Hi! We are Chris and Julia, and we sell vintage and handmade decor in our shop, A Living Space. Last year we moved across America, from Massachusetts to our new home in Ojai, California.
A Living Space was born from a love of all things vintage and a tiny studio apartment. Chris and I started collecting vintage for ourselves after college, but soon our living space was rather full, so we had to either stop buying stuff or start selling it off. We both loved spending our spare time searching thrift stores, flea markets, and estate sales for treasures, so we opted to sell! We always joke that Etsy basically saved us from becoming hoarders.
For the first two years of our shop’s life, it was purely a vintage business. During that time, I had been making things to add handmade touches to our home. After Chris and I moved cross-country we started feeling like our shop needed a change, so I finally listened to his encouragement and worked on getting some of my handmade goodies listed for sale.
I’m not always aware of what inspires me while I’m making things, but looking back, it’s very clear that our new home has played a big part in the evolution of my designs. I can’t get over the colors of the California landscape – particularly the beautiful Ojai valley where we live – as well as the mix of modern and southwestern design that is everywhere here.
Living in a small apartment is a challenge with a business like ours, but we make it work. Our small back room basically serves as a storage space with shelves of vintage and bins of items to be sold, my art supplies, and shipping supplies. With no room for a designated studio, most work around here gets done at the kitchen table, but we also do a lot in the large airy art workshop at the private high school where Chris teaches digital arts and photography. Taking beautiful photos is super important to us, so we’re very lucky to have access to a space with white walls and great natural light.
One of the things we love most about our Etsy shop is the opportunity to work together. We both have strong design sensibilities, but over the years we’ve realized that our combined style is so much more interesting and well-rounded. We definitely prefer to go vintage shopping together, and we always come home with a better mix of goods when we do.
All photographs by A Living Space.