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Meet Pauline Clifford, David Meekin of Clifford Antiques in Burbank

Today we’d like to introduce you to Pauline Clifford and David Meekin .

Pauline and David , can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.

Myself Pauline and my husband David moved to LA 3 years ago and we’re now entrusted to re-establish my father William Clifford’s antique business that he started in 1965 shipping antiques from Scotland to Los Angeles, adding a fresh touch to a long-standing institution by adding vintage, retro and midcentury items to the store. We moved the shop to our current location in the heart of the vintage stores of Magnolia Park, Burbank in 2016!

The Clifford story began overseas. Born and raised in Glasgow, Scotland, William Clifford (my Dad) moved to Ohio in 1954. It was there that he first discovered his passion for antiques and, at age 19, began collecting. His frequent travels back to Scotland were spent antique hunting and building his knowledge. Clifford saw an opportunity to expand his hobby into a business and was soon shipping his first container to the U.S. and opening his first shop in 1965. Throughout the years, the store’s locations included Brentwood, Santa Monica and Malibu, enjoying a healthy celebrity clientele. Retiring in 2000, Clifford never lost his passion for antiques and continued collecting items from various locations in Scotland.

Meanwhile, I also grew to love all things from way back when, and with my own passion for the 1950s era, where we were located for 3 years, we re-located to Burbank in October 2016 and haven’t looked back since! “I’ve always loved all things old and with a history, growing up with a Dad who lived and breathed antiques has massively inspired & influenced me, although my own passion is mid-century,1950’s fashion, lifestyle and cars!!I’m no expert by any means and still learning from my Dad, I collect personally as well as selling Antiques and vintage, I love to shop at Flea Markets and other vintage stores and meet liked minded people who appreciate antiques and a simpler way of life!

Growing up I lived in a small village outside Glasgow Scotland, I spent my summer holidays in Los Angeles where my Dad had his antique shop Clifford Antiques, a family run business that made me realize that being your own boss was what I also wanted!!Finally in 2015 myself and husband immigrated to LA and I’m now fulfilling my dream of continuing my Dads Antique business, we are a close knit small team and we personally go back to Scotland every year to hand load a container of antique treasures from my Dads warehouse in Glasgow, we select all the antiques and vintage, load them, ship them, unload them in LA, price them, arrange them and sell them, it’s a labor of love and a lot of hard work but I couldn’t dream of doing anything else and I’m so happy I can make my Dad proud !!”

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When we decided to re-open the business in 2014 it was difficult to find the right location, we knew we needed a large enough store/warehouse to ship a 40ft container of antiques from Scotland and we also had a budget so since LA is super expensive for rent it was a challenge to find somewhere that ticked all the boxes, we finally found a big space in Glendale where we spent 3 years!!The next challenge was PR on a budget and getting people to know we had re-opened but so far away from my Dads last location in Santa Monica, the antiques spoke for themselves and customers started to realize we were selling true old British Antiques!!Then we had to learn how to build a website from scratch which was down to my husband David since he is the computer whiz!

It was also very difficult being a small family team, we do everything ourselves from shipping, loading, arranging, displaying and pricing, we often had to close the store for periods of time to travel back to Scotland, it was tough to balance everything.

In the early days of opening we discovered that not too far from our Glendale store there was a great street Magnolia Blvd where there was an array of trendy vintage/antique shops and we longed to be on that street, we couldn’t find any suitable available stores for rent and we felt that customers who shopped on Magnolia would love what we had to offer but there was just nothing available for rent!!Finally in late 2016 we had an opportunity we couldn’t resist, a small shop became available and it was a risk to have the 2 stores at once (being that my Dad was now in Scotland and it would be down to myself and husband to run the 2 shops ourselves) but we took the risk and thankfully our small Magnolia Blvd shop has been a great success, we have now decided to completely re-locate too this 1 location since it’s been so busy! The new challenge has been downsizing all our Antiques to the one smaller location so we now also have a backlog of items in storage which we regularly introduce or change around our inventory with!!

Please tell us about Clifford Antiques .
We are a small family business who ship true antiques, vintage and Mid Century from Glasgow, Scotland to Los Angeles, we do everything ourselves, we travel to Scotland where it takes us a week to hand load the container carefully selecting items from our warehouse in Glasgow, we then unload and arrange, price and restore items at our location in Los Angeles, we live and breathe all things old and with history. My dad started the business in 1965 when my Aunt used to run the shop in LA for him while he picked and bought all the antiques in Scotland, I have the fondest memories of spending my summers in LA growing up as a child so it’s always been my second home, I learn something every day from my Dad about antiques and I really want to make him proud, so now myself and husband have been entrusted to re-establish the business, we’re a young couple with a passion for vintage and we would love to make true antiques super trendy again and educate the younger generation that older is better, you

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
I don’t think we would change anything to be honest because the whole experience has been a big learning curve, good and bad we have learned along the way and you cannot reproduce learning from your mistakes, we wouldn’t be where we are today without them!!

Pricing:

  • • Small vintage items from $4 or less
  • • Victorian Bamboo pieces from $200-$2000
  • • Mid Century collectables and furniture & clothing $20-$1600

Contact Info:

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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