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FLEA Hopes to Offer Something for Everyone

By Eric Richardson
Published: Wednesday, June 24, 2009, at 09:40PM
FLEA Eric Richardson [Flickr]

New store on 6th street, between Spring and Main.

Caryn Hofberg wasn't planning to open a store when she moved Downtown just a few months ago, yet most days you can find her inside FLEA, her eclectic new shop on 6th street. Offering furniture, vintage clothing, second-hand boots and a variety of other knick-knacks, Hofberg hopes "to have something for everyone."

After stopping by this week, we emailed Hofberg some questions about her new spot and the process of opening up shop.

BLOGDOWNTOWN: So what people should expect to find at FLEA?

CARYN HOFBERG: Me! Ha! Ha! Dogs! Another Ha! Ha! But really, “All dogs are welcome at FLEA, as long as they don’t slobber on things and the boys aren’t leg lifters”. I’m going to have a bulletin board with pictures of the neighborhood dogs called “Flea Friends”.

My goal is to have something for everyone. Furniture, lighting, rugs and accessories to fill your lofts and/or apartments. Vintage clothing for women, men and kids. Shoes, purses, scarves and jewelry for women and men. I will also carry some re-sale of clothing that isn’t vintage but current designers.

And, in a few days we'll be hanging photos by a fabulous artist, Judy Ragagli, who paints photo realistic portraits of vintage glamour Barbies.

Eventually I will also offer Interior Re-Design and Professional Organizing services.

BD: You moved Downtown not too long ago, not planning to open a store. What made that change?

CH: I was living on the Westside and had a successful Professional Organizing and Interior Re-Design Business. I was also a vendor at the Flea Markets in the Los Angeles area. I decided to move downtown last fall and thought my business would be really successful here. It wasn’t. And I shortly thereafter stopped doing the flea markets because I didn’t want to give up my Sundays anymore and was finding them to not be as profitable as they once were. I had a storage space full of inventory. I noticed early on while walking around my neighborhood there were no Vintage clothing stores, fun furniture stores, antique stores or really many places to shop for fun funky things. I was sort of surprised because, like myself, I noticed many people walking around wearing Vintage clothing. I started to ask where people shop and most people said they had to drive to places like Silverlake or Melrose. Then all of a sudden it dawned on me to open a store for the community I was quickly falling in love with. 3 months later here I am. I had a vision and strong Faith and therefore I was able to manifest FLEA.

BD: You've been open two weeks now. What has the reaction been from those who have been in the store or just walked by?

CH: Fabulous. Everyone is so excited to have a place to shop that is close to where they live. They love the furniture and in the first 2 weeks I sold over 30 bar stools, chairs and tables, as well as many other items.

BD: What's been your biggest surprise?

CH: How much work was involved in setting up a store.

BD: Open question: What would you want to say to Downtowners?

CH: Believe. Dreams do come true. My goal is to allow my neighbors to become happily involved with products and services provided by FLEA in the years ahead. And to live a favorite quote of mine by Margaret Mead:

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

FLEA / 112 W. 6th, between Spring and Main / Closed Sunday and Monday; Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 11am – 7pm; Wednesday and Saturday 10am – 5pm / 213.622.2122


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