The countless thrift, antique and consignment stores in Magnolia Park offer our community a fun and eclectic shopping experience like no other. You never know what you’re going to discover, so it’s like hunting for treasure in your own backyard. But the area is more than a destination for scoring hard-to-find clothing and other vintage goods — it’s also been designated as Burbank’s first Green District, with the greatest number of stores in the city that reduce, reuse and recycle. Buying resale items helps lessen waste in landfills, saves energy and cuts down on environmental impacts from manufacturing and transportation. To help you get started on shopping with sustainability in mind, we’ve compiled a roundup of unique local businesses that show how easy going green can be.
One of the best benefits of shopping secondhand is the ability to switch up your wardrobe and refresh your closet without breaking the bank. With so much on-trend fashion spanning numerous decades packed into each store, you’re bound to find something that fits your style.
A good place to start your treasure hunt is at a traditional thrift store, like American Way Thrift, which is popular for offering deep discounts on clothing and accessories almost daily, like 50% off all clothing during special promotions. Its overwhelming selection of items — which goes beyond clothing and into home goods — will have you sorting through tons of kitschy items for hours. Alternatively, you can try your hand at It’s A Wrap!, which gives the public the special opportunity to purchase actual wardrobe and props from movies or television shows at 35% to 95% off retail. The highly organized store arranges clothing by type, with new arrival racks showcasing items from a particular set. Previously selected by costume designers, prop masters and set decorators to be worn or used for an hour or two on set, most pieces are in pristine condition. Costumes and props worn and used by actors like John Wayne adorn the walls, along with other movie memorabilia.
For strictly vintage fashion, Playclothes specializes in outfits and accessories from the ’40s to the ’80s. Costumers for period shows like Mad Men drop by often for well-preserved flapper dresses, poodle skirts and shift dresses, and menswear like gabardine suits, Hawaiian shirts and western button-downs. Other neighboring boutiques, like Skirt Chaser Vintage, Swift Vintage and Slone Vintage, carry curated and artful selections of vintage items, while others, like Reclaimed, specialize in more modern vintage fashions, such as ’90s Gucci and Louis Vuitton.
Combining both vintage and costume store, Junk for Joy, Halloween & Vintage offers distinctive items handpicked by owner Kathleen Lenihan. “Our store is like a foster parent for vintage clothing, and our goal is to give these special items a second life,” she says. Examples include clown costumes worn by actual circus performers and cowboy getups used in rodeos. Beyond being a source for niche costumes, Lenihan views the store as a way to have a positive impact on the environment and reduce waste by selling clothing with slight imperfections at reasonable prices. There’s even a “Zombie Bin” filled with tattered, stained clothing and scraps of fabric. “I’ve been teased because I don’t like to throw things away,” she says. “But everything can be repurposed. For example, buttons and pins can be used as embellishments.” Lenihan inspires people to be creative with their purchases, and many costumers from the surrounding studios visit the store for its authentic outfits.
New Homes for Used Décor
Antique and secondhand furniture stores often have pieces you won’t be able to find anywhere else. If you’re itching to redesign your home or are on the lookout for subtle yet striking décor accents, shopping these stores allows you to tap into your inner interior designer and experiment with an array of motifs.
The furniture counterpart to It’s A Wrap! is Previously On, which liquidates minimally used furniture from TV shows. “About 90% of what we have comes from studios,” says owner Nicholas Arellano. “We minimize the waste that impacts the environment by repurposing everything — like drapes, furniture, building materials and appliances — that studios would discard.” In addition to selling furniture, the store makes eco-friendly custom furniture with organic materials.
The Blue Pig Store has a wide-ranging inventory of small home items and collectibles from all over the country, such as vintage license plates, movie posters and gumball machines. “Our store finds new homes for all of the items we remember fondly from our childhoods,” says owner Robert DeFrancesco of all the nostalgic toys, figurines and knickknacks on the store’s numerous shelves. Another option for furniture and accessories both large and small is Antiques on Magnolia, which has a warehouse full of vintage and historical finds, like leather couches, medical tools from the Civil War and photography equipment. “The shop has items that go back to 5,000 years B.C. to 1940s, with the occasional great piece from the ’50s and ’60s thrown in,” says owner Sheryl Coughlan, who also handles professional estate sales and other services to help people sell their possessions. “We help the environment by making sure pieces that would otherwise end up on the side of the road have a purpose,” she says.
Hobbies and Oddities
Secondhand shopping is also a great, inexpensive way to delve into and discover new hobbies, like learning how to play a musical instrument or collecting antiques.
Imperial Vintage Guitars buys, sells and trades vintage, used, and new guitars and amps. Owner Shai Ashkenazi says that the business focuses on reducing its carbon footprint by recycling instruments and using recycled materials when shipping them out. “We believe there is a big contribution to the environment by keeping used guitars alive and functioning,” he says. “We find them new homes rather than just [perpetuate the cycle of] manufacturing new instruments.” The shop’s two locations, on Magnolia Boulevard and in Sherman Oaks, display eye-catching Gibsons, Fenders, Gretschs and other popular brands on the walls. Also, if you’re looking to repair or set up a guitar or have your string instruments appraised, the knowledgeable staff is on hand to help.
For those seeking a more unconventional hobby, Bearded Lady Vintage & Oddities and its sister store, the Mystic Museum, are your new go-to destinations for unusual collectibles. Both stores specialize in taxidermy and “haunted” items — like a real human articulated torso, an authentic ’20s mortician makeup kit and a Victorian mourning hair brooch.
With plenty more businesses to discover, Magnolia Boulevard is worth taking the time to explore in depth. If our list has got you planning your next shopping trip, we recommend the Magnolia Park Ladies and Gents Night Out, held on the last Friday of every month. It’s the perfect opportunity to shop your way up and down the boulevard and meet the proprietors of these environmentally minded businesses.
Restoring and reupholstering furniture is a great way to “upcycle” items that might otherwise be thrown away. See below for a behind-the-scenes look at how Elegant Designs gives outdated and worn-out furnishings a custom makeover.