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Instagram page provides unique shopping experience
California Ave Collective
Alix Ribeiro-Clausen, Sarah de Kanter, Chloe Lusher and Lesa Clausen started California Ave. Collective in August, utilizing Instagram to re-sell the unique items they find at flea markets, dumpster diving, yard sales and more (Photo contributed).

Name of business: California Ave. Collective

Type of business: Instagram re-seller

Location/contact: @californiaavecollective

Specialty: Unique and vintage home décor


History of business:

In this day and age, many shoppers look to online versions of boutiques and stores in order to satisfy their shopping urges without leaving their homes. One group of Turlockers has taken this trend one step further, operating their business solely on Instagram, rather than at a brick and mortar location.

California Ave. Collective is the brainchild and business endeavor of Sarah de Kanter, Alix Ribeiro-Clausen, Lesa Clausen and Chloe Lusher — friends and family members who have an affinity for vintage items and home design. Lesa is the mother of the group, working alongside her daughter Chloe, daughter-in-law Alix and family friend Sarah.

They often find rare and unique pieces in their frequent visits to flea markets, yard sales and Dumpster dives, to name a few locations, and rather than hoarding these one-of-a-kind pieces to themselves, they wanted to share them with the community.

Thus, California Ave. Collective was born in early August, providing Instagram users with a quick and efficient method for purchasing curated home goods. The process is simple: California Ave. Collective uploads a picture of the “found” item for sale and the first person to comment “sold” on the photo becomes the new owner. The women post several items a week and privately arrange local pick-up and payment with the purchaser.

This allows them to interact with customers and provide a service to the community, they said, without the worry that comes with a permanent shop.

“We chose Instagram because it is the perfect format to showcase our items through photographs without the pressure of maintaining a shop,” the group said.

The options on California Ave. Collective are endless, from items like an ornate brass ashtray shaped like a housefly or a made-in-Mexico hanging parrot reminiscent of Disneyland’s Tiki Room. Furniture is a frequent offering on the page as well, such as vintage rugs, chairs, couches and more.

“Sometimes we love the charm of the vintage condition and other times items need some sprucing up,” the group said. “We like to think we are on the edge of design and evolving styles. We keep an eye out for items that stand out to us as unique and special, no matter the style. Bohemian, retro-modern, art deco and industrial are all styles that catch our eye.”

Taking cues from Architectural Digest, California Ave. Collective also frequently features video tours of local homes on their Instagram page, providing design inspiration and showcasing living spaces of all styles and sizes. The group believes social media could be the business platform of the future, as the method of selling items is convenient, free and gives them creative freedom.

“We are all having a blast. All the things we do for the account are things we love to do anyway, but now we get to bond over them and meet new people along the way,” they said. “We love curating items in a way that makes it easier for people to add character to their homes.”