There’s no end to the odds and ends you’ll find at Venice Vintage Paradise. The shop on Abbot Kinney is jampacked with throwback items like perfectly broken-in pairs of cowboy boots, a red velvet vintage loveseat, handmade Mexican leather purses, antique industrial salon chairs, groovy bangle bracelets, and much more. A giant buffalo taxidermy hanging out near the front of the store, among some colorful striped serape blankets is lovingly named “Buttless,” as he’s missing his hindquarters. Filled with unique home décor, funky furniture, and retro clothing and accessories, this eclectic emporium keeps its promise as a paradise for vintage lovers.
Where do all these treasures come from? “I can’t kiss and tell,” says co-owner and founder Jeanie Reynolds.
Of all the items in the store, Reynolds is the real gem. She’s like your favorite aunt, and you’ll want to gab with her all afternoon. She might even offer you a beverage. Reynolds and her co-owner Sal Torres are two rays of sunshine, keeping the mood fun and friendly in the shop. When we asked about the old 8-track karaoke machine we spied by the entrance, Torres and company popped in the 8-track tapes of “What a Feeling” from Flashdance and Michael Jackson's “Billie Jean,” and a dance party ensued.
Reynolds and Torres have been in the Venice shop scene since back in the day. Reynolds was born and raised in Venice, and her history with stores in the area goes back to when Abbot Kinney was still called West Washington. (It wasn’t until 1990 that the street name was changed to Abbot Kinney, for you Venice historians.) Torres and his family have also been selling wares at local flea markets for many years.
All of the items in the shop – and there are hundreds, maybe even thousands – were scouted and hand-picked by Reynolds and Torres with our neighborhood in mind. It’s a mix of beachy, retro-western finds.
When we asked Reynolds what kind of changes she’s seen in the neighborhood over the years, she lowered her turquoise blue glasses and said “Really?!” We hear ya. Venetians have seen a lot of AK faves closing up shop. The much-loved vintage boutique Surfing Cowboys shuttered its Abbot Kinney location last March and moved to Mar Vista, as did French 50s 60s, ChocoVivo, and Nitespa. More recent Abbot Kinney relocations include Ecookie clothing boutique moving to Rose Ave and Euphoria Salon's announcement that it would be re-opening in the Marina.
Venice Vintage Paradise has been a mainstay on the street for 11 years, moving last August from their old home between Elvino Wines and the former Glencrest Bar-B-Que, to their new, bigger digs several blocks south, just across the street from French Market. Consider us a few among many who are grateful that this gem has been holding it down in Venice for so many years, and the next time you need to punch up your decor with some unique personality, visit Reynolds, Torres – and the taxidermy buffalo – at Venice Vintage Paradise.
Venice Vintage Paradise // 2304 Abbot Kinney Blvd., Venice 90291