I just got home from a long weekend in Napa, CA. I ate, drank, biked (to vineyards!) and, of course, checked out some antiques. The first night, I had dinner at Oenotri in the super cute area of “downtown” Napa. Walking around after dinner, I stumbled upon Antiques on Second and decided to come back the next day. Let me just say: based solely on the stuff at Antiques on Second, I am already planning a trip to drive up to Napa, check out other stores (there seem to be plenty from what I saw driving around) and buy stuff. Here’s what I found (and loved):
Antiques on Second is located at 1370 2nd Street in Napa, CA
A little over a month ago, I met Scott from Finders Keepers Vintage at the Rose Bowl Flea Market. I was at his booth, utterly impressed with all of the genuinely cool stuff he was selling. I ended up buying a chair from him, and we got to talking. He told me he found everything by picking. Yes, like American Pickers picking. I was intrigued. A picker? Based in California? I knew he had to be the next influencer interview!
Luckily, he was happy to sit down with me. Once Spring Break hit, I visited his store in Murietta, CA. It was awesome! Like the Rose Bowl on steroids. There were signs, tins, little finds, big finds, manniquens, an amazing arcade bowling game… pretty much anything you could imagine finding on a pick.
Here’s what he had to say:
RR: How did you get started buying?
Scott: My grandparents were big flea market and swap meet people and I would always be the tag along. And, of course, when you’re young, 4 and 5 years old, you’re always asking for money because you find something. So they’d give me five bucks and I’d go out and look around and have a blast. My whole life, it has always been flea markets and swap meets, you name it…. I love trying to find that hidden treasure. It may be hidden away for years and you find it and bring it back to life.
RR: How did you get started selling?
Scott: In 2012, I was transitioning jobs and my wife encouraged me to follow my passion and look into opening the store.
RR: Do you really only find things picking?
Scott: We aquire all of our stuff through picking. I don’t do estate sales, I don’t do garage sales (you have to go to 50 garage sales to find a couple of cool items, estate sales, at least out here, they charge more than I do in my store.) I put ads out, people call me, now that I have the store, people come in here every day trying to sell me items.
I’ve been as far as the Midwest picking. I’ve been to Iowa. You walk into a barn, and it is just full of rustic items and just oozes America and it’s really cool. Sometimes it just gives you goose bumps when you walk in… you just think you walked into the holy grail of picking.
RR: How do you approach people to pick? Do you call ahead? Do you ever knock on doors like the show American Pickers?
Scott: I’ve been picking as far as Iowa. There’s very little door knocking. I don’t like to invade people’s privacy. Generally, I’ll have something set up already. I’ll do ads or we call to set it up. When we went to Iowa, we only had one pick set up. Through word of mouth, we ended up scheduling so many picks that we had to cancel our trip to see the American Pickers store. I had to remember that we were there for business first! One day I’ll go back and go to the store.
RR: How do you decide which items are in the store and what you take to the flea market?
Scott: I kind of cross everything over. I try to take eye catchers from the store. In addition to the store, I have a 3,000 square foot barn filled with stuff. The goal is to stand out at events. I bring some things from the barn, but I also bring things from the store.
RR: Do you have any tips for negotiating?
Scott: My goal is to find the right home for items. I’d rather someone take an item and appreciate it and enjoy it than just throw it in their garage. I don’t change the price whether the item is in the store or at the flea market and I’m always willing to negotiate. If I can tell that someone really loves something but they are feeling shy about negotiating (especially in the store), I may tell them to make me an offer or offer them a lower price to at least get the ball rolling. If you really love something, just ask.
RR: How do you clean up items?
Scott: It’s funny you ask. At first I would wipe everything down, but then people would say, “no, no, no, I want it how you found it!” Now, if an item is really needing some attention, we’ll wipe down the outside but leave dust and the dirt and the cobwebs inside so people can see where it came from.
RR: What is your dream find?
Scott: A split window VW bus would be my dream buy.
RR: What’s your favorite find to date?
Scott: Any time I see Disney, I try to buy it. To me, Disney is America. Disney represents that creativity, that drive, passion, and vision.
I love finding porcelain gas station items, advertising signs, and vintage toys because those are the things I am passionate about and collect myself.
RR: Is there a “find that got away?”
Scott: I can’t tell you how many items that I’ve wanted or had my eye on. A 12 foot A&W neon that said “All American Foods” and, you know, timing is everything. I went to look at it, and I loved it and didn’t have my trailer with me. Then I got too busy to call the guy, and when I called him the next week, it was long gone.
RR: Any disasters?
Scott: I bought this vintage bear trap. My emotions got the best of me and I ended up paying $1000 for it, and it sold for about $750.
RR: Where all can we find you?
Scott: We started permanent residences at the Rose Bowl and Long Beach Flea Markets and will be there every month. We’re aiming to pick up at least one other event each month so we’ll be doing three flea markets a month. This month is Junk Bonanza in San Diego on March 20, 21, 22. We are on Facebook and Ebay. Also, we are starting to rent out items for weddings and events.
I had so much fun talking to Scott! He finds such cool stuff and I love that his finds are a piece of Americana. He loves it, and he wants other people to love it, too. He’s so clearly passionate about what he does, and that shines through in the quality of his merchandise. Definitely go and see him at the flea markets or check out his shop at 25285 Madison Ave #111 Murrieta, Ca 92562.
Have you ever walked into a store and thought, “this is my kinda store.” A store where everything just seems so perfectly laid out that it just speaks to you? A store where you say, “I have to meet the person responsible for this genius!”?
I have. As soon as I walked into Brainworks Home on Pico, I knew it was going to be my favorite shop. It was so perfectly curated; filled with designer pieces mixed with interesting estate finds that just felt right. Think Eames, Plycraft, Wassily, Knoll mixed with estate finds and fun odds and ends… It is the kind of place where you just want to hang out.
I immediately saw countless items to covet, and spent at least an hour wandering through the shop, drooling over art, records, furniture, funky glasses, and vintage wallpapers.
I had the opportunity to sit down with Erin Adams, the owner, and learn about her journey in creating such a lovely space.
Erin was always a fan of art, and started out as a mural painter. Educated at Otis Art Institute at Parsons, she got her start in the industry as an intern for a well known mural painter in 1985, then became partners with him. As a painter, she worked in Vegas, painting at Ceasar’s Palace, MGM Grand, and the Luxor. She has done faux finishing, decorative painting, and gold leafing. Interior design goes hand in hand with art, and she said her love of history has influenced her design (her dad was a history teacher, so she grew up talking about history around the dinner table… how cool!)
Here’s what she had to say when we talked:
RR: What is the biggest difference between working as a designer and working as a mural artist?
Interior design is like a friendship relationship. With mural painting, you go in, do the job and you’re done. You can come back the next day and leave it there.
RR: What was your first rehab project?
EA: A dining room set that my brother gave me that he didn’t want. I did a faux finish, and put some seat cushions on it. It was 1984, and I did tortoise shell. It was all about bright colors and crazy patterns.
RR: Is there anything specific you look for when searching for items?
EA: I make sure it speaks to me. Most items kind of find me. For example, I found a really cool glass, and brought it in. Someone in the shop said we already had one. Someone came in and asked if we’d bought the cups at a sale—we hadn’t, but we went and got them. Stuff seems to want to be together.
RR: Where do you get most of your inventory?
EA: It really finds me. I get stuff everywhere—garage sales, auctions, swap meets, pickers come by the store, estate sales, antique sales, and sometimes I get items from the design mart. My sources naturally change on their own.
RR: What are your favorite finds?
EA: I love finding fine art. It’s like a treasure hunt.
Also, things I can’t immediately identify—they keep me interested the longest. It changes all the time… you get into something, then you figure it out and move on to something else. Right now, I am obsessed with researching an Egyptian cat I found. (You know I gasped when she said this, given my obsession with Egyptian Revival pieces!)
RR: What is the most rewarding part of running Brainworks?
EA: When people connect with something on an emotional level and these things become “new” family heirlooms. It reminds them of their mom or an item their dad kept on their shelf. When those connections are made, you can tell, you can see it in their eyes and that is the most rewarding. It’s just like art, sometimes you do just have to have art in your life. This stuff is like art to me. I also like improving the neighborhood—it is rewarding.
RR: What is the most difficult part of having the store?
EA: Finding the balance between collecting and selling stuff. Also, the area is progressing, so sometimes you still get an occasional homeless person that wanders in. Since the area is changing, you have to improve the area without pushing people out.
RR: What is your dream item?
EA: My dream item will be fine art… because I went to art school and studied history, and my dad was a history teacher. It’s like a treasure hunt, but I think it will definitely be fine art. I’ll find it.
RR: Any tips for someone embarking on their first rehab or design project?
EA: Always make a plan and draw out the space. Never say “I’m just going to go for it.” Read about it, do your research. Research materials you may not be familiar with. Having a plan can help keep you from abandoning your project, or even ruining your project.
EA on “can’t live without it items”: A lot of shoppers have the “I have to see if it speaks to me” mentality. They’ll look at it, they’ll get excited, then they’ll leave. They’ll see if they think about it until they have to come back. (RR: I know this is what I do!)
Here are some items I just couldn’t stop thinking about:
I had such a great time interviewing Erin and learned so much. Stop by Brainworks Home at
5364 w Pico Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90019 .
They are open Wed- Sat 11-6 pm. Have lunch, explore the area, and find your new favorite store!
While visiting my hometown for a baby shower, I got a chance to check out some antique shops in Augusta, GA.
Mommy-to-be Caroline showed me a couple of her favorite shops.
I found some really good stuff at really good prices, but neither place ships! That’s just fuel for my dream of antiquing across the country in a truck American Pickers style!
I took so many photos, it was hard to pare them down for this post. I saw a lot of pretty dishes, mahogany pieces, horse-themed items, and antique chandeliers from estates.
Here are some of my favorite finds:
My parents moved to Santa Fe a few years ago, and I absolutely love going there to visit. It’s absolutely gorgeous- the open skies, the mountains, the terrain. It is especially magical in the Spring and Summer. I just love the sunflowers everywhere and the rainbows after an afternoon storm. The hiking is great, the food is amazing, and there is an awesome art scene… there’s also a lot of really, really good old furniture!
A lot of people have vacation homes in Santa Fe and the culture is rich with a history that provides a unique flair to the decorating style. I just love going to all of the shops, getting inspired, and checking out the prices for the market.
I spent an afternoon shopping recently, and here are my top picks:
The items in the top two pictures are from Encore at Double Take on Guadalupe. The rest is from Recollections on Cerrillos Road. I just have to check out these shops every time I’m in town!