Saturday, January 1, 2011

Bonne année!

Well, that was an interesting year.........wasn't it? Kind of wacky I think......
For me personally, it felt like one of those times when you are painfully forced to figure things out, like kindergarten............
That moment after the dust settles..... and it sinks in..... things are never going to be the same.

There didn't seem to be enough time to get everything done, or so it seemed. Of course I read somewhere that the Chilean Earthquake that struck back in March, actually knocked the earth off it's axis by 3 inches, causing our days to be shorter.
Great. I can barely time manage myself as it is, and now forces of nature are stealing time from me too.

But it's nice to end a year with few regrets, and begin a new one without too many expectations.

Things I figured out 2010....

-I can not work 80+  hrs a week. It's simply crazy to even think about, and it can make you sick.

-Egos are like "Death Stars", and must be over come using the "Force"

-Fear is a terrible place to be motivated from. Try love first, then passion.....

-Better to regret something you have done, than something you haven't...... One of the happiest days I have ever had was the day we opened the store, and the second happiest day of my life was the day we closed it.

-I don't have to do everything myself, it's ok to ask for help, or accept help when someone offers it.

-Don't take the first offer......

-Don't all.

-Beauty really is, in the eye of the beholder......

-Keep Calm and Carry On, really is a good message. (but I'm sick of that poster)

-It might not look like how you thought it was going to, but that's ok. Sometimes, it turns out better than you ever imagined!

-Just keep breathing.

may the force be with you in 2011!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

get your stocking stuffed....

Like a phoenix, (or a vampire?) MERCADO is rising from the dead for a special 2 day blowout sale!
That's right folks, come get crazy sweet deals on the merchandise you had wished your bought when we were open!!

The only way to get our friends to help was to lure them with booze, so complimentary mimosa's will be served.
Sadly we will not be able to gift wrap....... (although for the right price it may be possible to bribe me.) There will be no amazing holiday displays, or Santa Claus..... (but after a few drinks you might see some elves)

And oddly enough, the sale is being held 3 doors down from our former location, at Foresight Studios.

3501 W. Sunset Blvd. Between Maltman & Goldengate. In Silver Lake

get info HERE

Saturday, October 30, 2010

got magic?

Sorry kids, my new life, (which is actually my old life), really kicked my ass the past two weeks.
I have no idea what's going on, I haven't paid bills, washed my hair, done my laundry, checked emails or face book, watched the news, read any blogs, books or news papers, cuddled with W and the poodle or even looked at pictures of baby animals.....
most importantly I have not figured out my Halloween Costume yet....

Last week, my entire life was dedicated to the promotion of Target. I facilitated some titillating, visually stimulating marketing tools for the holiday season. OK none of it was really amazing, or stimulating, but I spent a good part of the week pulling a collection of vintage 1930's wardrobe for 30 people, a Santa Claus ensemble, I got to dress some elves, and I got to see live reindeer up close.
Which are cute, but since they could impale you at any given moment, are simultaneously kind of scary.

Mercado has been carefully dissected into many parts, some are available on craigs-list for purchase (sigh), most are available at Mercado's on line web store (hallelujah!!!), and some of it is in storage, (patiently waiting it's next incarnation.)  Yesterday as I was sweeping up, I was saddened by the emptiness of the space......
However I quickly realized what made the store special was W and I.....along with Pepe, all of our customers, the merchandise we chose, and the energy we applied to selling it, the music, the scents, our voices. Bittersweet as it all is, I am happy knowing our magic goes where we go.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

bunnies & puppies

After 10 hours of the big "Close Out" sale....I needed a Xanax and a visit to the happy place, which for me, when I'm at the store is the back computer, where I can look at pictures of poodle puppies and bunnies on-line.

I distracted my self quite nicely with a good eighteen pages of poodles........
Then three to four solid pages of baby rabbits..........
Then I found this picture of Herman, a giant German Rabbit. Seriously, I can not stop staring at his feet, look at his toes. Needless to say I have added Giant Rabbits to my fantasy retirement farm, which so far includes poodles (duh), an alpaca, a petite monkey, and mini pig.

Curious how one gets a bunny of such large proportions, I  search google some more and discover Robert......

An award winning giant German bunny, who unfortunately, with a bunch of other Giant Rabbits was sold to North Korea for breeding, in an attempt to create a food source program for the poor. Instead they were believed to be eaten, at the birthday party of North Korean Communist dictator Kim Jong Il.
Huh? The story is so weird on so many levels, I was boggled (and slightly disturbed).

But then I found this...................... a giant Angora Bunny.

Completely ridunkulous and cute, the angora bunny settled me down and I no longer needed a pill.
The power of cute is mighty.

Day 2 of the "BIG" sale is officially OVER! 

Thursday, October 7, 2010


The good news, we are on line. You can actually buy something from Mercado via the internet.
The bad news, the fabulous store front, that W and I created will be no more.

Oh how bitter sweet.

I already spent most of the summer worrying, lamenting, crying, discussing and procrastinating about it.
But the course is set, the transformation has begun, it's time to move on......

So we say adios to 3517 w. sunset blvd. our home away from home...........
good bye to the family of crickets thats lives in our back office, good bye to Steve the best neighbor EVER, goodbye to daily lunch at Taco's Delta, and the church bells that mark the time of day.....

and H-E-L-L-O to the world wide web!!

close out sale commences on Friday Ocober 8.

Friday, October 1, 2010

the world wide web

I can't believe it's almost done, developing a web-store is the cyber equivalent of birthing a baby elephant.
stay tuned for the official launch.

Saturday, September 18, 2010


Yesterday a shop owner friend called to shoot the shit. She calls periodically to make sure she's not the only person crazy enough to own a store in this economy.

(Misery loves company)

Yesterday she told me a story of how a young couple came by the shop last weekend. The store was busier than usual since she was having a store wide clearance, but she noticed the couple was strategically itemizing all the products they liked on their IPhone, then comparing prices on the Internet, basically where they could get it cheaper.
I'm not sure how my friend didn't keep her head from exploding, but somehow she managed to keep her composure and address them.

She started off telling them they had every right to price compare. She acknowledged that they would most likely find the same items cheaper on line somewhere, if they looked hard enough. But was quick to point out that if all people care about is getting things at the cheapest price possible, small boutiques like ours will cease to exist.  She tried to explained that online web-stores are able to sell the same products at a lower cost than brick & mortar shops because of their dramatically lower overhead. However, the consequences of only wanting the cheapest price is, eventually, only large big box retailers (like Target ) and Internet shopping will be left.

After we hung up, I immediately think of the scene in Idiocracy when Luke Wilson goes to the giant Costco, cause it's the only place in the world left to shop....

In case you haven't seen the movie Idiocracy...... which is a film (by Mike Judge) about two average people (Luke Wilson and Maya Rudolph) who participate in a top secret experiment that goes awry, and wake up 500 years in the future, to a world that has degenerated into a dystopia, where advertising, commercialism and anti-intellectualism run rampant and has resulted in a uniformly stupid human society devoid of individual responsibility or consequences.

It's basically Judge's version of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World, but way funnier.

W and I make reference to it all the time......
The movie came out in 2006, and sometimes, I think,  it's the best representation of the future to ever be portrayed on screen.  Basically stupid people out breed smart people, consequently everyone is living in a sexually promiscuous, illiterate, alcohol induced, degenerated society. People wear cheap, synthetic clothing covered with corporate logos, water has been replaced by "BRAWNDO" a sports drink full of "electrolytes", the president is a former WWF champion, everyone is bar coded, and the English language is reduced to inaudible slang based vernacular.

(I know you're thinking...... isn't that how it is now?)

As small businesses slowly become victims of the "recession", I am forced to think who really are the idiots? The price comparing hipsters, so desperate to continue a life style they can't afford, they are devoid of basic manners, or us the business owners struggling to keep our doors open.

P.S. I'm officially jaded now.

Monday, August 16, 2010


It's always exciting when a line I have been stalking, serendipitously makes it's way to Mercado's door step.  Anna Sheffield and her yummy line of jewelry, Bing Bang, will visit us next week for a special Trunk Show.
Anna is super cute, has great style, and has built a a jewelry empire based on quality and craftsmanship.  We already have a huge crush on her.

The treasure hunt will commence on Thursday, August 19th at 6pm...........
W will mix up some delicious cocktail, and of course there will be some kind of nibbles.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Soul Candy

Since I a own "store", some might expect me to post info on the latest "it" thing...complete with a great photo essay and why I "heart" it.....
But I figure thats what EVERY other blog does, and so do I really need to?
Do you really need to see one more picture of an Alexander Wang T-Shirt? Or Harry Allen Pig Bank?
(besides we don't carry those anyway)

Here are some inspiring soul candy I found recently, proving that there are still smart creative people out there, who are not interested in doing a line for Target.

Sarah Williamsa graduate student from London College of Fashion, makes these fashion artefacts....or luggage.

Meticulously hand-made light sculptures by Eddy Sykes. Each limited edition chandelier is signed, numbered and requires up to 4 months to complete.

.........thats all I got  for you today.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Laughing Out Loud

Lately I am all about doing anything to make myself laugh or feel good....
Which excludes pretty much everything related to Mercado, my house, my bank account and the interior of my car.
While reading one of my favorite blogs I stumbled across this

I restricted my self to only reading one page a day. So I won't O.D on sarcasm and mockery before lunch.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Dream a little Dream for me...

Life seems so ridunkulous lately, that I have started to believe that I'm really just stuck in a dream state.
( O.K, I kind of got this idea from Leonardo DiCaprio's new movie Inception, but whatever.)
Things keep revealing themselves to me, which warrant my exclamation " NO WAY! IS THIS FOR REAL?"...
Case in point:

Lous Vuitton's trash bag "Rain Drop" purses

Which are priced at $1900.00. About them, Marc Jacobs actually said this...... "There's this huge cult following of almost crazy people at Vuitton who just want whatever they buy to be exclusive." We're eager to see who will be the first to tout this tote."

Almost crazy people?? eager to see who touts the first one?

I am not a Marc Jacobs fan AT ALL. Never have been. His shit is U.G.L.Y! For a while I used to think he was making fun of fashion and women in general with his hideous boxy unflattering frocks..... NOW, I know he is...
So is actually MJ my new hero?
He says FUCK YOU! you stupid rich people, I made you spend $2000.00 on a purse that looks like a hefty bag!

I know you're thinking whats a Juggalo.....It's one of those phenomenons, that you have to see with your own eyes. and you still might not believe it.

I know, I know, you're kind of speechless right now, and wondering which country you are going to move to, and are there Juggalos there? Yes, that guy with the giant Ren & Stimpy style tooth, is borderline a mutant of some sorts and could only really exist in a bad dream or the woods of Indiana.
I was recently in Michigan, and had an elevator ride with some Juggalos, So I know first hand of their existence. and I think as a society we should be scared.

Mikey Koffman's hair

For reals? As a gay female person I find The Real L Word reality show completely horrifying, BUT Mikey's hair is fascinating...part Leather Tuscadero, part 70's Elvis, part Nancy Grace. Every time I see it, I yell " is that for real?"

There are other things that make me feel like I'm stuck in a bad dream, like the gulf oil spill, Sara Palin, the fact that there's people starving Ohio, Mayor Villaraigosa, Fox News, Justin Bieber, calling AT&T about my bill, the Kalamazoo oil spill, owning a store......
I could go on but the list would be GINORMOUS!!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Fear & loathing at the LA Gift Show

I'm a merchant...
merchants, like me go to "shows" where merchants gather and buy things from other merchants.
I can remember the first time I went to one these shows...It was like 1992 or something, after my illustrious career in building parade floats didn't really pan out, I found myself working for my boyfriends Mom, who owned a shabby chic kind of shop in Long Beach. She wrangled me in, when my need for a creative outlet was kind of desperate.....AND, of course I needed a paycheck.

I remember thinking Holy Shit, this is where all the crap in the world comes from!!
Then I quickly started trying to sort out which crap we were going to buy, and sell in our store.
I remember kind of feeling euphoric. I LOVED IT!
and the euphoria never after show, year after year.....

Until now....
July 2010, Los Angeles Gift Show.....
Interior - LA Convention Center

W- "what should we buy?"
Me- "I have no idea?"
W- "what do you mean yo don't know, you always know"
Me- "I know I always know, but this time I don't"
(tears welling up in my eyes)
Voice in my head- "OMG! you've lost your merchant mojo"

Here's the deal folks, owning a store in 2010 SUCKS ASS!
2008 was a TOTAL BUMMER!
2009 was worse, and 2010 is proving to be worse yet.........

It's not that I don't know what to buy, or see things I think are fantastic...
The pressure to find the right thing, at the right price is over whelming,

I went back the next day with my BFF, and confessed my apathy, or confusion, or fear....whatever the hell was making me feel like a total loser, visible from space.....

BFF gave me a hug, but refused to co-sign my self loathing. then pointed out how lucky we were to be surrounded by beautiful, amazing things, from all over the world. "lets get inspired" she said......and dragged me down an aisle.....
I had no choice but to leave my self loathing bad attitude outside.

I bought fualni earrings and a gorgeous leather Tuareg tent cushion, from my west African friend Oumar Cissé, of Farafina Tigne!!
"Bonjour my friend" he says in his funny French/West African accent

I bought Silver Beaded Hill Tribe necklaces from Northern China.

and some vintage Crucifix's from France.......

Not feeling quite so crazy, I took my loot back to the store, priced it all and put it out on display...cause thats what merchants do.

Leather tuareg cushion $385 . Fulani earrings $20 - $65.00 . Vintage Crucifix $95.00

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Not only is July 4Th, Independence Day.....
But it's W and mines anniversary. 9Th to be exact
9 years.
In straight time that's 9 years, but in homo years it's more like 27.
WOW, right?

W and I and were acquaintances for many years, then 9 years ago, I had the mother of all 4Th of July parties.
Keeping my options open, I invited not only W but pretty much every person I thought was even remotely cute and single.....
(it was, by the way, later deemed 'The Summer Of Fun" for many reasons.....)

A few days later W and I ended up going on a date, we 'hung out" most of the summer, then by good gay standards, she moved in....

Someone told me a long time ago, that you should feel like you won a prize when thinking of your mate. Back then I wasn't really sure what they meant, but now I do.
I wake up everyday feeling like I won the LOTTERY OF LOVE!

Don't get me wrong, we fight, argue, roll our eyes at each other, take things out on each other, blame each other for lame shit..... etc.
But we laugh, smile, hug, kiss and support each other WAY more and somehow it works.

I ALWAYS feel like I won the best prize in the WORLD!!

Cheers to 9 years!

Happy 4Th of July!

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Extreme Poodles

Oh my gawd!
Awhile ago I posted these super silly pictures of poodles that had been groomed into fantastical creatures and other animals, such as a panda, or camel.......

Last night on TLC, they aired the back story reality show about this poodle pagent and the groomers who created their doos!

So two things;

1. W and I aren't the only crazy poodle obsessed freaks who think their poodle is human.

2. Poodles ARE the best dog EVER! I don't care what you say.....

W and are are constantly coiffing pepe and putting hats on him, and I squeal with delight almost every time I walk into Pepe's groomers which is usually FULL of poodles, all sizes all colors, I forget how happy it makes me every time, until I get there.

The show is actually similar to "Toddlers & Tiaras" except less creepy, cause it's poodles who are cute and fluffy, not evil white trash children and their hideous parents.

Extreme Poodles, is more about the crazy poodle owners than the actual poodles. All of whom are actual "Dog Groomers" by trade, who are all obsessed with their poodles.

As much as I loved the woman from Oklahoma who coiffed her standard poodle named"Falcor" in to a lion...
My favorite poodle was "Jet", who was carefully coiffed in to a female "Roller Derby" player, complete with helmet and skates. Unfortunately Jet's Roller Derby Drag doo didn't get him a trophy, he definately should have won "Best Personality"
Jet's human is bat shit crazy, but you could tell she loves that dog more than anything else on the planet, and I secretly loved her for that.
The best part of the whole show is the finale where the dogs and their owners present their finished masterpieces with music, dance and costumes. It was better than most performance art for sure!

My other favorite was 2 poodles who's fur was carved into HR Geiger-esque like alien creatures.

And of course the judges are groce and weird, but thats par for the course.
The best part is this "Extreme Poodle" contest is that it's held every year in Pasadena! Holla!!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The importance of cheese knives......

As I have gotten older, the importance of certain things have been revealed to me....of course with these revelations comes the acceptance of my age. Items I thought were important when I was 18 are not the same items I think are of necessary importance at 40.
Some of these including; cheese knives, caviar spoons, a large purse, a Gardner.......and tea cosies (or sometimes spelled cozies)

Long before Mercado's existence, I bought this felted chicken tea cosy as a Christmas gift for W. She was not as excited about it as I was. (Later, I admitted that I really bought it for myself under the guise of a "Christmas present", this was back in "05 when we had the luxury of buying each other and ourselves things we didn't really need.) Immediately upon opening it that Christmas morning she said "wow, a chicken hat" and placed it on her head.......

I like objects made out of felt, and I love chickens, this tea cosy bridged modern aesthetics, and hand crafting to a level that I had not seen before. I didn't care that it was functional. It was a an amazing modern felted, interpretation of a chicken, and it was black.... hat, tea cosy, was coming home with me.

The other morning, (years later), W had woke up before me and made our morning tea. (we quit coffee 6 months ago) As I shuffled through the kitchen, I was jolted into an unusual early morning squeal of excitement! "ahhh the chicken cozy!!!"
W-"giggle, yea it keeps the tea pot really hot"
W-"yea we can make a whole pot of tea and it won't get cold so fast."

So tea cosy is added to the famous "things I used to think were stupid, but now realize the importance of..." list.

" With all the chatter at teatime the teapot would get cold, which would have at times cut short some tea parties. And so, the tea cosy came about. Tea cosies then flourished during the late 1800s, where they appeared in many households across Britain, motivated by the obsession of decorating and covering objects characteristic of the Victorian era."

hmmm.."obsession of decorating and covering objects"....

.... well waking up to my 100% merino wool, hand felted out of one piece of felt, imported from Germany chicken cosy, makes me really happy!

Mercado sells bunny and sheep cosies, but no chickens.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

The Poodle Trainer

In this intimate portrait of destiny, passion, and loss, Irina Markova, a solitary Russian poodle trainer, reveals her transcendent relationship with her dogs, the childhood tragedy that sparked a lifetime of working with animals, and the welcome isolation behind the red velvet curtains of the circus.

Russian circus costumes and poodles....... genius!

Saturday, May 29, 2010

in memory

So, it's Memorial Day Weekend. Did you know that the holiday was actually started in the south, by newly emancipated slaves, who felt that the fallen Union Soldiers, who had been buried in mass graves at a temporary Confederate prison camp, deserved a proper burial.

"In 1865, immediately after the cessation of hostilities, formerly enslaved people exhumed the bodies from the mass grave and reentered them properly with individual graves. They built a fence around the graveyard with an entry arch and declared it a Union graveyard. The work was completed in only ten days. On May 1, 1865, the Charleston newspaper reported that a crowd of up to ten thousand, mainly black residents, including 2800 children, proceeded to the location for included sermons, singing, and a picnic on the grounds, thereby creating the first Decoration Day."
Later Watreloo N.Y was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson, in 1966."

I either completely forgot this interesting piece of history, or was never taught it, I'd bet cash it's the later.....

2 years ago this week end we officially opened our doors, Which has nothing to do with Memorial Day.......
Happy Berfday to us!!

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Boy was I totally unprepared for my news maker moment. All day I kept regretting that I had forgotten to put on my vibrating mascara,
But my curmudgeon inner voice kept saying "oh whatever Chelsea, no will notice..."
Uh bull shit! Besides the fact that my eyes looked like dark small vortexes sinking into my skull.
Is that really what I sound like?
And why was I flapping my arms up and down like a frantic duck?
W. makes fun of me all the time for talking with my hands, I laugh, I cant help it I'm Italian...... but jeez, a few more minutes and I would have taken off.

Let this be a lesson, don't go out in to he world unprepared. I can hear my Mother's voice telling me to always look my best, wear clean underwear, and always have 2 dollars in my pocket so I won't get picked up for vagrancy.
(and she was serious about the vagrancy part)

I have a whole new appreciation for charity organizers,
Seriously it's like herding cats.
It does feel good to help others who need it, don't get me wrong..... the harder my own life gets, the more I value the generosity of others.
Our event was a success, we have not tallied the donation totals, but the fact businesses got together and did something that might help others is really amazing and I am proud of myself and my neighbors for following through.
Sometimes I think we are completely oblivious to how our actions can affect others and how even the smallest act of kindness can make a difference.

As far as the vibrating mascara goes, well it's kind of amazing. I don't wear much makeup, although one of my alter egos does, and she is to blame for most of the unused makeup sitting in my drawer.....I bought mine at the drug store $9.99
HELLO.... instant sexy eye.

if you so feel compelled to watch my news clip......

Sunday, April 25, 2010

sometimes i think we are crazy

as if we didn't have enough going on, W and I decided to make the store bigger............

with a really tiny budget we transformed our office, into 600 feet of more amazing Mercado.
W is somewhat of a creative genius and literally out of discards and found objects she made 6 shelves, 6 racks, a dressing room,
and some amazing lights.

May 1, we launch our Designer Market, featuring a group of designers to benefit local charities.
The first charity is the Hollywood Sunset Free Clinic.
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