Orange Street Consignment in Chico
By Kimberly Boney
Hunt and Gather
By Kimberly Boney
Photo by Paula Schultz
The enormous building with the industrialized roll-top metal doors sits off the beaten path, tucked away from the main thoroughfare, in a place you wouldn’t expect to find it—as is the case with many a valuable treasure. Calling Orange Street Consignments a veritable smorgasbord of vintage curiosities, antiques and collectibles would be putting it mildly. Calling it the “best kept secret in Chico” is spot on.
Established in 1999 by John and Jenny Mull, the building is divided into seven distinct rooms. The store itself, occupying nearly 7,000 square feet of the 15,000-square-foot building, offers a stylish, varied assortment of vintage clothing that extends past the costume kitchy-ness known to amass itself at some second-hand stores, along with antique and vintage furniture, glassware, collectibles, records, hardware, books, records, buttons, postcards and more.
The remaining space is used for storage and, most importantly, for the once-every-four-to-six-weeks estate sale, which has drawn a solid following of people for nearly 20 years. The nearly 4,000-square-foot space is reinvented in time for every sale, making the Mulls’ nickname for the sale, “the original pop-up,” quite fitting. The sale begins on a designated Saturday, and shoppers peruse the selection and make purchases before the items are made available to the public at the storefront. Whatever is not sold on Saturday is marked half price and is sold that Sunday. The remaining items are made available at the store shortly thereafter.
Mull, a hairdresser for 50 years, closed down his barber shop on Park Avenue five years ago, selling some of the décor from the old barber shop at Orange Street Consignments. “I’m 72 now, so lots of what I’ve collected is now moving in a different direction.”
Mull still does hair for family and close friends one day a week in a small studio, but the bulk of his time is spent as an estate liquidator. “I’m a hunter/gatherer. I like to get out and look at things. Estate liquidation is always an adventure,” says Mull.
Mull is grateful for the help of a great team. His wife, Jenny, helps with networking and correspondence. Faye Cole, who is responsible for accounting and listing items at the storefront, is who John refers to as his “right hand” where operations of the storefront are concerned.