Plank Goodness for Furniture Shop
On the northern tip of Santa Barbara, where Hollister Avenue and Modoc Road connect near the border of Goleta is a second-hand furniture and consignment store that sells vintage and modern decor. This single-story gem, owned by Vic Parvin, goes by the name of Finders Keepers.
You can easily spot the display of unique and arbitrary product through the continuous storefront windows. The grandfather clocks, the maple dressers, the sofas with matching loveseats, various dining room tables with chairs, the wide selection of lamps, mirrors, chandeliers, the collection of large-framed pieces of art done by local artists that cover every bit of usable wall space.
But you see, this compilation of novel decor and furniture, like the green Chenille sleeper sofa and the five-piece vintage Spanish dining set displayed the other day, could easily be gone by now; as far as the availability of the product, after it sells, that is that.
But this method of retail keeps the product scarce, rare, and ultimately, more valuable to a person’s individuality. “The items are all unique, and you won’t find them anywhere else,” says Vic, who says the items he comes across show the many different perspectives people have when it comes to decorating their homes.
Like the 10-person dining room table with white chairs trimmed with dark polished wood, or the inset coffee table – the design made of aluminum; or the small statues of King David used as book-stops, a few grandfather clocks – one more than 300 years old. They showed a large wooden headboard, more sofas and tables, and they even had a doghouse made of fine cherry wood with dark beaded trim in the front window next to the Oriental pottery.
And it all originates with the customer who wants to sell his or her item through a store, instead of online or in a newspaper. Vic says people are wearier these days about strangers showing up at their home to buy their item. “Usually, the seller sends a picture of the item they want to sell,” he says. Vic may also go to the customers if necessary and use the truck to assist those with no way of transporting the product they wish to sell.
This, of course, includes the artwork hanging on the walls that no doubt adds to the store’s diversity. Just a few are Viktor Shvaiko’s Cafe de Paris on its rounded street corner, using yellow, blue, and different shades of white for the primary colors. Or Scott Winer’s 4’x8’ print of a quiet tropical beach: the dream spot with blue skies and turquoise water, a bamboo umbrella stuck in its own circle of shade on the white sand. And Steve Holland’smassive portrait of Muhammed Ali – with signature – standing above his opponent (Sonny Liston) who lies on the floor, with Ali’s eyes warning him to stay right there, do not get up.
It’s been 20 years since Vic sold his car trading magazine, Trade Express, to the Los Angeles Times. But after some years of retirement and putting his kids through college, Vic opened the consignment store to satisfy his hobby. He calls Finders Keepers more of “entertainment” than a business. But Vic says the location receives excellent traffic, and that every 10-15 minutes someone arrives to browse, buy, or sell: “I get to meet a lot of wonderful people.”