Inheritance has long been one of my favorite shops for beautiful, fun, and weird curiosities. I bought my vintage birdcage ladder there, which has graced like 234 photos in from my house. Or you guys know that miniature wooden shoe that you’ve seen everywhere in my house? Yep, that’s from Mike’s store, too. It’s stacked to the brim (literally) with tons of tiny weird curiosities. Mike, the owner, has been kind enough to let us take a peek into his perfectly styled place, although to really appreciate the beauty of all his finds you’ll have to pay him a visit. These photos seriously don’t do it justice – it’s just curated so well and he has such awesome/weird stuff.
That’s Mike, below, looking VERY serious. He’s really not. He is extremely nice and so helpful. He makes me want to tell everyone I know about his store because I want it to be so busy and successful.
So head on over.
Inheritance, West Hollywood
Owner: Mike Andrews
1. How long have you been in business and how did you get started?
Dan Zelen opened the store in 2004. Then it was called Zelen. I was a set dresser for several years and became very burnt out, and at that point I started working part time for Dan. He wanted to move to San Francisco so I took it over in 2008, and changed the name to Inheritance in 2010.
2. Why did you choose this location to open your business?
I didn’t choose the space but the space definitely dictates what product I carry. I love that it is crumbling around me and the staircase is stunning.
3. How would you describe your store’s style/aesthetic?
Masculine, eclectic, handmade, classic but quirky
4. Where did you get your name from and what other names did you consider?
My partner Paul, who buys all the China and kitchen products, came up with the name. He thought if he ever opened a store that would be the name he would use. Once he said it out loud none of the other name options stood a chance. We try to sell things with a story that can be passed along, so it fits the store perfectly.
5. What types of items are your best sellers?
We really specialize in finishing pieces for the home and curiosities, and most of them are one of a kind, so it’s hard to specify. On the pantry/table side we sell a lot of the Billy Cotton dishware and Riechenbach Taste.
6. What item do you have in the store now that you would want to have in your home?
We have a round dining table made from pine cones. I love that piece
7. What have you been inspired by lately?
We are curating The Great Rock and Roll Flea Market the first Sunday of every month and it makes me want to bring in some rock and roll elements into the store. I’m working on bringing in some edgier books and rock and roll photos.
8. Is there something you thought would sell really well but didn’t?
Lots of things, but that’s the nature of this kind of store. We have very few things people need, but plenty of things people want. Customers have to have a strong personal connection to buy items from me and it is hard to predict peoples wants when it comes to their past. All I can do is create a desirable aesthetic and hopefully the things I love, they will also.
9. Where do you mainly source your items from?
The store is a collection of collectors who specialize in specific areas. They bring me stuff to sell so they can justify buying more. Its a fruitful set up on both ends.
10. What was the first big lesson you learned from opening your store?
Be ready to spend your whole life in the store. YOUR WHOLE LIFE!
11. What would your one piece of advice you would give to small businesses?
Keep your overhead low so you can survive the rough times.
12. What stores do you shop at?
13. What trends, if any, are you tired of?
Well I would stay away from anything that is considered a trend because the problem with trends is they go out of style.
14. Do you have any plans to expand your inventory?
I want the store to evolve and change constantly. Last year we added pantry and table items into the store, which we will spin into a separate annex in the Arts District at the end of April. My friend James De Meo has taken over the attic at the store and is doing a concept called ‘Funeral’, focusing on macabre curiosities (see photo below)
Obviously everything in here is amazing, but here are some of my favorites…
Big thanks to Mike from Inheritance for letting us take a peek into his amazing store. Now head on over and check it out.
All photos by Jessica Isaac for EHD