Mandana Blvd is where vintage meets possibly the most chill people ever.
After moving to Oakland from Brooklyn owners of Mandana Blvd (named after the street they live on), Cristina and Nu, found themselves in a situation where they needed to figure out a way to combine both of their styles when it came to decorating their new place. In the words of Nu,
"We wanted to take this opportunity to buy furniture pieces that would last, aka graduate from IKEA, but at the same time we realized that we didn't get an acceptance letter from anywhere else."
Not having a bunch of money these two became resourceful finding their own unique vintage style in pieces that lasted the test of time. After furnishing their place they soon realized that there was still a world of great things out there to be found, bought, and shared. Insert the idea and the beginning of Mandana Blvd, a business that works with clients to scout and buy great pieces of the past as well as sell fantastic vintage items at an affordable price.
WHERE DO YOU FIND YOUR GREAT ITEMS?
Cristina: Most of the items come from estate sales in which I love. The only thing is that it's really competitive. I mean people show up at four in the morning. It's really crazy. So you have to have a little bit of a competitive nature to want to get up that early and be like, "I saw this really great chair and I will be the first one to go and get it." That's what I do every week, I source and curate and then I come back home clean it up and photograph it.
WHAT IS YOUR MISSION WITH MANDANA BLVD?
Nu: I think part of what we are trying to do is to take things that might have been at your aunt's house or your grandmother's house and put it into a new context and bring it into a more modern state. So the way our site is set up and our style of photography is meant to be more contemporary and accessible as appose to vintage, on vintage, on vintage.
YOU DO "POP UPS." WHAT EXACTLY ARE THOSE?
Cristina: Majority of the Pop Ups we do are local here in Oakland and in the Bay Area. It's basically an all day thing where we bring out all the best products that we have. We set it up with plants so that it have a warm and inviting feel. We pull out all our rugs and bring our really cool chairs and set it up so that people can shop while having this little experience.
Nu: For us the experience aspect of it is really important. It's not just us bring our product that you can get online or through Instagram. It's really like come meet us and say hi. We want to meet the people that follow us and we want to interact with people. Plus we always have secret Rose' in the back and if you come say hi we will offer you a cup- on the low. But we bring everything like our music, our plants, we want to bring our vibe, our experience and while we're doing that you're shopping for stuff. So it's never a hard sell for us, like "here you should buy this" it's more laid back and people just get to cruse and hangout.
YOU'RE POP UPS SOUND FUN, DO YOU GET TO MEET A LOT OF INTERESTING PEOPLE DURING THEM?
Cristina: We get all kinds of people showing up at our Pop Ups. We get a lot of people of color coming up to us saying, "Wow thanks for providing the space." Because the vintage game is predominately old and...white. So we get a lot of people that like that we are in the game and appreciate our style as well as our price points. Because we are basically finding things that we would put in our own home and that we can also afford. So we get a lot of people that come and say, "You've got such great prices. I go to vintage stores and I can never afford anything because everything is so over priced."
SO WHAT KIND OF ITEMS CAN I FIND AT MANDANA BLVD?
Nu: When we have our Pop Ups or even online we like to have a breath of things. So we have smaller ticket items like baskets for plants which anyone can and likes to buy. All the way up to a wicker love seat that someone bought, that you would obviously have to own a big enough home to put it in.
YOU'VE SEEN SO MANY GREAT VINTAGE PIECES, WHAT MAKES AN ITEM JUMP OUT AT YOU?
Cristina: I love the vintage esthetic and the quality of vintage items. I feel like now a days you can go to Target or IKEA and you're not going to get the same product that you would find say at an estate sale from 1975. So whether is heavy glass cups or the beautiful grain on a wooden side table, I love it. I think its about the character, the quality, and whether I like it or not (laughing). To be honest there are a lot of vintage sellers online that do their Esty shops and things like that. And I've noticed a lot of them just kind of buy what they think will sell and I don't want to be like that. I want to buy items because I think it would look good in someone's home. So when you shop online or through Instagram I want Mandana Blvd to have a cohesive element to everything. I want you to be able to say, "I'm looking for this type of thing let me go to Mandana Blvd to find it."
WHERE CAN WE SHOP FOR ALL OF THESE LOVELY VINTAGE ITEMS?
Cristina: So most of the new stuff we get we post to Instagram first. So I would say the best thing is to follow us on Instagram so that you're the first to see what's new.
Nu: That's actually the pro tip right there because most things don't make it to the site anymore. What ends up happening is that Cristina sets up this nice little vignette for an item, takes a picture, puts it on Instagram, and we just tell people to DM us.
Cristina: Some things do make it to the site and we have a bi-monthly haul of items we haven't sold yet on there.
Nu: So not everything makes it to the site but not everything gets posted on Instagram either.