The first destination on my vintage road trip was Los Angeles and it was both exciting and daunting to think about exploring the vintage scene in this place. I'll admit to feeling a little intimidated.
After some online research, it was very clear that the LA area has a healthy flea market scene for vintage and antiques. The downside to this for me was only being able to pick one or two markets to go to since there are specific weekends where these markets are held. In the end, the hubby and I decided to check out the Long Beach Antique Market as it seemed to have a good selection of items we were interested in seeing.
The Long Beach Antique Market takes place on the third weekend of each month all year round. The market runs from 6:30 am to 2:00 pm and for eager shoppers it offers an early bird admission from 5:30 to 6:30 for twice the admission fee. It's easy to get to as it's pretty much right off the 405 and there's ample parking at Veteran's Stadium where it is located.
We arrived quite early, which I would recommend, because the line to get in was starting to get long and the sun was beating down all morning. While the hubby came prepared with a few big duffle bags, I looked around and felt a little out of place when people rocked up with big wagons and wheely shopping carts. There were some serious bargain and antique hunters we were up against!
This market has something for everyone: antique furniture and household items (still thinking about the dreamiest midcentury modern Danish furniture), vintage appliances, home decor, repurposed items, vinyl, and more.
There were plenty of stands selling vintage and secondhand clothing and jewellery. I learned right away not to call any of it 'vintage' when asking the vendor the cost of the item as it immediately raised the price. Also, its perfectly acceptable to bargain at this market provided you're not being rude and completely lowballing a vendor.
I decided that I preferred the stands with vendors who had a carefully curated collection of vintage arranged by color or style. I found the larger stalls simply too overwhelming. It turns out that these types of stalls most often belonged to people who ran a boutique online (Etsy, etc) or who also had brick and mortar shops or studios. Prices range based on the items sellers stock. Brand name vintage always costs more as does vintage from faraway places. I met two lovely ladies who explained their experience selling at markets and one who even invited me to her studio in LA!
I love that the hubby and I can poke around these markets together. There were plenty of things to keep his interest as well. Vinyl records, vintage tees and glasses, old cameras, appliances, and more.
What I love most about shopping in antique markets, estate sales and vintage boutiques are the reminders of the past. I stumbled across a gorgeous antique sewing machine stand that reminded me of my grandmother's one and the hubby found some mixing bowls like the ones he remembers his mother inheriting from his grandmother. So much nostalgia, it's like a walk down memory lane.
Speaking of nostalgia, I've got a special collaboration happening this summer with Hong Kong based online boutique The House of Folklore who have given me two lovely silk scarves from their newly launched collection of four silk scarves designed by Hong Kong based artist Mayura Yadav. I'll be styling them throughout my summer as I take my vintage road trip. I'm wearing their Free Spirit design in this post, inspired by those lovely blue and white Chinese porcelain bowls I grew up eating my breakfast cereal in. Stay tuned for more about these scarves and my collaboration in a post coming soon.