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March 2024
Vol. 23, No. 6
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Columns

Flippin’ Fashion Is My Passion

by Cathryn BeeksSeptember 2023

I come from a long line of junkers. My grampa would spend hours in thrift stores and then fill his garage full of the treasures he would find with plans to sell it all and make millions. I remember always having yard sales and selling stuff at swap meets as a kid. It was like a party! Mom always packed a huge cooler full of food and we’d spend the day hanging out and haggling prices with strangers. I started seriously thrifting in high school when I was trying my hand at being a Mod. Those 50s dresses, beaded purses and sweaters, the low-heeled chunky pump with jewels and a square toe were always on my radar. I started collecting pieces and amassed quite an inventory by the time I landed in Cleveland, OH in the mid 90’s. I was working full time in the RE industry when I found a super sweet deal on a little shop in Lakeside, so I opened my first store, Uncommon Thredz. I sold men’s and women’s vintage and 2nd hand clothing, shoes and accessories. I also invited the local music community to bring their CDs and band merch and I’d sell that, too. I could only be open when I wasn’t working my 9 to 5, so the store became an evening hang out for musicians and cool kids. It’s where I met my friend Heath who I ended up busking across the country with months later. Yes, unfortunately, the store was short lived because I was in my late 20s and my life was a rollercoaster back then. So, I boxed up my favorite pieces and continued on my journey.

Flash forward to 2013, Jonny and I rented a big old beautiful home in Crest. The lower level was once a dentist’s office with a separate entrance, so I talked Jonny into letting me turn the bottom half of the house into The Green Room, a thrift store dedicated to musicians and folks who need performance wear. I partnered with my friend Tara Alverado who also had an inventory of beautiful vintage clothing she’d been hording and we kicked it off with a fashion show in July of 2013. The store operated on an “apt only” basis, open to friends and friends of friends. Crest was far from San Diego, though, and it proved difficult getting people to come up and shop. The Green Room began collecting dust. 🙁

In 2015 I learned about folks turning box trucks into boutiques, so I set out to find a truck. A week later my friend Linda from 30 years ago reached out and said they had 2 box trucks and were willing to sell one. We brought her home from the high desert and as Jonny was sanding her getting ready to paint, the word “Parisian” began to appear. This was just weeks after the nightclub shooting in Paris. We fixed her up and named her Lulu. I filled her with treasures and drove her around San Diego for a few summers in 2016 and 2017. After a while, popping up pooped me out so I thinned out my collection and turned the front half of Lulu into my recording studio where I interviewed guests and produced my podcast. Some of the guests would even buy stuff from the boutique still set up in the other half of Lulu. 😉

In 2019 Jonny and I relocated our entire circus up to the high desert to hang with mom and dad during the pandemic. We returned during the winter of 2022 but Lulu is still parked under some tall pines in Lucerne Valley where she holds all of my art supplies. The Green Room inventory is safely tucked in a spare closet at my mom’s. I’m hoping to be able to bring it all back down here in October. I’ll spend the winter shining her back up and we’ll be ready to roll by next spring. Lulu will be a mobile photo booth with racks of rad stuff you can dress up in (and buy!). I’ll cruise Main Street with all of the dope car folks every Thursday up here in Ramona. We’ll also be available for band field trip photo shoots and to record promotional material. The sky’s the limit when it comes to Lulu, can’t wait ’til she’s home.

TUNE IN TO THIS MONTH’S LISTEN LOCAL SHOW!

 

 

 

This month’s podcast features music by those performing in the San Diego area in September. After the audio calendar there are songs and messages from makers all over the globe. Please send me your original song and intro message so I can play you on October’s show. Get all the details at www.ListenLocalRadio.com/submitsongs Thanks for listening and thank you to our subscribers for making the show possible. 

Listen Local Lounge at Satellite Episode 18 is now playing!

This month’s Listen Local Lounge at Satellite features Marie Haddad and Chuck Roberts. Listen now and subscribe for as little as $2 a month at Patreon.com/listenlocalradio for instant access to private videos of these performances and to help us make more shows. Thank you and enjoy!  

 

 

 

 

Ok, so that’s it for this month, pals. I’ll leave you with a video I recently made for a song that features the incredible stylings of Dennis Caplinger along with this poster with info about where you can find me in September. Visit CathrynBeeks.com or ListenLocalRadio.com for more details. I hope you’ll join a circle, shop my pop, sing, drink wine and hang out with me. The weather’s gonna get cooler (right?!?) so let’s dig in and celebrate this crazy life. xo Cathryn

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