The heat couldn’t beat vendors and patrons of the Topanga Vintage Market from setting up shop and treasure hunting at Parking Lot 7 of the Pierce College campus on Sunday.
This unique community -brought together through their great appreciation for all things vintage and local artisanship- is celebrating 10 years and counting this year. The standing event continues to take place at the cross streets of Victory Boulevard and Mason Avenue. every fourth Sunday of each month.
Topanga Vintage Market Co-Founder Patrice Curedale said their continued success and what really makes this group stand out in the vast sea of Los Angeles based swap meets revolves around one thing, the community.
According to Curedale, visiting the market is indeed like a treasure hunt, but it’s really the fellowship that keeps people coming back month after month.
“It’s a camaraderie that you really don’t see, even in a lot of other retail anymore, because there’s so little real interaction between people now after the pandemic,” Curedale said. “But that’s what people love. That’s what they talk about and that’s what they post about online.”
Long-time patron Nicholas Tsiotsias’s sentiments match those of Curedale’s. Aside from finding some great treasures to add to his collection, Tsiotsias said it was the people who keep him coming back year after year.
“I used to come with my late wife when it first started. I was really sad when they closed for the pandemic, but I was here when they opened back up,” Tsiotsias said. “Everyone is generally nice and we ( like people watching. It can be a freak show, but it’s fun!”
Linda Best, another regular visitor of the Topanga Vintage Market and witness to Tsiotsias’s successful picks through the years said there are definitely treasures to be found here.
“Where else can you find an enamel bed pan with the cover on it?” Best said. “Keep your eyes open, enjoy the fresh air and the people. They’re always very nice.”
With live music, food trucks and a conglomeration of over 200 local artisans and vintage sellers, Topanga Vintage Market has proven to be one of the most popular stops in Los Angeles to get out in the open air and peruse through all the rare collectables, antiques and vintage items the market highlights each month. The market also offers local artisans a once-a-month home to showcase their latest creations as well.
Owner of authentic vintage clothing shop Use Me and first time vendor Tracy Lio said that Co-Founders Curedale and Lori Rotblatt work hard to bring in dedicated vendors that provide quality authentic vintage items and collectables to their customers.
“It really fills my heart when I find a good piece and a buyer who really appreciates and knows the value of the item,” Lio said. “Patrice and Lori are really nice people who are very passionate about what they do. They offer vendors a large space here, which allows me to not only have a tent but a changing tent as well so people can try things on. Also, I can park my car right next to my tent so unloading and packing everything up is easy.”
Gilliane and Vincent Carracedo, owners of Fusteria, a woodworking business they launched together during the pandemic are pleased to be included amongst other local artesian vendors. This is their second time participating in the Topanga Vintage Market.
“Patrice and Lori, the organizers, are very nice people,” Carracedo said. “They respond to emails fast and communicate really well. The people and other vendors are really cool too.”
Curedale, Rotblatt and their team arrive early in the morning, around 3 a.m., to prepare for opening at 7 a.m. each month. It’s a labor of love and the best part, according to Curedale, is the look of excitement on people’s faces after finding something they love that day.
“One of our regular early bird shoppers, a sword collector, once found a 17th century Georgian sword that made him so happy it was like he was five years old again,” Curedale said. “That’s what I love seeing. I spend most of my time at the front so I can talk to people and ask them what they found and most times they love what they really got and want to share.”
After ten years of service, Curedale and Rotblatt continue to welcome others to contact them if they’re interested in becoming a part of the community. Visit www.topangavintagemarket.com for more details.