Vintage clothes and costume jewelry from Hollywood sets, natural carpets and eclectic home goods, artwork that once sold in galleries ... everything inside Centre-Piece is there for a reason and hoping for a fresh start, including its owner Saule Piktys, who believes that the story of how it all came together is proof that there are greater forces at work.
With her bright blue eyes and Lithuanian accent, Piktys pulls various garments from her growing collection and models them, and she explains a series of tragedies and chance occurrences that brought her to the Natural Carpets Company on Lincoln Blvd., which is where it all began. Norman Marks, the owner of the Natural Carpets Co., passed away, and while his parents were in town from Florida sorting out business affairs, Piktys stopped in for a visit. She knew Marks from projects she's done in the past, including set design and interior decorating, but she hadn't seen him in years.
Piktys was between projects, and after a tumultuous year filled with weddings, funerals, and news of her mother's illness, she decided to take a few months to regroup. One morning, as she was headed out to the post office, she mentioned to her husband that during this time off, she wanted to remove the carpeting from their apartment and lay hardwood floors with natural rugs. Later that afternoon, after rollerblading to the Venice Post Office to avoid lines in Santa Monica, she took Venice Blvd up to Lincoln, a familiar route from the days when she first moved from Europe to Santa Monica 25 years ago.
She stopped in to the Natural Carpet Co. and Marks' parents were there to tell her what had happened. She says that they were practically giving away the beautiful, high-quality, hand-woven rugs, eager to tie up loose ends, so she offered to help them sort out the inventory and sell the remaining items over the course of a few weekends, as a favor.
Soon afterward, Piktys was presented with an opportunity to open her own business, which she named Centre-Piece, only a few doors down from the Natural Carpet Co. and sell the rugs directly to the public. She mixed in vintage clothes from a friend at Paramount, and every week new items that range anywhere from $30 to $100 are rotated in among the racks and rolls of remaining carpets and baskets. She sells shoes, handbags and costume jewelry, as well as leather goods, jewelry made by local artists, modern blown-glass trays from Dea Luca, and her own paintings.
She says that she always tries to find the most interesting pieces, something unique and playful, befitting of a vintage shop in the creative cluster of boutiques that have recently sprung up on Lincoln Blvd. She plans to revamp the store with new shelving and a proper dressing room, but news of her mother's passing will bring her home to Europe for a short while in the interim. Piktys says that she is happy and optimistic about her new endeavor - the way it happened was completely chaotic and seemingly out of her control, yet it all makes perfect sense.
2004 Lincoln Blvd. Venice, CA 90291
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