After selling their custom-built lighting online, a couple starts their own brick-and-mortar vintage shop.
For more on California Rediscovered or to shop some of their vintage finds, visit californiarediscovered.com.
IT TAKES PATIENCE, PASSION AND PERSISTENCE TO MAKE YOUR DREAMS COME TRUE, and that’s exactly the combination that helped shop owners Allison and Tom Schmidt successfully start their own business. Selling a curated mix of vintage and eclectic finds, furniture, handmade goods and more, their shop, California Rediscovered, has something for everyone. “Whether a customer is looking to furnish a home or just looking for a unique gift, our store is the place to find it,” say the Schmidts.
California Rediscovered was not always the brick-and-mortar shop it is today. They began as an online store in 2010, selling lighting and eventually expanding to custom-built furniture, vintage finds, handmade art and home goods. “Tom built all the lighting for our home from scavenged pieces, and we had some extras,” Allison says. “We thought we would see what would happen if we put them online.” Their success eventually led them to want to sell in person, and while waiting for a building to become available, the Schmidts participated in antiques and design shows throughout the state to gain experience. After eight years, they finally opened their shop.
To keep their space filled with unique treasures, Allison and Tom make trips from Sacramento to Los Angeles, stopping at vintage stores, swap meets, estate sales and occasionally a closing business to look for wares. “We’ve even pulled over a few times and knocked on doors while driving past interesting-looking properties,” they say. They sell everything from one-of-a-kind treasures to art and oddities. "From jewelry and
jams to pottery, vintage clothing, furniture and lighting, we like to think we have something for everyone.”
With the variety they sell, the Schmidts stick to a theme to keep the shop cohesive. “We lean towards a vintage industrial look, but with a refined and soft finish,” they say. “Reimagining how vintage objects can be used in modern homes is a passion of ours.” Allison enjoys rearranging the space daily to keep things fresh and make sure their regular customers constantly find something new. “Maybe one day an old shoeshine box would hold some books on a shelf and the next day it will be a silverware caddy,” she says.
The best advice the Schmidts can give to aspiring shop owners is to start small. “Testing the brick-and-mortar waters with an online business and selling at vintage markets and makers fairs allowed us to zone in on a fairly useful business plan that allowed us to understand our customers,” they say. Stop by and visit California Rediscovered at 2116 Pico Blvd, Santa Monica, CA. (424) 252-9806.
"From jewelry and jams to pottery, vintage clothing, furniture and
we like lighting, to think we have something for everyone.”
AFTER EIGHT YEARS of selling their custom-built pieces online, Allison and Tom finally have a brick-andmortar shop to call their own, filled with vintage finds, handmade treasures and home goods.