CHICO — I’m obsessed with thrift stores.
Actually, it’s not just thrift stores, it’s antique stores, flea fairs, and antique fairs. I also like old buildings. anything with a history.
So when I walked into owner Ava Moon’s Late Bloomer Vintage Boutique on East Sixth Street, I was instantly drawn. I really like the decor of this store. The walls at the front of the building are decorated in vibrant pinks and oranges, and the rest of the store has been painted in bright colours. Moon even has a small lounge in the front of the store for people to hang out and take photos with her for Valentine’s Day. The theme of the lounge often changes depending on the holiday or season.
She mainly sells clothes and records, but also has many other types of merchandise on sale such as sunglasses, mini backpacks, wallets, menswear, furniture and art.
“We love supporting local arts,” Moon said.
I was also appalled at the organization and cleanliness of the store. Everything has its place and I love the way she decorates. Adorable vintage lunchboxes hang on the wall next to the cash register, and 1980s antiques like the Lite-Brite and Gilda Radner cutout doll collections are on display in glass cases below the cash register.
“We’re going to keep the old Chico vibe,” Moon said. “This is the pinnacle of artistic expression.”
Some curators are selling items at Moon’s store, which opened in October.
I brought an old Kate Spade purse that I’ve been meaning to throw away, and Moon accepted. She gave me store credit and in exchange I got a really cool painting of Jack Daniel’s whiskey. Customers earn store credits when they carry merchandise, and she offers gift certificates.
Moon is interested in photography and majored in mass communication at Chico State University. A native Mexican, she learned how to market herself through antique shops and her previous store, The Magic Shop on West 8th and Flume Streets.
Moon describes herself as a “compulsive thrifter”. She brings items from her own garage for her collection, as well as collections from other store curators.
“We brought something that we thought was cool,” Moon said. “Chico locals are keeping the old Chico vibe going.”
Moon offers color-coded items for Friday sales and day-specific sales. She said items in the store range in price from $15 to $150.
Moon is very community-minded and generous; she gives back by donating sweatpants, socks, and other clothing to Safe Space Winter Shelter. She also puts books in the little free library when she sees them. If the clothes brought in were torn or soiled, she would fix them. She also makes dyes from plants.
“We care about sustainability and community,” Moon said.
Moon plans to host themed nights in-store, such as karaoke nights and tarot readings.She has a grand opening planned for February and will be giving a class on how to make collages on February 10th from 2-4pm
Moon will have a booth at the Divine Sundays 70s Pop Up Market and will offer off-season and overstock. Customers can fill their bags at her booth for $20.
Late Bloomer Vintage Boutique is located at 363 East Sixth Street. Customers can buy, sell and trade there. Moon’s Instagram is the best way to get in touch with her; she can be found under the handle late_bloomr_vintage.The store is open Tuesday-Saturday 10am-5pm and Friday until 10pm
Jennie Blevins writes a weekly business column. To submit ideas or suggestions or to ask a question, please email email@example.com.