Saturday, December 31, 2016

Happy New Year! What's In Store

Ready to ring in the New Year? We are! It's been a great year for us here at Offbeat Avenue. We went to some amazing auctions in the spring to get great items to sell; met some great people at Ladies Night in the summer, opened our brick in mortar shop in downtown Leominster in September, and had a busy Christmas season online and at our shop! We can't wait to see what 2017 brings.

Even though Christmas is over, we're still getting lots of views of our items online.

Here are some of the most viewed items this last week of 2016.

Vintage Ceramic Lady Head Vase Planter Bust with Original Necklace and Plastic Flowers Thick False Eyelashes Green Dress and Hat

Vintage Ceramic Lady Head Vase Planter Bust with Original Necklace

We love this lady! Like some girls we know (😏) she's in good condition for her age! We love her original pearl necklace and festive plastic bouquet as her hat! She would look great on a bedroom vanity, or in a classic pink tile bathroom.

Vintage Radio Zenith Console Floor Standing Cabinet Radio 30's 40's Mid Century Music Entertainment Furniture Tube Radio PICK UP Central MA

Vintage Radio Zenith Console Floor Standing Cabinet Radio 

We're not surprised this vintage radio is getting a lot of views online. It's one  of the most popular items in our shop. Visitors always ask about it, if it's for sale, and if it works. It's for sale but we are not sure it works as it doesn't have a plug so we cannot test it. I would love to turn it into a home bar of some kind, it's so cool looking! It even has buttons for local radio stations here in Massachusetts such as WBZ, WEEI, and WMUR. 

Vintage Book The New Basic Reader We Work and Play 1956 Dick & Jane School Book 50's Mid Century Ephemera Paper Charming Illustrations

Vintage Book The New Basic Reader We Work and Play 1956 Dick & Jane School Book 

Books continue to be popular sellers here at Offbeat Avenue and this is one of our favorites. This is from the original Dick and Jane reading series that was used in schools for decades. The simple, repetitive sentences with vibrant illustrations helped millions of children learn to read. Such a classic!

Vintage Compact Dorset Fifth Avenue Powder Compact w Etched Flowers 50's 60's Mid Century Beauty Fashion Cosmetics Vanity Pink Powder Puff
Vintage makeup items get a lot views on our shop because people like to give them as gifts, or replace the makeup and use the pretty container. This compact is in lovely condition, with a pink puff and and etched case.

Vintage Franciscan Ware Desert Rose Teapot 1940s Made in California Stamp Ceramics Pottery Earthenware Stoneware with Lid

My mother gave this to me. The Desert Rose pattern was her mother's wedding pattern. What I love about it is the simple elegant shape, and although it is more than 70 years old, it looks so modern and would look perfect in any dining room or kitchen. It's in excellent condition. No chips or cracks. 

Have a very Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Winter Stroll Leominster 2016: How to Get Into the Holiday Mood

Well it's finally here! The Winter Stroll in downtown Leominster MA from 2PM-5PM.

Here at Offbeat Avenue we're excited because this is the best way to get into the holiday mood. The unseasonably mild weather combined with a less than civil election season put a real damper on everyone's mood.

Us too! We didn't even start listing Christmas items until recently--we were still in the Halloween frame of mind 😃.

I'm happy to say things have changed. Today, December 3, it's a sunny but brisk 40 degrees out there so bundle up and head on down to the stroll for some family friendly fun.

Most of the businesses downtown will be offering free snacks like candy, cookies, or hot cocoa. There will be hay rides, roasted chestnuts, and of course our favorite lighted dancing snowman in the Common.

Be sure to drop into the basement of the Unitarian Universalist church at 15 West St, right across from the Common to warm up and visit Michelle, who will be working our own Offbeat Avenue table filled with vintage-inspired stocking stuffers for sale. There will be other vendors there as well plus free hot cocoa and cookies to warm you up!

Of course our shop down the street will also be open until 5 so you can still pick up a few gifts and be back to the stroll in time for Santa and the Tree Lighting!

Hope to see you today!
Vintage Wrapping Paper

Monday, November 21, 2016

Offbeat Avenue Featured Small Local Business on LATV

We're so psyched that Leominster Small Business Association featured Offbeat Avenue on their first show!

Michelle spoke to Mayor Dean Mazzarella about what kinds of goodies we offer and why it's a great place to shop for anyone looking for something cool and funky.

Michelle even brought one of our coats we have for sale to show the Mayor why vintage clothing is so sought after.

Take a look!

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Men Love Fannies and Other Frederick's of Hollywoodisms

Michelle brought in some choice mail order catalogs from the early 70s by Frederick's of Hollywood.

You'd find some of these items in the back pages of magazines like Cosmo, Glamour, or Mademoiselle and you would not have missed them!

Vivid drawings of gals in alluring gowns, pantsuits, wigs, and (ahem) accessories!

Take a look see. Men don't just love fannies they love human hair too! I'm all set I've got both!

My eyes are up here!

Frantically fringed. 

Before shopping, measure up to fashion first!
Leg falsies. 

I don't think you're using that right.
But do they love a natural skin part...

Cause it's hard to Gryffindor to sex...

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Countdown to Halloween - Vintage Style!

One week to go!

We just couldn't wait to break out the Halloweenie stuff this month! As soon as the leaves turned we got to work on listing.

Boo-tique Fun

Vintage Halloween Witch Decoration Broomstick w Black Cat 70's Paper Ephemera Decor Black & OrangeVintage Halloween Ghosts Decorations Silly Ghost Decor Black Orange 70's Paper Ephemera

Michelle found a treasure trove of funky ghost and bat Halloween paper decorations.

Cat-eye Glasses

Vintage Halloween Black Cat Eye Glasses by Foster Grant with Fangs Cougar Panther Blue Accent Plastic Made in USA Costume Accessory

We just listed some vintage Foster Grant black cat plastic eyeglasses.

Take your Pick
Vintage Halloween Party Cupcake Picks Black Cat Skeleton Pumpkin Blood Drooling Witch Mid Century Entertaining Spooky Cake Decorating

Look at these adorable cupcake picks!

Halloween Costumes

Vintage Pattern McCall's Crafts Costume #2203 Kids Children Yellow Brick Road Halloween Wizard of Oz Sewing 1985 Scarecrow Cowardly Lion Sewing Pattern Simplicity 7756 Medieval Dress Costume Pattern DIY Sewing Historical Halloween Costume Renaissance Fair
It's not too late to sew up your outfit for trick or treating.

Browse more Halloween vintage here.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Official Offbeat Avenue Ribbon Cutting!

We're so excited to have our own Mayor Dean Mazzarella and some peeps from Leominster City Hall drop by Tuesday, October 4 at 8:30 AM for our official ribbon cutting!

Please drop by 139 Central Street (right across from Acme Auto Body) to say hello and help us open our fabu vintage boutiqe!

Woo hoo cutting some rug for our ribbon cutting!

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Offbeat Avenue Vintage Boutique is Now Open!

After months of work and lots of help from friends and family, we finally are open for business at 139 Central St in downtown Leominster MA!

We're open 11-4 Wednesday through Friday, 11-5 Saturday and 12-4 Sunday.

Drop by to see our selection of clothing for men and women, vinyl, barware, home decor, ephemera, and more!

Michelle holds up our sign showing our new hours!

Saturday, August 27, 2016

Offbeat Avenue on Inside Leominster Ladies Night

Last week Michelle and I had a booth at Ladies Night at City Hall in Leominster and it was a blast! The turnout was great. We met lots of women business owners in the area as well as got to spread the word about Offbeat Avenue opening up downtown next month.

The weekly local cable access show, LATV's "Inside Leominster" broadcast live from the event, and we were lucky enough have Mayor Dean Mazzarella interview us on the show to talk about our new shop.

Take a look!

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Moving Day for Offbeat Avenue!

Wow it finally happened! We moved all of our inventory out of the storage unit, and yesterday we moved all of the large fixtures and furniture into the space.


We had a lot of help from Michelle's family and friends, and my hub Steve as well. Once all the furniture was moved in, it was up to us to figure out where to put everything.

Now we have to figure out how we're going to display our items and get an inventory system that will work best with our online items and offline items.

Here's a sneak peek into how it looks much left to do but it feels good to have this finally done!

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Ladies Night Out Leominster MA: Drop by This Free Fun Event!

It's been hot and humid for weeks up here in Central MA so do something cool--drop by Ladies Night Out, a free community event at City Hall in Leominster MA on Thursday, August 18 from 5pm to 8pm.

Offbeat Avenue will have a booth inside City Hall!

Dozens of local vendors (including yours truly) will be offering raffles, special freebies, offers, and services. The evening closes with a great fashion show.

First 150 attendees will get a free gift bag chock full of goodies from local vendors.

Lt. Governor Karyn Polito will be the special guest for Ladies Night Out! Be sure to go to the City Hall Auditorium at 8pm to watch her kick off the Fashion Show.

For more information go to the Ladies Night Facebook page.

Cue Kool and the Gang!

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Love is the Rug! Our New Vintage Shop Goes Shag

What do you do with a dark brown painted plywood floor?
Cover it up in fuschia tiger print!

We looked all over for a decent rug but worried an old one might, well, stink. Literally! Rugs absorb odors and the vintage ones we looked at were either too much do re mi or just didn't look like they belonged in our soon to open hella cool shop.

And then we found it! The nap is still mushed a bit from being rolled up but a good vacuuming will fluff it up in time for the Grand Opening! Mosey on over to our OffbeatAvenue Instagram for more cool shots like the one below:

Sunday, July 24, 2016

The Road to Our Vintage Shop Part 3: Signage

New Vintage Shop opening in Downtown Leominster this fall? Sign me up!

This weekend up here in New England has been super hot--it hit 90 degrees yesterday! Seems like the perfect weather for going up on a hot tar roof to do some sign hanging, doesn't it?

Well, that's what my husband did yesterday.

There's a window on the second floor of our new shop that you can see from the street, so it seemed like the best place to put our Offbeat Avenue signage.

Me and the hub hanging the sign. Believe it or not I got sunburned just from hanging out the window!

My hub Steve got up on the roof and got to work, while Michelle stood on the street level to let us know if it was centered correctly.

Steve used screws with washers to hold down the grommets on the vinyl sign.

Once it was all set our sign was up! Hooray! It made it seem much more real now. And we're psyched people will be able to see our sign as they drive by.

The sign looks great!
The warm weather also seemed like the perfect opportunity to get wiggy--that is, shampoo some vintage wigs to list. We got a couple of these at an estate sale about a year ago and they needed some serious TLC. I won't show a pic of what they looked like before (let's just say they took on the shape of the round box and looked like a Frankenstein hairdo).

Post shampoo, getting dry in the warm air.
One is a pretty auburn short shag wig by Abbott Tresses in its original box. The other is what we used to call a "fall," also known as a wiglet, which you put on top of your existing hair to give it some height. Both of these wigs are human hair so they're very natural looking and can be styled just like your real hair. That's why they tend to be more expensive than synthetic. I must say I work with synthetic wigs on our mannequin for photo shoots and these natural hair wigs are easier to work with.
After shampoo and set: ready for her new owner!
Other listings I'm working on are some fabulous vintage shoes from the 60s and some vintage lingerie. Here's a pic of me with the shoe on but I won't model the lingerie!

They don't quite fit! But look how cute!
Don't forget to mozey to your right of this blog and sign up for our newsletter if you haven't already! That way you'll know exactly when we'll be opening so you can check us out!

See you next time!

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

The Road to Our New Vintage Shop: Part 2

Michelle hand painted the dressing room sign---perfect!Dressing room is done!

Dressing Room: Idea to Reality

Since my last post I'm happy to report that the dressing room is done!

Dressing rooms can be tricky to set up because we needed it to be big enough to move around in and the curtain had to be tall enough for people of average height to get some privacy.

We secured the wall which is actually two doors that are braced perpendicularly to the wall, screwed in the fixtures to hold the curtain rod, and hammered in our sign. Don't you love Michelle's hand painted Dressing Room sign?

The pictures here show the panes in the doors, which we plan to cover with some graphics for privacy (no peeking as Bertrand says!).

Something's missing in our dressing room--oh yeah privacy!

Dressing Up a Paneled Wall

The other challenge we had was what to do with the paneled back wall? Our back wall is the first thing you see when you walk in and unfinished paneled wood was not the look we wanted.

Our back wall covered in pink fabric and Audrey Hepburn!
Michelle and I went back to the store and got a bolt of bright pink fabric to hang over the paneling, to give the wall a soft texture and to brighten up and add a burst of color to the room.

The effect is amazing! We hung our black and white canvas print of Audrey Hepburn from the movie, "Breakfast at Tiffany's" and voila! It's starting to really take shape!

Bringing a Glass Display Case Back to Life

Our landlord was kind enough to offer us an old glass case from his basement that was very dirty, dusty, and missing the back sliding doors.

Glass case that will hold lots of goodies like hats, purses, and jewelry
Of course we happily accepted it! The first challenge was to get it up a narrow flight of stairs, which Michelle's son in law and fiance managed without issues.

They didn't think it would fit against the back wall but Michelle assured them, "we measured---it will fit!"

It did fit in perfectly. But once it was there it required serious cleaning. Michelle shop-vacuumed the inside and ruts where the sliding doors were. She then got some black and white floral patterned shelf paper and covered the brown paneling style paper on the bottom of it. We gently lowered the large glass top to the case and wiped it down with Windex.

Years ago me and Michelle went to an auction and bought a bunch of old suitcases--we knew we'd have a shop someday to showcase them! They will need to be aired out, cleaned, repaired, and possibly relined. The pic below shows them before I loaded them up in the car before I took them to the shop. I'll post when they're ready for their closeup!

Old suitcases waiting to be on display at Offbeat Avenue Boutique!
Tune into our next post on getting the shop ready for our opening in the fall 2016.

We have miles to go before we sleep...

Sunday, July 10, 2016

The Road to Our New Vintage Shop: Part 1

Great news vintage fans! Me and Michelle are opening up Offbeat Avenue shop here in Leominster MA in the fall!

We're so excited to have a brick and mortar shop in addition to our online presence on Etsy and Ebay.

This weekend we've been working on the space and getting it all set up in time for the grand opening.

Michelle painted an arrow to
use on our dressing room
Dressing Room 101

Yesterday our challenge was to set up a dressing room in a room that didn't have one. The space itself has many windows, so we didn't want to block any of them with a dressing room, so originally we were going to set up a simple curtained dressing room near the cash and wrap.

But we decided instead to put two free standing doors next to each other and place a curtain between them. Easy right? Not if the doors are different heights. So we had to find a finial to make the doors the same height so we could hang the curtain rod. We finally found a wooden arrow at the craft store and Michelle was tasked to painting it to fit in with our decor.

Double dragon!

It's harder to find the right fabric than we thought. Michelle went all over to find something funky and cool and couldn't find curtain fabric that would be opaque enough to serve as the door for our dressing room, and cool enough to belong in Offbeat Avenue.
Then I remembered I already had curtains on my closet door in my study that would be perfect. I bought them years ago at a little shop in Gardner MA called Terrapin Traders. They're long purple and black tie dyed fabric curtains with dragons on them.

Today we're going to attempt to nail the arrow to the shorter door and hang up the curtains. Tune in to see how we do!

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Summer's Almost Here! Vintage News from the OA Gals

Hey Vintage Peeps!

Me and Michelle are pumped. Summer is almost here and we have grown our Etsy shop to more than 1000 items!

I'm happy to report we now have a Men's Vintage Section since we carry so many goodies for the guys including Hawaiian shirts, cufflinks, and smoking jackets.

We've also added tons of vintage shoes  which we're psyched about. Vintage shoes tend to run a bit narrow but many of these have good widths that would fit on a modern foot.

In other news we are expanding our reach out of the cloud onto the street: that's right we're going to open up a shop right here in downtown Leominster in Central MA sometime this fall.
Don't worry, we'll still keep our Etsy shop open and running as always.

Mozey on over to the right of this blog to join our mailing list to get an alert when we'll open.

Back to the summertime fun!