We had the good fortune of connecting with Lauren Vizzini and Elena Buenrrostro and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Lauren & Elena, we’d love for you to start things off by telling us something about your industry that we and others not in the industry might be unaware of?
Our industry is vintage. It’s very trendy and popular right now, we have at points in building our business found it hard to keep our shelves stocked due to the demand. By the time the customer sees our items, they are clean, fixed, priced and displayed beautifully. One thing outsiders are probably unaware of is all that goes into sourcing these pieces. We specialize in Seventies furniture & housewares; wicker, rattan, dreamy floral patterns, orange and yellow everything. In order to get our hands on these goods a usual Thursday (the day estate sales are usually scheduled) starts at 4:30am when we head to an Estate Sale. Estate Sales are a homeowner generally an heir selling off the contents of a home in its entirety. We take our truck ready with boxes, bungee cords, & blankets for wrapping anything fragile to the location of the Sale we have chosen. Hoping to be the 1st ones there we usually arrive between 5 and 6 am depending on the locale. There is sometimes a list where we will put our names and then catch a snooze in the car or breakfast before the start of the sale which is usually 9 or 10 am. If there is no list we will stand physically in line until the start time. There can be hundreds of people at a very desirable sale. The closer you are to the front of the line the better chance you have of getting the “best” items. There is a whole community based around these sales and unspoken rules we had to learn when we first started out, now we know many of the regulars and those managing the sales. Once the sale starts we collect items we know will sell, some in disrepair or very dirty having to make split second decisions or lose out to someone else.There is definitely a thrill and game like quality to the whole thing. Running around a stranger’s home in the early hours looking for retro treasures in the back of a garage or under a bed. After we load everything up, get it to our shop space safely where we clean and mend what we’ve found. This part of the job is not for the faint of heart, we usually end up dirty and exhausted but it is also what we love the most! Some of the houses we have seen look like time capsules that have not been touched for 50 years with sunken living rooms carpeted in green shag, pink porcelain bathrooms and patterned wallpaper so charming we wish we could peel it and take it with us. So, the ceramic mushroom wall decor hung lovingly on our shop wall has quite a story behind it.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
We started Good Goods Vintage Co. as a hobby. Not even, a side gig just a way for us to continue shopping for and buying the vintage items we loved but no longer had room for in our own homes. Every item we sourced with love and genuine hope that the new owner would have the perfect place for it. The shop grew inside of Gum’s Antique Mall and from selling at local swap meets. In less time than we ever could have expected we moved to one of the largest spaces in the Mall and had to let other jobs go as we made time to meet the demand that came with selling more and more. We created systems that worked for us and put in more and more hours. We are now half way through the process of opening up our own Antique Mall/Collective shop “Goods on Orange’ in Long Beach that will house our own items and those of about 15 other locally made, fair trade, and vintage vendors. Our space features a garden and we have worked hard to make sure we have variance in our vendors so there will be something for everyone that enters our doors. We think our goal of creating a positive environment for small businesses to have retail space and build each other up is what sets us apart. So many in this industry thrive on competition but we believe there is room for us all. The process we are in right now is hard everyday has brought new challenges and we have not had a day off in months, what keeps us going is what we know we can build if we keep at it. Being able to work for ourselves and give to others something they are so excited for is an amazing motivator. Both of our brands have the word “Good” and that is what we’d like the world to take from what we do. Vintage items do good for the environment and we have taken every effort to make our shop as sustainable as possible. We have given back by doing major gift and charitable drives for those in need in our community. And mostly we just want to bring some good feelings to everyone we get to cross paths with in this business.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Long Beach is such a special city ! It is filled with such unique places and experiences. A walk on the beach path in the morning will give you sunrise views of the Queen Mary and a beautiful boat filled marina. If you need a place to stay while visiting the area Hotel Maya is near the marina and is the dreamiest hotel in the area with amazing views, pools, and food. Downtown offers many great restaurants our favorite is The Ordinarie featuring female head chefs and some of the best comfort food bites you will find in the city. If you are looking for something a bit lighter Blue Bird sushi on Broadway nestled on the Gay bar strip offers some of the best sushi we have ever had and even has a full vegan menu. Our City offers free yoga at bluff park with ocean views everyday, the large group that gathers to join in makes the hour long classes something noteworthy in our city. Other than our Antique Mall, Retro Row on 4th street is well known for its vintage offerings and makes for a fun shopping stroll. These are just a few examples of the charm our city has to offer and why we love it so much. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
This is easy! We wouldn’t have been able to this without Gums & JR of Gum’s Antique Mall who gave us our start and have supported us every step of the way with our growth and journey to now having our own mall. Their kindness, encouragement, and a ready answer to the many many questions we asked has been priceless. Additionally both our families have helped literally building our shop spaces, never doubting our plans, and giving us the love we needed to push through when things got difficult, we will forever be grateful.
Instagram: @goodgoodsvintage @goodsonorange