Hotbox Vintage

Nov 25, 2014

Hotbox Vintage_detailDelilah Rabina is celebrating ten years in business in possibly the smallest store in the Valley – Hotbox Vintage.

She actually calls it “closet-size” and it is surprising when one expects a “regular” size store to walk through the door and be within ten feet of the back wall. One is also quickly charmed.

We visited on the evening of Delilah’s 10th anniversary celebration party. Swaths of white material were draping from pole to pole and looped with white lights adding a sparkle at dusk. Tables were set with small treats and champagne was being poured. Delilah had also set up a backdrop for guests, friends, and fans to take red carpet-type pictures. A young teenager was seen sporting a faux fox cropped jacket hamming it up in front of the lights. Business was brisk.




Photo courtesy of Hotbox Vintage

Photo courtesy of Hotbox Vintage


As Delilah was busy engaging with people and ringing up sales, we asked if we might ask some questions at a later date. She was kind enough to agree…

HP: How did you get into vintage clothes? What propelled you to open a shop?

DR: There are so many design details in vintage clothing construction and craftsmanship that are hard to find these days. I’ve always loved shopping vintage and started a sort of fashion library focusing on prints and construction detail. I love finding vintage pieces that are relevant to today’s styles because they were most likely inspired by them!

HP: How do you choose what you sell? It looks like most items are higher end and very well made, and with intricate details. Is this the style you enjoy or is there a particular reason you’re not selling old jeans and Hawaiian shirts?

DR: OH, THE DETAILS…. I focus so much on the details I sometimes do not care about the condition of the garment. If it’s great design or has a great detail or print, I’ll snag it for the shop. It’s a designer’s paradise.




HP: How did you find your location and why did you choose your location?

DR: I grew up in South Pasadena and 10 years ago it was a few blocks from where I lived. It was such a cozy spot to hang out during our local farmers market and when I saw the lease sign I knew that it belonged to me. And it’s true! Other people were vying for it and the owner took a chance on me!

HP: How do you make such a small, absolutely minute store (square foot-wise), a successful endeavor?

DR: It’s so small, my buying decision has to meet a specific criteria. Is it great? Will my customer like it? Is it affordable for my customer? I have the most loyal customers, so I have a sense of responsibility to them. There’s no magic trick, just a lot of hard work.




HP: How/where do you acquire your goods – clothing, bags, jewelry. How do you find such nice pieces?

DR: Our pieces come from so many different sources! It’s a lot of work but I do love finding treasure in a sea of nothing’s.

HP: What keeps you going after 10 years?

DR:  I get inspired everyday by all of the great things we can find. It’s fun to see our customers who are always so excited, to see what’s next and what’s new, and in turn we can’t help but to be inspired by them and their style.




HP: Now a few personal questions, if you wouldn’t mind. What is your favorite time of day, and if you don’t have any prior commitments, what do you like to do with it?

DR: My favorite time of day would have to be at night when I get to decompress and relax a bit and really just be grateful for the day.

HP: You have a whole day off in and around San Gabriel Valley. How do you spend it? Where do you go, what do you eat and see?

DR: I love spending my free time with my daughter. There are so many amazing places in SGV, but our regular rotation would have to be milk tea from Half and Half (no boba), Mix N’ Munch grilled cheese, Fiore short rib sandwich, and Urth Caffe’s chicken curry sandwich. Ha! I guess we eat a lot of sandwiches!




Hotbox Vintage, 906 Meridian Ave., South Pasadena 91030. Hours: Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.


















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