Delancey Street Christmas Trees Return to Venice
Leftover Luxuries transforms its patio into a winter wonderland for the holidays. Find your Christmas tree and support a great cause at 712 Lincoln Blvd.
Guest post by Jennifer Lane of Leftover Luxuries, where you can shop and consign unique and vintage finds.
Happy holidays Venice! I am excited to tell you about the Delancey Street Foundation and hope you can support them this season if you are planning to buy a holiday tree…
Some of you may already be familiar with Delancey Street as they are one of the country’s leading self-help organizations for former substance abusers, ex-convicts and the homeless. They are completely self-sufficient and do not rely on any government funding, instead, they support themselves with 20 of their own businesses including Christmas tree sales. Last year, they sold over 1.2 million dollars in trees in the month of December. They used to sell trees in Venice as well, but lost their lease about seven years ago, and haven't returned until now.
Through bad timing (or poor judgment) I had an empty patio attached to my new store, and I figured Christmas trees would be the best business to pursue for December, so I called them and asked if they wanted to sublet my space for the holidays. Fortunately, they said, “yes,” and within a week permits were pulled, and my patio was transformed into a winter wonderland, ready for the holiday tree rush.
In this brief time I have been fortunate enough to meet some of the men and women of Delancey; I was invited to dine with them and tour their live/work facility, which is encapsulated in the former Hilton Hotel on Vermont Avenue that was built for the 1984 Olympics. During dinner we discussed everything from life changing events to credit scores, and during my tour they showed me the holiday décor that they design and rent to their corporate clients (this business is done along with the trees) and I was blown away by their workmanship and creativity. Among their designs was a menorah made from surfboards for a Malibu shopping center, glamorous mirrored reindeers for a car dealership, and a wreath made from old-school cassettes from Amoeba, for a corporate office. The money they make goes back into their pool to keep the foundation running, but none of the residents take a salary. Through their unique rehabilitation program the residents learn vocations, get educations, and learn new and healthy ways to rebuild their lives. In this short time of working with Delancey I have been inspired by their drive, determination and genuine love for their new lives. Even if you don’t need a tree, stop by and say hello to Delancey Street, they will make your season a little brighter.
Leftover Luxuries // 712 Lincoln Blvd, between Indiana Ave, and Vernon Ave.