When one hears the words, “Los Angeles” they might instantly think of Los Angeles: the movie and film capital of the world. Though, a smaller, hidden golden star, is the strong community of buyers and sellers,local artists all around the city. Every Sunday, from 9am to 5pm, thousands of people support small LA businesses at the Melrose Trading Post.
In 1997, the first Melrose Trading Post opening took place. It was small, but placed in the high traffic area of Melrose Avenue, it began to gain traction. It wasn’t much at first, just a few small businesses gathered at Fairfax High School having something to look forward to each Sunday. Hosting small events to raise funds for the struggling performing arts program at Fairfax High.
The "Spretzel" pretzel booth
Today, Melrose Trading Post has operated every Sunday for the past twenty-three years, and has raised over eight million in funds for Fairfax High School, even introducing paid internships for students so they could learn business tactics. With hundreds of small businessesoperating in the new Covid safe outdoor vending booths, there is nothing you cannot find at the Trading Post. Are you looking for a pair of vintage Nike sneakers? You’ll find them. A Nikon camera from the 1950’s? You’ll find it. A statue of a dolphin holding a small beach ball up to its nose? You might even find two. With everything the Melrose Trading Post has to offer, the options are limitless. In a single row of vendor booths, you might find a greenhouse, filled to the brim with bright green garden succulents and plants just waiting to be taken home. Right next door, a time machine back to the 1900’s, full of authentic vintage furniture. Though my personal favorite kind of booths were the ones belonging to local artists and designers. During my last visit to the Trading Post, I had the amazing opportunity to speak to a local artist who owned the business “Paper 8” which specialized in the making of custom clothing and art. The owner, Matt Warren, told me about the long hours he’d spend making sure each design was utterly perfect before he would even think of putting a price tag on it. With all the success “Paper 8” has been met with at the Trading Post, there is now an official “Paper 8” storefront.
Covid-19 precautions put in place at the Trading Post
During a time period where everything is closed and constant, it is easy to feel like you’re stuck in the same routine. That’s exactly what’s so important about the Melrose Trading Post, it’s a place of unpredictability and surprise. The only thing you can count on is, every Sunday, from 9am to 5pm, for five dollars. You get to explore the lives and minds of the city of Los Angeles, and if you see something you like, you’d better get it, because LA moves fast, and it might not be there next Sunday. Melrose Trading Post 7850 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046