarding House Broads

I have indeed been to quite a few stores and flea markets. Today I made it out to Matilda’s Mouse in Valley Center with a friend. It was quite a trek for us but we found it! A darling barn filled with antiques and vintage pieces, it was worth the trip. Every month now they have a 2 day event out there, with vendors outside. The very first one we saw was Boarding House Broads. Tracy and Valentina are so fun, so informative. They have been very busy lately because Tracy is heading up the Vista Vintage and Makers Market which is April 30th. This is the second one and now they have 80 some vendors. It is going to be so much fun, can’t wait. See you there????

Matilda’s Mouse is a great place to explore. We went around twice to catch everything. The other outside vendors were tables full of antiques, lots of silver and china. Fascinating to browse. We would recommend going out there, the next one is May 19-20, 10-5.

Thanks for reading…Amy & Bonnie

 

Vintage Market Frenzy!!!

 

Perspectived Design

Hi, its Amy.

February was a busy amazing month! Not only was Junk Bonanza taking place in Del Mar but, Junk in the Trunk was back! And I visited the Long Beach Flea market for the first time.

Junk Bonanza took place on a rainy weekend. (Being in Southern California, every one

Paint n’ Paddles

knows we do not get much rain. This year has been exceptional.) This market took place in Del Mar, an upscale area of San Diego county. The fairgrounds are large and diverse and always bring back great childhood memories of fairs and fireworks during the summer. It was held in one of the halls and there were so many new vendors. It was such a fun day meeting everyone and seeing all the great pieces. Paint n’ Paddles held a workshop, that dozens of people enjoyed. All the vendors we saw told us they had a very successful weekend.

The following day, I forced  my husband and sons to go to the Long Beach flea market. This market is an eclectic array of

Long Beach flea market

vintage and re-purposed and unique finds. One booth had some of the springy animals from our childhood playgrounds. Another had Pokemon (vintage to my son-lol) and some beanie babies. (Alex and I found a few that  are coveted-scooped those up to resale).

This past weekend, hubby and I snuck up to the Pomona fairgrounds for the Junk in the Trunk market. SQQQUUUEEL  What a great market!!! I just love that it and the venue was awesome. Food trucks definitely are a hit! We got to see some of our favorite vendors, meet amazing new ones, and hubby finally bought the brown sugar mold he has been wanting. See our instagram for more pictures. Now we are on the hunt for some glass floats for the baguette bowl.

Through the Porthole

I don’t get out to the markets enough and when I do, I so love it. Visiting these markets and building We’re Mad About with my mom has been a true blessing and having the support of my husband and family has brought us all closer. We hope you all enjoy our blog and this journey we are on. We truly appreciate you all being here.

Thanks for reading… Amy xoxo

Vintage & Restore by K

Recently, we signed up to a blog collaboration with Krista from Vintage & Restore. She sells a fabulous line of furniture paint. I wanted to share about her paint with our loyal readers.

Charcol by Vintage & Restore by K

Charcol by Vintage & Restore by K

I received a gorgeous dark grey paint, Charcoal and clear and brown waxes. I was quite excited to use the paint and set about trying to find the perfect small piece to re-do. I admit, it took me longer than I wanted to complete the piece and write this blog. Family first.

Perfect piece (thanks Hubby)

Perfect piece (thanks Hubby)

At last I hit upon the perfect piece and quickly approached my husband with fluttering eyelashes to ask permission to paint a small table of his. It was the perfect size and desperately needed to be re-done from the 1990’s brown to a more updated chic look.

This paint was incredibly easy to work with and has great coverage. The 4oz jar provided more than enough paint to complete the task with a bit left over. It went on smoothly and required no prepping other than a cleaning of the furniture piece.

I allowed for several hours drying time, though it dried quickly in 90*

Distressing

Distressing

November Southern California weather. Not complaining, but ready for some cooling. After the paint had thoroughly dried, I roughed up a few places to allow the wood to show through. I was looking for a nice vintage feel. I then took the brown wax and applied a light coat, being careful to work it in. Yes, I put brown wax over grey paint…and I LOVE it. I was able to achieve the nice dark rich dark grey look I had been hoping for. It came out beautifully. I am so happy with the piece and the spousal unit was quite pleased too.

Finished piece

Finished piece

Krista has developed a pleasing line of furniture paint. Her company is based out of Colorado and her passion began in the same way it did for so many of us. She was looking for a way to update her furniture and create some side income. Her paints are a great bargain and come in fabulous colors. Ocean Mist will be part of my next order, a gorgeous blue green that reminds me of the Dominican Republic ocean.

Finished piece

Finished piece

You can find her website http://www.vintageandrestorebyk.com/. Please visit and enjoy!

 

Thanks for reading….Amy

The CC Trading Co.

CC Trading Co.

CC Trading Co.

We first met Tom and Allison at Driving Miz Daisy-our favorite flea market. We were drawn into their booth by the fantastic woodwork. The main product of their company, CC Trading Co, is tables, and they are beautiful.They also make crosses and hearts out of reclaimed wood. Follow them on Instagram @thecctradingco and Tom walks you through some of the steps to create them in the short videos. Allison is their Artistic Director and she handles product design and completion. It takes a village so they have Katie Hernandez, responsible for daily operations, social media and marketing, and Joe Hernandez for all website content and photography. Great team!

CC Trading Co

CC Trading Co

Their team has a passion for creating accessories and furnishings. Looking around, they saw several needs in the industry not being met. They market their creations at Driving Miz Daisy-at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo 2nd Sunday of each month, and at Behind the Picket Fence-held several times a year at Piecemakers Country Store in Costa Mesa. Both of these events are widely promoted and attended. They also are in several showrooms and 3 online stores. Their website, thecctradingco.com, is a good way to reach them, or call at 949-212-7767.

As far as experience Tom has always been a builder at home. He stated he is mostly self-taught and is a big fan of Youtube.The beauty of the work shows the time and skill put into it. The challenge for this business is leveraging their time, money and resources. It takes knowledge and cunning to expand at just the right time. We think they hit it!!! The business is expanding rapidly, annual sales growth is 15-25%, well done!

CC Trading Co

CC Trading Co

When we visit their booth we can always find Tom talking to onlookers, explaining the process of finding the wood and hardware. The love he has for his work stands out. It’s a rare thing to find a craft that is such a good fit. As he stated to us “we take the time to listen to our clients. We take great care in producing a wonderful quality product as if it were going in our home.” Nice concept.

When we look at the tables at CC Trading Co we immediately had the same thought that they did-“these tables are a focal point for an entire room design and everybody needs one.” From kitchen island to living room to den these tables would fit in almost any decor. And they are definitely a statement.

CC Trading Co

CC Trading Co

It’s a treat for us to meet and get to know the process of dealers like Tom and Allison. The care put into their work is something to be admired. Go small business!! We need to encourage crafters and artisans and realize every piece reworked or re-crafted or re-loved is one not going in our landfills. One of the reasons we love going to flea markets, swap meets and antique stores is just that-to see all the things that have been saved. The more we see, the more we fall in love with our earth. Let’s try to protect our past.

So please check out The CC Trading Co, follow them, watch their videos. Support small business.

Thanks for reading, Bonnie and Amy…