Old antiques find new homes

Old antiques find new homes

It’s an early morning, and Pierce College’s parking Lot 7 is filled with rows of tables lined with antiques and food trucks parked, ready to go.

A sense of normalcy and familiarity is in the air. The Topanga Vintage Market has marked its return.

After a year and a half hiatus following the college’s temporary Los Angeles County vaccination site, the vintage market is back in full swing, open every fourth Sunday of the month.

Lori Rotblatt, co-founder of the Topanga Vintage Market, said that after being away for a whole year, everyone was excited to finally return.

“We had a record turnout,” Rotblatt said. “All our vendors were ecstatic, the shoppers were ecstatic, and Patrice and I were just so happy, so it’s a win, win, win.”

Co-founders Rotblatt and Patrice Curedale were single moms and longtime friends in the art and vintage markets when it all started in 2012. Rotblatt has a degree from Cal State Long Beach in Art and a business background. Curedale is an artist who makes and sells art – a savvy marketer who, along with Rotblatt, decided to start their own vintage market after researching and not finding any vintage markets in the San Fernando Valley. Since then they have continued to grow year after year. 

“The hardest job was to find a location to host us. Originally we started at the Promenade on Topanga but after a year, we got so big, so fast, that we outgrew the parking lot.” Rotblatt said.  “We reached out to Pierce and at the time they were looking for a venue that could offer the local community events with a lot of high energy and we had it with our vintage market.”

Today, the Topnga Vintage Market is full of all kinds of vendors but not all are allowed in, all vendors are vetted and must sell items that are at least twenty years old or older. Although, they allow room for new artists to get exposure. 

Glenn Hendricks, at seventy-seven years old, has been a vendor since the beginning in 2012. In the community of vendors and shoppers, he is known as Uncle Rusty Glenn. His booth is filled with vintage rustic toys, tools, and signs.

“I was doing great when I was the only one selling vintage rustic toys but it seems now there’s more vendors selling vintage toys, but I’m still doing well.” Hendricks said. “I tend to do well selling, depending on the customers, but right now the customers are holding on to their money with all that’s going on.”

Once the Topanga Vintage Market was shut down for a year and a half, so was Hendricks. Retired and living on his own with little to do, selling vintage toys became a hobby that keeps him active, so he is thrilled to be back doing what he loves: selling rust.

“This is my first time at the Topanga Vintage Market. I always see the signs since I live a mile away but today I told my mom they’re back, let’s go.” Customer Kat James said “…I’ve had three perfect purchases so far. Everything is speaking to me with lots of good energy today.” 

Walking around the vintage market, there’s all kinds of interests, ranging from Native American art, vintage jewelry, toys and mid-century furniture. There is something for everyone to see and buy. The pricing varies but vendors do welcome customers who are looking to make a deal on an item, especially towards the end of the day.

Vendors like Emily Ryan, who enjoy the social engagement of repeat customers stopping by her booth to say hello and check out what she’s brought to the market. She sells antiques, collectibles, linens, clothes and jewelry. Pretty much anything that the public will find interesting. 

“I’ve been a vendor since the beginning when they were first at the Promenade. I’ve been a shopper and buyer for over thirty-five years in this business. I think most people want items that are no more than twenty dollars so I have tables that say ten and five dollars. Some people are just out to be outside and socialize.” Ryan said.

“It’s my first time at the Topanga Vintage Market, it’s nice that it’s smaller and spread out with more room to move around. All the vendors seem to be really nice and willing to make a deal.” customer Sam Parkins said.

“Next year in April, it will be our tenth anniversary since starting the vintage market and next month in October, it will be our eighth year here at Pierce College. It’s amazing how time flies and how good our vendors and shoppers continue to be.” Curedale said.   

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