DID YOU START OUT AS A COLLECTOR AND THEN BECOME A RETAILER? TELL US ABOUT THOSE EARLY DAYS
I moved from NY to LA, in mid1970 and I started collecting, any spare change I had I spent at the thrift shops and the flea markets and then, I found this studio on Abbott Kinney blvd, at that time the street was really on the edge, there was one retailer who extremely influenced me, Her name was Peggy and she had a store on the corner of California and Abbott Kinney, and it was a big store and she had some clothing pieces and antique fans and garden fixtures and hand worked furniture, she just really had this eye, I would see her in the most incredible SWAP meets called Great Western on Tuesday nights on Atlantic Avenue, East LA, and I started buying more. I recall sitting in Peggy’s store and seeing something that I didn’t buy that she did which was priced several times more that she had paid for it and by the next week it sold, and my being surprised by that. I remember her saying to me, “YOU SHOULD OPEN A SHOP, YOU WILL MAKE A LOT OF MONEY”. So, I found a showcase at a garage sale and started a small shop in Venice and after 3 years I moved down the block to a 1,000 sq ft shop. After 10 years in Venice I moved to Melrose, 2 blocks w of Fairfax, which was a really happening street then. I was there for 6 years and I then I moved to La Brea 13 years ago.
ESTHER, HOW DID YOU GET THE NAME GOLYESTER?
Before I opened the store and I was just collecting and collecting my husband Harry looked at me one day and said “ Golly Esther, what are you going to do with all of this stuff”?
I UNDERSTAND THAT THERE WAS A FIRE THAT FORCED YOU TO CLOSE YOUR STORE FOR ALMOST A YEAR. HOW DID THAT EFFECT YOU?
What it did for me was it made me evaluate if I really wanted to continue to do this because I was an artist and a teacher and I decided YES, I WANT TO DO THIS.
ARE YOU SURPRISED THE WAY VINTAGE HAS BECOME SO POPULAR OF LATE?