Vintage Interview: Lemon Frog Shop, L.A.

Lemon Frog Shop
Est. 2007
1202-B N Alvarado St
Los Angeles, CA 90026
213-413-2143
Neighborhood:  Echo Park

Hours:  Sun 12-5
Mon & Tue & Sat:  10.30-5.30
Wed & Fri  11.30 -7.30
Thur  10.30- 7.30  *Please call for hours, as they change seasonally

Site:  www.LemonFrogShop.com
Instagram:  LemonFrogShop
Facebook:  Lemon Frogshop

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 I’d just beaten rush hour traffic over to Echo Park where I was to meet with owner Micki Curtis of the vintage boutique, Lemon Frog Shop, on a typical sunny and hot Los Angeles afternoon (they say in L.A. by 3p.m. you need to be headed home or, wherever you’re going to be for the next 3 hours or you’re screwed…and it’s true).  Parking is no joke in L.A. either, so here’s a tip:  you can park in the library parking lot next door.

When I stepped into the shop, I had to take a pause for, I was not expecting to see the amount of what some customers have called, “a beautiful mess”, of vintage placed in every nook and cranny of the store.  I browsed around the shop, which is conveniently departmentalized by price-point (the front is mostly $10 items, and so on to the back where the high-end vintage is housed).  I soon realized that as a normal customer, I would need to give myself ample time to peruse through all the quality vintage treasures displayed from ceiling to floor.  Micki, a petite brunette with a valley girl flair and energy like a cheerleader, rings her final sale of the day and famously sends off the customer with a free trinket.   

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RNR:  Micki, you have so many amazing pieces in a small shop, how do you obtain them?

LFS:  I started collecting in high school but, kinda collecting while I was working at other stores, thinking that I would eventually have my own store one day…and I couldn’t pass up cool stuff, mostly for myself but,  occasionally if it didn’t fit I would still pick it up.

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RNR:  What about all these amazing pieces you have, like that leather purse up in the front with the sculpted face, and all these unique fringe bags?

LFS:  Every once in a while I just hit the jackpot and add it to my collection.

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IMG_8717RNR:  Do you buy from your customers?

LFS:  Sometimes, but not generally, I’m not really set up like other stores that buy all day long.

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RNR:  Do you go far to seek out such unique items?

LFS:  Sometimes I go to my home town, St. Louis and maybe between here and there but, usually not that far from L.A.

RNR:  That seems to be a blessing, yet, there are many many vintage stores here so, there is probably a lot of competition at the same time.

LFS:  I do have some places that I don’t think many people know about but, occasionally I will see someone where it’s obvious that they are a picker and I just hate seeing another picker there, because you instantly hate that person but, you don’t want to hate that person (laughing).

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RNR:  Who is the Echo Park customer?

LFS:  Well, I have different customers and my store is set up by price, the front of the store is $10 stuff, and then I have the moderately priced stuff, and I also have in the back, the high-end vintage.  So, we have a wide range of customers.

RNR:  What do you do to keep up with the trends?  I noticed that you are pretty on point with some of the things you are featuring up front, like the india skirts and dresses, those are really popular this summer.

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LFS:  I pay attention to my customers, what they’re wearing, what they’re asking for, I look at what bands are wearing and I read Lucky Magazine for my buying inspirations.

RNR:  What are your best sellers?

LFS:  I would say I specialize in dresses, boots and accessories.

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RNR:  How do you feel your business has developed since your store opening?

LFS:  I feel I got here at the right time, and this location is great;  we’re right off the 2, leading to Pasadena and Eagle Rock.  I don’t do a lot of events but, I am known to do some crazy five dollar sales;  there’s always a sale!  There’s always new merchandise, I’m always moving things around and making room for new stuff.

RNR:  Last, how did you come up with the name Lemon Frog Shop?

LFS:  When I was looking for a name, I wanted something happy, psychedelic, colorful and catchy. I actually stumbled upon the name in an old Sears catalog while referencing.  Even though I had a list of contenders, that name blew me away.  It was a sub shop in Sears in the 70’s but since they do not have it anymore, the name was available. The male co-shop was called The Put-On Shop, which I liked too, but not as much as Lemon Frog!  People are very attracted to the name!

Image courtesy of Lemon Frog Shop

Image courtesy of Lemon Frog Shop

2 thoughts on “Vintage Interview: Lemon Frog Shop, L.A.

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