Wednesday, March 14, 2012

That's Why They Call Me Shine!

One of my very favorite places in Los Angeles is the original Farmers Market.  Founded in 1934, Farmers Market has become a Southern California institution and a major tourist destination.  Truly, it deserves an entire post of its own as it is such a beautiful landmark.  On any given day, visitors can buy fresh produce, sample foods from all over the world, and visit Shine Gallery!   

I guess I am a bit of a junking/treasure hunting/thrifting snob.  I don't really feel like I have found a treasure unless I have unearthed it from among a pile dirty clothes, chipped ceramics, and broken electronics.  There is something about sleuthing in a thrift store, bargaining at an estate sale, or broiling under the California sun at a swap meet/flea market that makes me feel like I have earned the artifact - a less-handsome, less-rugged, less-adventurous, trash-digging Indian Jones.  For that reason, I resent stores where cool things are abundant and out in the open for everyone to see.  Shine Gallery is really no exception to my nutty neuroticism, but I can't help but love it.  Shine is a wonderland of dead stock novelties and collectibles and every time I go to Farmers Market, I come away with something awesome from Shine.  This post is just a bunch a photos that hopefully, will have you making your way to Farmers Market for some food, fun, and treasure hunting!

Mary (Mary-Go-Round) & Jessie (Jessica Stopnik Photography)
at Shine Gallery

An interior view of the store.
Don't let the giant $1.50 sign fool you; not everything at Shine
comes at dime store prices.  I go there for inspiration but usually
find a few things that fit my miniscule budget.

Vintage Fold-Away shopping baskets
 make loading up a heck-of-a-lot easier.

I love the way the store is designed/merchandised.  It is very clean and but far from sterile as the goods are so colorful.  They even use those Fold-Away shopping baskets to stage items for sale.

They're doing nothing to quell my fixation with pennants!

Pennants and the circus!!!!

For reasons that will be forthcoming shortly, my most recent obsession is vintage circus/carnival memorabilia.  I realize I am either very late to jump on the bandwagon or very early for the next 

The oversized, novelty, name buttons are a hit with me; I have two already.  Unfortunately, they don't have any that say "Mr. Tiny."  One day I hope to achieve "Picture Patch" status.  Sadly, I think I've passed my teen idol years.  Dick Clark, Ricky Nelson, and Fabian have nothing to worry about.

3 great reasons to START smoking with you new Finger Cigarette Ring:
"Hold your cigarette while your hand relaxes,
No hazard of dropping cigarette while fatigued,
No more nicotine finger stains"

Shine Gallery carries everything from everyday, vintage postcards to more obscure and 
collectible pieces like this ice-skating, beer bottle man, lamp with fiberglass shade.

I love Christmas stuff.  I think this feather-bearded, glitter
Santa would be even happier at my house.

Babies in a box and monkeys in a sack.

They even have 1930's Disney merchandise!

They carry some things that are pretty socially unacceptable, but that 
offer insight into the mindset of a different time.

Vintage cowboy/girl goods!  Fortunately, I have a little self-control.

Mary & Jessie were not above flirting with
 the staff to try and get a discount!

Shine Gallery (Inside Farmers Market LA)
6333 3rd St #134
Los Angeles, CA

"Shine" - Louis Armstrong

We just started a new Facebook page to accompany our little ol' blog.  Consider this an engraved invitation to join wacky tacky on Facebook!


Mr. Tiny


  1. Looks amazing! I will have to check it out the next time I am in socal.

    1. Hiya Kim! It's a pretty cool place. I'm hoping we have something down here pretty soon that warrants everyone coming to town!

  2. Aw I really miss the Farmer's Market/The Grove, I used to go all the time when I lived in LA. How long has Shine been open? I don't remember seeing the store on my visits so I'm assuming it's fairly new (though I moved to Chicago 5 years ago).

    I love all their displays and I've been trying not to buy lots of vintage pennants too. Circus stuff is great, I caught the bug after reading "Water For Elephants".

    1. Hiya Leilani! I would guess it has been open about three or four years??? The salesman said that they have been selling for about 14 years at shows and online. Fortunately, when I go in there my mostly-empty wallet forces me to use restraint. There is one thing in particular that I didn't buy and now I regret. It was a souvenir pillow cover with an Indian Chief's head painted on it. Maybe I'll find another someday!

  3. I love going to the Farmer's Market - like a trip back in time!

    1. Me too, especially on afternoons when it is mostly elderly people eating and having the same conversations they have been having for years. I promised myself that I will do a whole post one day.

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  5. Great blog! Thank you

  6. How funny...I was in that very store with Lauren about a year ago and I told her, "I bet Chris could find some treasures in this place". I was right!!