Page 37 - SLO Visitors Guide Winter 2023
P. 37

Arroyo Grande
‘Twist of Fate’ decision
pays off for Rhonda’s
Relics antique mall
A fun collection of vintage, eclectic and whimsical stuff
  When Rhonda O’Dell had the chance to open another San Luis Obispo County antiques busi- ness, she didn’t let the grinding halt of the pandemic stop her. “I’m re- ally one of those people who believe in twists of fate,” O’Dell said. “You can talk yourself out of anything. So instead, I thought: I’m just going to do it.”
That leap paid off because now, a year later, O’Dell is the proud owner of three antique businesses: Rhonda’s Relics in the Village of Arroyo Grande; her original Pismo Pickers store in Pismo Beach; and a third antiques space, The Barn, now open in Santa Margarita.
A closer look into the 3,300-square-foot antique mall shows a roster of 25 distinctive ven- dors. Collectively, they offer goods that align with the shop’s slogan: “A fun collection of vintage, eclectic and whimsical treasures for your home and garden.” White walls and high ceilings create an open and inviting backdrop to the vendors’ many styles.
Most of the vendors have three walls each to decorate, creating
a transformative experience for shoppers as they meander through, block by block. One area offers book-nook warmth with a tastefully woven mauve and olive rug and worn-wood shelves playing host
to handpicked titles in cooking, gardening, and more. Elsewhere, patrons can lose themselves in tea-party shabby chic; vintage
knits, petticoats, and lace; and even an assortment of antique etched bottles dug up by hand from six feet underground. O’Dell says she adores the variety.
“It’s special there because, even though it’s my business, everyone treats it like a partnership,” she said. “They all have great ideas to play off one another and work together.”
A former San Luis Obispo advertising sales rep, dabbling
in vintage was always O’Dell’s beloved hobby. But moving into the antiques retail market full-time was simply kismet. “My mom always loved vintage and decorated with it,” O’Dell recalled. “I’ve always loved the look of it, too. When you see the cute things people bring into these stores you just can’t hardly say no.”
One reason, she says, is that shoppers crave a story. “Antique stores are different because it’s going to be stuff people have col- lected on their own; things they've done the research on, or know the history of. Which is great because people want to know the back- ground, what it’s been through, what it’s seen. It’s really a wonderful space,” she added. “We just want people to have fun.”
Don’t miss O’Dell’s monthly flea market in the parking lot behind the store!
Rhonda’s Relics is located at
148 West Branch Street in Arroyo Grande. The shop is open daily 11 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information visit, or calll (805) 270-4045 or follow the shop on Facebook and Instagram.
—Tonya Strickland
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