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Candid Home, The Vintage Furniture Shop LA Designers Love

Candid Home is one of our favorite vintage stores in LA. The mastermind and founder behind it all is none other than Ashley Leahy, an interior design lover and Spoak member. Get to know her and the one famous shopper she was willing to spill the beans on.

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Since moving into my first apartment in Silverlake in 2018, I have always been on the hunt for a good vintage home store with reasonably priced, unique pieces. Lucky for me, just a year after moving to the neighborhood, I stumbled upon a beautifully bright and inviting storefront called Candid Home on Sunset Boulevard. If you're not familiar with Los Angeles, Sunset Boulevard is one of the coolest streets you can find yourself wandering down. Whether you're brushing shoulders with celebrities in West Hollywood or you're in the niche hipster area looking for some of the best-curated shops and food—there's always something surprising to find. When I found Candid Home, I was immediately impressed by the careful curation and colorful style that I hadn't seen at other vintage home stores.

After visiting a few times, I quickly learned that Ashley Leahy was the mastermind behind it all, as well as the shop manager and business owner! After introducing myself, I shared that I was a fellow design lover and aspiring interior designer inspired by her passion-turned-career for vintage home goods. I helped her part-time at the store last year amidst the downfall of the pandemic and got to experience a little BTS magic by attending flea markets and estate sales at the crack of dawn. Ashley is also a Spoak member! She is a mover and shaker in the interior design industry and is only getting more recognized over time through local designers and design influencers. I thought it would be fun to interview her on all things interior design and vintage for these reasons. So let's get into it.

The mastermind and founder behind it all is none other than Ashley Leahy, an interior design lover and Spoak member.

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Hi, Ashley! Could you please tell me a bit about yourself and how Candid Home became one of LA's most popular vintage home goods stores?

You flatter me. I'm mostly a hoarder with a very tiny house who needs somewhere to host the million weird objects I accumulate. It makes me so happy that people like the store, as it's a super personal collection of everything I love.

How would you say that Candid Home stands out from other vintage furniture stores?

When I moved to LA in 2018, I couldn't find any colorful stores; everything was soothing straw beach vibes. So I wanted to open something super wild and vibrant, and it's been fun testing out how crazy I can make it before people stop buying anything.

What have been some of your favorite and least favorite furniture trends in the past few years? Do you currently have favorite furniture or home decor pieces in the store?

Favorite Trend: The return of chinoiserie, ceramic lemon towers, tassels on everything, fancy dog statues. I always loved that stuff but couldn't sell any of it for a while.

Least Favorite Trend: That squiggly Home Depot DIY foam stuff that beautiful Scandinavian women on TikTok like to cover their mirrors with.

My favorite piece in the store is constantly changing. I generally love the funny things best, like these 60's Elbo Tin Can Sconces and Frederick Weinberg Horse Bar Cart.

Can you briefly walk me through how you acquired all of your beautiful things?

Everyone asks this at the store, and it's really a million places. Estate sales, fleas, auctions, random antique malls, Craigslist, storage units, friend's garages—anywhere possible! The longer you do this, the more you'll naturally build a network of dealers to buy from. People will then text you things they're selling or drop by the store to show you their trunk full of stuff (to the point where you have to hide from them when you're low on cash). Most of all, I love finding things myself, and I go to the east coast once a year to drive around and buy things with my mom. But it's great to have all these local buyers as a resource when I'm busy with the day-to-day running of the store. A few customers have even sold me some of the best things I've had!

I’ve noticed that you recently started offering interior design services! How has this been different from sourcing pieces for the store?

I assisted a few NYC and LA designers before opening the store, which was amazing (but a little different as it was someone else's vision that I was executing). It's been really exciting to plan the spaces myself and it’s been a whole new ball game doing every part myself—from mood boarding, contract creation, the actual design, invoicing, etc.

It is very different from sourcing for the store in that I have to pre-plan by measuring the space and how the item will live with all the other pieces in advance. In the store, I buy it first and mix it up with the other pieces at random. I'm lucky to have the store because when an item doesn't work for the client, I can usually re-sell it here and don't have to deal with frustrating returns; this has been a big perk for my clients, as well as a way to get more vintage into their homes instead of big box things. I've also been doing a project in Oakland for a couple with two small children, which is teaching me so much about durable fabrics and materials!

What about the store makes you the proudest?

That it's still open! This pandemic was so rough for us little businesses, and I'm still climbing out of it financially. I think staying flexible and adapting to my customer's changing needs has helped me survive and keep supporting the vendors whose products I sell!

As a big Euphoria fan, I noticed that some of your pieces were used in the show's set! Is this common to have set decorators order from you? Also, are there any other TV shows or movies where we can see your pieces?

Yes! I'm a huge Euphoria fan too! Watching Cassie have a breakdown under my Murano sconce was the best thing ever. Julia Altschul, the set decorator for the show, is so talented, and I feel like we will be working together on many more shows. I also have a few pieces in the newest season of Better Things and a sofa on Black Monday (Don Cheadle sits on it!!). Both are great shows that I'm proud to be a tiny part of. I'm really into TV/film and working with set people is one of the best parts of my job. I'm hoping someone from Severance comes in soon!

Ok, I have to ask, have you had any celebrity sightings at the store? And if so, are any of them regulars?

I mostly respect their privacy and wouldn't share, but... John Malkovich!! He didn't buy anything.

Lastly, what advice do you have for fellow women business owners that you wish had been given to you?

Your support system is key. Keep in touch with friends! Call your family! Most importantly, get a therapist, so you don't unload too much on the others. So much of running a business is about confidence and trust in yourself to succeed. You can run yourself ragged working 24/7 to be the very best you can, but certain things are out of your control. There are days when you'll spend more than you make, or something expensive will smash to bits, and that's just part of it. A negative mindset has a way of tanking things, so you need people to snap you out of it and remind you of the truth: that good things are always coming!

Photo Credit: (Left + Top Right) Candid Home

You can find more about Candid Home on their website.

Date Posted
April 26, 2022



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