Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Vendor Spotlight: Little Yellow Typewriter

This week we are continuing our vendor spotlight series by showcasing an interview with the fabulous Laura and Zack of Little Yellow Typewriter. You won’t want to miss this wonderful vendor and can find them in the vintage camper parked at booth #240 at the October 2014 Three Speckled Hens show!

About Little Yellow Typewriter:
Laura Hicky and Zack Kraus are the dynamic duo behind the quirky and fanciful interior design business Little Yellow Typewriter. The couple found their common ground in vintage treasures, with Zack seeking out items in their faded glory and Laura eager to revitalize pieces with a can of spray paint in hand.

What initially drew the two of you to interior design?
Laura: I studied interior design in school, so I had always worked with architects or in some aspect worked in the industry. Zack had a carpentry background. We started doing work on our own house, then on friends houses, and that really became the start of the business and doing it for a living.
Zack: We started out shopping at estate sales together, and we started overrunning our home and thought maybe we should have a sale. I think the first flea market we sold at was Melrose, here in the L.A. area, and it just sort of took off from there.

How did you end up in your signature vintage camper?
Zack: I had bought this totally impractical truck, an 88 Ford Bronco that I always wanted. It was a total piece of junk. Then I found this guy on Craigslist who was willing to trade. He was a mechanic, so he was willing to trade with us and it was actually exactly what we were looking for. He’d had this trailer in his backyard for about 30 years, and it was in the desert and it was full of animals. We had it fixed up, and that’s how it came to be.

Where is the home base for Little Yellow Typewriter?
Zack: Our home base is in Burbank, California. We travel a bit but we usually stay pretty close to this area, there are a lot of flea markets in the Southern California area. The farthest we’ve actually ever traveled is to the Three Speckled Hens show. We met the Hens at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, and they told us about it and it looked pretty spectacular so we signed up.
Laura: When we are in Burbank, we do mostly online sales, and we do flea markets here in the L.A. area about twice a month. The rest of the time we’re hunting, restoring, and selling things online. We do a lot of business through social media actually, such as Instagram. We’ll often post a photo of something and then people will email us asking how much it costs and we’ll sell it before we can even make it to a flea market half the time!

Where do you typically find the antiques that you revitalize?
Zack: Estate sales are pretty much our bread and butter. We also do the garage sale/yard sale thing sometimes.
Laura: We don’t have that much luck with those actually. We usually do estate sales, which are pretty fun. With somebody who’s 90 years old who’s been in the same house for 60 years, they are no longer there but you can see where they traveled and what their interests were. We can learn a bit about where things came from which is really cool for us. We can often get some background and have a little information to go with the item, which is wonderful.

Do you have any signature items or are the Little Yellow Typewriter items different?
Laura: Everything is pretty different which is why it can be hard for us to sell a lot online. It’s always a revolving door and almost everything is one of a kind. However, Zack does a lot of handmade furniture custom work, and we have a poster collection that we came out with about a year ago, and it’s just been a huge hit. They’re really fun and those are one of our biggest sellers. 

What can attendees expect to find at October 2014 Three Speckled Hens show?
Laura: We’ve got a lot of furniture, and a lot of house stuff. We just got in a brand new shipment of handmade kanthas from India (blankets made from old saris) that are gorgeous. We’re also doing something special this time: the trailer will be decked out in vintage Christmas ornaments. So we hope to have quite a bit of Christmas stuff and we’re veering towards gifts and things like that.

How wonderful! We feel so lucky to have you at our show each season.
Laura: Three Speckled Hens is really our favorite show that we’ve done. It’s amazing to be able to set up for a show that lasts longer for more than a couple of hours.
Zack: Yes, generally we show up somewhere at 5:00 or 6:00 a.m., set up for a couple of hours, sell from around 8-3, then take off again. It’s nice to be able to put a little bit more thought into our display and let it sit there for a couple of days.

Is there anything else exciting going on in your lives right now?
Zack: Yes! Our home was just featured in the Fall/Winter issue of Flea Market Style magazine. Our house is actually on the cover and inside we have about an 8-page spread. It’s one of our favorite magazines so it was an honor and very exciting.
Laura: It happened mostly through social media, we had submitted some pictures of our place and got some interest that way. They contacted us, then came down and shot our place and it was awesome.

That is amazing, Laura and Zack! We can’t wait to pick up a copy of Flea Market Style, and to visit you in booth #240 at our October 2014 show!

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