45Three Modern Vintage Home: The Place, The Gal & The Interview

My assistant, Katt, and I dropped in to visit with Staci of 45Three Modern Vintage Home last week.  I walked out with a gorgeous art deco cocktail cart with carved glass, two Dynasty-style gold-framed mirrors with gold rose vines and whimsical birds carved into the centers AND one stellar interview with Mrs. Staci Cain -- owner, prize-winning (well, we'd give her a gold medal) vintage furniture hunter and all around sweetheart.
Staci Cain, img - 45threehome.com
Katt, EJS.asst - Thank you for giving us your time.  Could you start by telling us a bit about the shop and how it came to be?
Staci - The store has been here for about four and a half years.  I, previously, had been a marketing director at Warner Brothers and was leaving the corporate arena.  I had always loved vintage treasures.  I didn't know what I was gonna do next, but I started buying a lot of these great things and storing them in the garage.  My husband approached me and said "honey, I think you have a problem"... me, "you do?" ... him, "I don't know.  Maybe it's a business in the making, but you need to examine how much you're buying."
I thought, a business... how could I make my passion of finding amazing vintage pieces a business?  So, one thing led to another.  I started with little estate sales for higher end dealers, but after three of those I realized they were so labor intensive.  I wanted something a bit more permanent.  I stumbled across this place as a result.
Katt, EJS.asst - And where do you go to scout out the incredible pieces you carry?
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Staci - I do a lot of shopping all over the state of California.  I do shop within LA, but I mostly try to go to out-skirt places... and if I told you, I'd have to kill you.  Matter of fact, the name of the store is from the Old Testament Book of Isaiah.  I read the scripture while I was on a trip in France and I was kind of meditating on what's gonna be next.  The scripture says, "Grant unto me according to Your riches in glory, Your tender mercies and immeasurable favor,  treasures of darkness, and hidden riches, of secret places."  I thought, wow, if I ever do anything, I'm gonna use that scripture.  So, the places ARE secret, so... I would have to kill you (tosses her head back and laughs)... or you'd be struck with lightening or something.
Annalise, EJS - We definitely fear the wrath.  HA!  Katt mentioned that she saw a few permanent framed pieces throughout the store about filming here.  Could you give us the scoop on those?
Staci - Of course!  I was really scared to death to open the store.  I had come from running teams of people and managing different companies, but somehow, the thought of entertaining the public -- letting people see what I had chosen and decide whether they want to buy it was incredibly frightening to me.  So I put a sign on the door that said we'd be open on a Saturday.  That sign had been up for a long time when the day finally came.  I looked disheveled and was cutting flowers in the back when my husband came and said, "it's time to open."I panicked and said, "I can't open now, look at me!"Him, "You're going to open the store right now."
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It was 10 am and he opened the door. 
I thought, no one knows I'm here, I'll just mill about and no one will come in.  Maybe, about 45 minutes later, this lady came in and she was asking, "how much is this? how much is that... and this.. and that?"  So, quickly, I was throwing out numbers because I hadn't priced everything.  After I had given her a general ballpark, she was like, "I'll take it all!" and I said "what do you mean you'll take it all?" because that kind of left me with maybe seven items in the whole store.  So I asked, "what do you do?" and she said, "my name is Leslie Pope and I am a set designer for Sony."  She was working on a Will Smith movie at the time.  She was my first customer and has remained one of my best customers through the years.  She's amazing and what was so awe-inspiring about that experience was she was so thorough in everything she did to pick pieces out.  I didn't even know people from the studios bought from these kind of stores so it was just such an education and she was such an incredible professional.  Her set design crew, when they came to pick everything up, she had taken measurements and pictures -- she just was so organized.  I was very impressed with her.  About three weeks later I got these amazing letters from her saying "thank you so much, good luck!" and she's remained a really great customer.  I was so proud that that was my first customer that I have her letters framed all over the store.  We get set designers from everywhere, Mad Men and True Blood.  That's been a big part of our business.
AnnaliseEJS - Can you tell us about how you come up with the design schemes and presentation for each section of the store? 
Staci - We do a lot of research to kind of generate inspiration.  My favourite magazine ever is Vogue Living Australia.  I'll scour through different international mags and the latest interior design books and just come up w/ something in my head.  I'm in love with stripes.  It {the striped wall} reminds me of Paris.  So much of the store was kind of thought through while I was on that trip to France I mentioned.  I went up to Paris and then down to the South of France.  I really wanted to have a feeling of beauty.  I want people to come in and luxuriate, be comfortable & feel like this is a place where they can get inspired.  We spend a lot of time painting and moving things because we have a lot of repeat customers and I always want them to get a different look.
Anything Parisian and anything French has been a huge part of my inspiration.  I think that's the genesis of how it (the store design) came to be.
AnnaliseEJS - Are there any favourtie films or novels you've come across wherein the way something's written sticks with you and maybe the phrasing says "this is what a room should look like" or, I mean, everyone's inspired by Audrey Hepburn... everyone loves the vignettes from Breakfast at Tiffany's and the bathtub couch... is there something along those lines that feeds your inspiration?
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Staci - Well, it changes all the time.  Of course, working for Warner Brothers, I became even more passionate about film than I was before working there.  You know, I see different things that inspire me.  I just saw Out of Africa and the sets in that movie are just amazing.  Mad Men, of course, I'm a big fan of.  Also, Downtown Abbey for the clothes and the colors of the Victorian Era.  I just Tevo'd Love Story and I'm so excited to watch it because I know I'm gonna love Ali MacGraw and all of her looks.  A lot of times I may see an outfit, say, in British Vogue, and try to recreate it through a scene.  It really varies and I spend way too much time, probably, researching what's gonna be great.  Like this, I saw the orange and navy blue walls in a new Parisian Interiors book that I got a few months ago hot off the press and I thought, "Oh my GOSH, we've GOT to recreate this!"  So, we went to the trouble of doing this striped wall, which I'll probably never paint over.
AnnaliseEJS - Maybe a bit about your personal style... on a regular day, do you find yourself cultivating more of a vintage style or kind of pulling from the modern, hipster now-era?  Our fashion and our home decor are constantly feeding off each other, so I'm just curious what an average day is like for your personal styling.
Staci - Well, I'm mainly in jeans and probabay a huge designer purse and a vintage coat.  I try to always have one killer vintage piece that I'm wearing, whether its a necklace or earrings.  I really love all the latest labels, but then I'll add in something that says, you know, "I have an eye for the sixties."  It's really sixties and seventies that I hone in on.  And eighties, when Kelly Wearstler did the book Hue and we knew the 80s were officially here, I found myself really loving that era again.  Sometimes I do wonder, about the sixties and seventies, how so much of that style has seemed kind of timeless to generations after.  You know, if you think about the revolutions and the political unrest, there was so much going on and so much that has changed... between Russia and the USSR, and so many great minds that have passed... but the sense of style and fashion has stayed around and those decades kind of keep re-emerging.  So, I am fascinated with that, like that hat you're wearing, it's so good!
AnnaliseEJS - It's my Faye Dunaway homage.  She always had a bunch of these floppy fedoras and amazing hats, so anytime I see one I'm like, "OOOHHH, part of my collection now!"  But you're totally right.  There's always some new take on the fedora, or those little bucket hats, and playsuits of the 20s all the way through the 50s are now the strapless jumpers of today.  And jodhpurs, making their way back!

Is there anything new, in the way of events, coming up for you?
Staci - We're getting ready today for a visit from some designers tomorrow.  Daily Candy is bringing a group of customers on a bus tour to different vintage stores, so it seems like we always have a lot of events going on here.  Emily Henderson of Secrets of a Stylist on HGTV is coming in, so it always seems like things are in flux.  It's nice to sit down and take a break and then I'll get back to the frantic pace of trying to get ready for this tour that's coming up.  But I really do appreciate you just coming in and really appreciating the store.  I mean, that really means a lot, you know, when you work hard and you're thinking... I mean, my whole background was sales and marketing and the thought of starting a store... I wasn't trained in interior design, so it's really my eye and it's nice to know when people appreciate the pieces that I've selected.  So, thank you guys for coming in!
AnnaliseEJS - I have to admit, I've meandered through your website about a hundred times.
Staci - Have you?!
AnnaliseEJS - I'm a thrift and vintage lush, plus I'm obsessed with the music you've put on there.  Right now, you've got some great indie-folk playing.  On what, if any, level does music take part in influencing your style or help you with your creative process in here?
img - 45threehome.com
Staci - You know, with the store really first being established in my minds-eye in France, Carla Bruni is one of my favs.  I like folk music, but the playlist goes from folk music to Jay-Z.  I mean, I'm all over the board.  We're also a Christian business, so a lot of times you'll hear some folksy Christian music in the background for inspiration... and also, hoping there's an anointing on the shop.  Who knows what you're gonna hear in here!  In a minute, Jay-Z is gonna pump through and change your entire experience.
AnnaliseEJS - I love that!  One second, some section filled with deco-nouveau cut glass, mirrored lamps with ivory-toned shades and plush velvet seties is perfect for a countryside shabby-chic cottage, and a moment later you can see the same combination of pieces as a staged vignette for a hip hop video with some giant diamond on the table.
Staci - Very true!
It's funny you mentioned the website though.  My husband and I were looking for a great French song.  We went online and purchased this French song, which was kind of cool and made us think of the South of France.  So many people have contacted me and they just are like, "WHO is that playing on your website?!" but it just was a song we found and purchased online.
AnnaliseEJS - so, I guess the last thing is, can you give us your website address?
Staci - Absolutely.  It's 45threehome.com, so check us out.
AnnaliseEJS - It has been a pleasure interviewing you, shopping here and hanging out in your store for an extremely long time.
Staci - NO, NO!  Please come back and please call if you ever need a particular piece and I 'll do my best to find it for you.
45 Three Modern Vintage Home is located at 
1051.5 South Fairfax Avenue 
between Olympic Blvd. and Pico Blvd. (nearer Olympic) -
Los Angeles, CA 90019

Ph# 323) 932.0832


1 comment:

Clara Turbay said...

Great pictures and lovely style.

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