At King Richard’s, shoppers are in vintage heaven
WHITTIER – King Richard’s Antique Vintage Center held its seasonal Vintage Flea Market on Dec. 14, inviting guests on a treasure hunt through three floors consisting of 36 vendors selling various antiques ranging from vintage clothing, restored furniture and knick-knacks from the past.
With 57,000 square feet of available space, the building was full of fascinating objects from floor to ceiling as curious onlookers paid view to every nook and cranny present. Walking by without stopping to really take a look at the items on display could have proved detrimental to any guest hoping to luck out on a purchase.
There were small items and large items alike that stacked among one another, making it far too easy to miss out on that special find if rushing through. From vintage music boxes holding porcelain jesters to statues of fairies set up in glass displays, and mirrors of all sizes strewn along clothing like fur coats and sheer petticoats, there was something for everyone to meander their way through.
Jackie Martinez, an employee at King Richard’s, said that they tend to host these flea markets every season, with the last one happening in October. She has worked three so far and says that they usually rake in anywhere between 500 to 2,000 customers each event.
“Customers really like the environment, it’s huge here and you can spend a long while here—it’s kind of like a mall,” Martinez said. “People like to hang out here and talk to the dealers, you can get some pretty good deals and people really like that.”
Martinez also added that at each event, owner Chuck Garcera tries to have not just the various antique vendors, but food, drinks and special guests as well. At this event in particular, Café Santa, Aguas Tijuana’s, Hot Dog on a Stick and Fosselman’s Ice Cream were offered to guests along with performances by the Uptown Whittier Shakers, Sylvia Bosco and a special guest appearance from Butch Patrick, otherwise known as Eddie Munster from “The Munsters.”
The Uptown Whittier Shakers brought high, quick-paced energy to the second floor of the flea market as several dancers embellished in red, black and white matching outfits dashed along the hardwood floor in rapid steps, even inviting Santa Claus out for a few numbers. Guests were gathered around, encircling the group as they bopped along to the lively, upbeat swing jazz music playing out loud.
Vanessa Adams and Patricia Nooner share partnership over the business. Adams said the group started off years ago as the Memory Swing Team but went through a rebranding after a change in management.
“We felt more of a connection to Uptown Whittier since we do a lot of the community events there like the Holiday Sonata, the car show, and the antique fair,” Adams said. “Which is how we actually ended up here.”
Both Nooner and Adams expressed that those involved in the group all come from various backgrounds, with some specializing in Salsa, Cumbia and even Ukrainian dancing.
“We all come from different backgrounds here, and we all just came together through the love of swing music, Lindy Hop and performance,” Nooner said. “We really want to bring that back; we remember how there was a resurgence in the 90’s and we’d love to see that again.”
Downey resident Britney Steffans, an avid lover of vintage items, said she attended the event after noticing a flyer and inviting her friends to come along with her.
“I came to see Eddie Munster but was really surprised when I saw the choreographed dancing,” Steffans said. “I love vintage items, so I had to come and check it out.”
Adrian Maciel, a friend of Steffans, said he found great vintage items at the event, and was very pleased with the ice cream available.
“This is a really cool place, I found a gorgeous red fur coat and the ice cream man they have is really cool too,” Maciel said. “We came for Eddie Munster but haven’t found him yet, but this place is still really cool to look around and shop.”