Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Jones.
Hi Amy, so excited to have you with us today. What can you tell us about your story?
My journey in LA has been anything but predictable! What initially started as a twenty-year-old girl looking to leave her hometown and pursue modeling quickly unraveled into testing out many different career options and rolling with the punches throughout the years. Fast forward to March 2020 when the world as we knew it came to a halt. Modeling was not a viable option so I had to become resourceful, something that at least came naturally after being self-employed for so many years! It had been a lifelong dream to decorate my home in nothing but the 80s, postmodern furniture. I have always made vision boards with images from 80s interior magazines and been inspired by music artists such as Prince, Devo, Duran Duran and so on. My favorite artist of all time is the iconic Patrick Nagel! I’ve always felt like I grew up in the wrong era.
It all started with an 80s cream lacquer waterfall dresser with gold trim that I found on the Internet. My good friend Haley and I started attending estate sales and scouring the Internet near and far for rare vintage furniture and decor. I quickly fell in love with the hunt for vintage gems. We decided to take it seriously and invest in a storage unit. I went from never having been inside of a storage unit to renting at least 15 different storage units within the past two years! Since everybody was stuck at home in quarantine people were focusing on their interior decor. So it quickly became my full-time job to find the perfect pieces for everyone’s home. Not only did I bring my own vision to life but I helped everyone else bring theirs to life as well!
Then it was time for a name. While brainstorming with Haley she threw out “I love lucite” and it was perfect given my obsession with lucite and I liked the play on the infamous “I love Lucy”!
Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Owning a business is never predictable! And definitely not easy. But the challenges make the successes worth it! Being a vintage dealer is not for the timid or weak! This niche industry goes in and out of waves of being insanely competitive, as there will be influxes of new dealers coming and going. I have faced many unexpected challenges since starting this journey! The most common challenge for me is estate sales: what many don’t realize is to get the goods many vintage dealers camp out at estate sales the night before to reserve their spot in line. So much anxiety and suspense goes into this experience!
Next is the dangers I have faced as a lone female. I have faced sexual harassment and even life-threatening situations. Once I nearly escaped being kidnapped in a house that I thought only had an older woman selling the pieces. She had a male friend come inside and they both tried to push me into a room. Luckily I wiggled my way out and got back to my car safely!
One of my biggest nightmares to date was when a customer in Colorado purchased an entire bedstead and we had to ship it to her! We used a shipping company and a man with a large semi picked up all the items. Long story short, my assistant and I hadn’t heard from him for a couple of weeks since he’d picked up. A few weeks later we get a call that he had just gotten out of jail! He had stolen a Penske truck and was on the run! After much worry and endless calls, I was able to retrieve the pieces and have them safely delivered to my poor customer who was beginning to think she was scammed!
Then in February of 2021 ILuvLucite’s Instagram page was hacked and deleted. This was initially devastating, as Instagram was our main way of selling pieces to our customers. After weeks of trying to get the page back and failing, an amazing customer of mine reached out to let me know her boyfriend worked for Instagram. They helped me get the page back and I am eternally grateful for her help!!
Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Initially, the business started out as me sourcing rare vintage interior pieces from the 70s-90s to restore, stage, and sell to my customers. I always wanted to make my vintage shop unique and set it apart from others. A year ago I moved into a live-work loft in DTLA to finally open up my showroom! Doing this definitely took my business to the next level! I had always wanted to properly stage pieces so that people can envision them in realistic settings! I don’t just sell furniture – I create a vibe relevant to very specific eras and enjoy creating scenes from my imagination. My love for these pieces grew stronger and stronger. To the point where I cannot bring myself to part with most of them!
So I have recently started a new venture for I Luv Lucite. After months of staging and rearranging my two-story penthouse to perfection, the space has been available for location rental for film/ photo sets and events!
I am proud that I have kept my business going through some of my most challenging times. I love that I have the freedom to reinvent the brand as I see fit. What separates me from others is that I only sell pieces that I would personally keep for myself – hence it being emotionally challenging at times to part ways with most pieces!
Where we are in life is often partly because of others. Who/what else deserves credit for how your story turned out?
I have had some very important people help me along the way. I Luv Lucite would not be the successful business that it is without their support!
One of my best friends, Haley Warr, helped me start and name the business. She and I figured out the hunt together and I am eternally grateful for her support. She has her own location that she rents out as well (@pastelpenthouse on IG).
Since the beginning, my boyfriend Mason has helped with picking up, unloading, moving and staging heavy pieces! I couldn’t have done it without his help.
My other best friend, Isani, has been my assistant for the past couple of years and has been the backbone to I Luv Lucite. She handles much of the logistics and tedious details remotely while I do the dirty work. It’s one of those things everyone warns others about “Working with friends or family doesn’t go well” But it’s a rare situation that has gone very well! She has been by my side through every difficult situation and is my voice of reason with frustrating customers so that I don’t slip up with any anger – hehe.
- Starting at $120/ hour location rental. Contact for more details!
Photos captured by myself and Mason Gaudet