515 S. Fairfax Ave.
Los Angeles, CA 90036
Owner: Alexis Hadjopulos
*Watch this extraordinarily handsome vintage furniture/household shop owner on his new show: Pop Shop premiering in January 2012 on HDTV!
Q: What caused you to start selling furniture?
A: I moved here for music 12 years ago. After five years, my Dad who was supporting me said, “Okay, I’ve been very nice," which I had to agree, “but after five years, you’re on your own now.” I needed to figure something out. I was always going to garage sales and flea markets and would always see things that were great, but I didn’t have a use for them. My house was already looking nice. I thought maybe I should try buying a couple of these things, put them online and see what happens. I remember the first thing was a little dinette set and it sold right away. I made a good profit and tried again. I bought four more things and those sold too.
A: I used to sell out of my house for five years. I had two living rooms, a T.V. room, two spare bedrooms and all were filled up floor to ceiling with furniture. My bedroom and the kitchen were the only two rooms that were sacred. That’s how I started. For five years it was just me. I made lists of where to shop, I would go buy the stuff, bring it home, take pictures of everything, put my stuff on Craigslist, email people back, meet with them at the house and show them the stuff, and do deliveries. It was a lot. This store opened 2 and a half years ago. Thank God I have amazing people helping me now.
Q: How did you get this great space?
Q: I love that your store is an acronym for "This is not IKEA." Can you tell me how you came up with your store’s name?
Q: Have you found it difficult having your own business in this economy?
A: No. People were telling me that this was not the time to open a store. I needed to though because the landlords were kicking us out! It helped that I already had a clientele from selling online and then the film industry has helped too. We do rentals to studios since a lot of our stuff works well as props.
Q: Where do you find your pieces now? Still at flea markets?
A: Estate sales, garage sales, flea markets. I woke up today at 5am and I just got to the store with three car loads full of stuff. It’s like Christmas every Saturday.
A: Fifties. I think the design that we had then--from cars to the furniture to clothes--was so great. If Eames, Herman Miller and all the designers of the fifties could see what our design aesthetic is in 2011, they would probably say, "I think we had it right back then."
Q: Are there sets on television shows from past decades that you find inspiring?
A: As much as I love looking at the old shows, I didn’t grow up watching them. I was in Mexico and in Mexico you didn’t see them.
Q: You don’t have Nick at Nite in Mexico? (laughing)
A: No! I started late. I started with Beverly Hills 90210. But…the nineties are this close to being cool. Give us five more years and we’ll all be wearing what Brandon was wearing. (laughs)