Welcome to Stars Antiques Market, where owner Bonnie Mooton has been in business along upper Pier Avenue in Hermosa Beach for 22 years.
“We are an antique store that has many different dealers all housed under one roof. They rent spaces from us, and we also take items on consignment,” she noted.
Mooton had gone into the store originally as a dealer; the former owners presided over the business for two years, and when they needed to move on, they offered the business to her. Mooton has never looked back.
“I love the people in the South Bay. You get to know them. People who come into an antique store, they enjoy the past. They are often real characters,” she said with a smile. “I make new friends just from being in the store. It’s a lot of fun for me.”
Over the years, she’s noticed some changes in her business.
“We used to do very well with Victorian-style furniture and delicate accessory items, but that has really faded. I would say that refurbished, shabby-chic style is the most popular now; vintage furniture painted white, that has a more contemporary yet still retro feel. I think that is here to stay.”
Mooton’s store often draws passersby with its elaborate, often humorous, and always lively window displays. “My husband and one of the other dealers have been doing the windows, and they’re terrific,” she said.
Among her most popular items are vintage ceramic Christmas trees.
“Target has reproductions of them, but people love coming in here and getting the old ones that someone’s grandmother painted. It’s been one of our hottest items this year.”
She said she also does well with pottery – including Bauer pottery – and that all kinds of china dishes are always extremely popular.
“I don’t know that any of the china dishes that don’t sell. People want those fragile, beautifully painted pieces of china, even for casual dinners,” she said.
Her most unique item?
“We have a dealer in the front of the store who deals in slot machines. He painstakingly buys them, makes sure they are in perfect condition when he brings them in. He has maybe thirty right now, and anyone who is interested in a vintage or antique machine, he is the man.”
Stars Antiques Market prides itself on being friendly, said Mooton, and clean.
“We’re not going to walk around the store and bother you. Take your time and enjoy it. We keep it clean, we’re not like some antique stores where you’re wiping off the dust. Everyone who comes in is surprised that we have 7000 square feet and so many vendors and so many wonderful items. Our selection is huge.”
Stars Antique Market is located at 526 Pier Ave. in Hermosa Beach.
For more information, visit starsantiquemarket.com or call (310) 318-2800.