Today we’d like to introduce you to Janice Johnson.
Janice, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I have always had a love of history and artifacts. Long before it was fashionable I loved to dig through thrift stores and garage sales. As a teenager my family would say “Poor Janice, she wears used shoes.” At my wedding in the 1980’s, I received a lot of new shiny gifts I didn’t care for. I decided to sell them at a yard sale. Living in Westwood, people came from miles to shop at my yard sale….location, location…location. I made so much money that I had to start shopping for my yard sales. I graduated to yard sale by appointment only and then off to selling at the flea markets or pop up markets as I’ve seen them recently called.
Someone suggested I try a space at the Sherman Oaks Antique Mall. It was love at first sight. I had trouble getting in since the manager thought I was too young to be a successful antique dealer. Less than a year after opening my space the mall came up for sale and I purchased it. That was 1988. My husband Rick and I have been running this truly fun and successful business for almost thirty years. We are no longer called “the kids”.
I still get a thrill every time I find a small treasure from the past and research its
history. I think it’s so sad that cheaply made goods from China purchased from Amazon are taking the place of elegant design and craftsmanship. One young lady recently was admiring several rings and I mentioned she was attracted to the Victorian Period. She answered “yes, I’ve been told that before. What color is Victorian?” I also chuckle when younger shoppers pick up cheap mid-century imitation European chachkas from Japan and say ” oh good it’s from Japan, so it’s quality.”
With 95 eclectic dealers we have an amazing variety of antiques and vintage decor. Everything from Lalique to Vinyl records, Mid Century decor to rustic and primitive pieces. Of special note is our selection of vintage jewelry. We have all the designer costume jewelry through estate jewelry pieces. Also of note is our “Crown Chic” vintage clothing boutique featuring pre owned designer luxury wear.
Has it been a smooth road?
Actually, the mall has been a wonderful business to run while raising my family. We’ve enjoyed meeting the interesting people that come through the door daily, we’ve met many celebrities and musicians throughout the years, and the mall tends to attract artistic people both as dealers and customers. The biggest challenge now is to get the next generation to recognize the value of non-disposable goods. The items we sell were designed with love and passion and built to last generations. The challenge is to get people off their computers (everything can look good in a photo) and get them to come in and touch and feel the difference. We’re losing the recreational activity of enjoying a day of shopping and hunting for an unexpected treasure.
We’d love to hear more about your business.
We are a family run small business that has survived for three decades in a competitive always changing market place. We still have many dealers that have been with us since the eighties. We know our customers and their dogs by name. We have Christmas celebrations with wine and munchies. Not only a place to shop, our store is a touch stone for the neighborhood. A place to come and enjoy your afternoon.
Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Lower taxes! Better parking!
- Address: Sherman Oaks Antique Mall
14034 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, Ca 91423
- Website: www.soantiquemall.com
- Phone: (818)906-0338
- Email: email@example.com