My wife and I own BURBANK ANTIQUES & COLLECTIBLES at 3423 West Magnolia Boulevard on “Antique Row.” Our store specializes in mid-century and baby boomer collectibles. We’re not a thrift store or junk shop! Our merchandise is highly collectible. Many of our customers say our store brings back happy childhood memories. It would not be the same if “Antique Row” is replaced with new trendy electronics and new fashion accessory stores!
There are already enough vintage clothing, Halloween stores, new retail outlets, coffee shops & restaurants in our business section of Magnolia Park, which brings us to the Magnolia Park Merchants Association. Can you imagine being on a boulevard full of small businesses and stores and a handful of merchants are determining the fate and direction of the entire district? Of course like anything else in life, people who have the same desires and vision group together. The president of the organization, Ashley Erikson, does not even own or rent a storefront in Magnolia Park or Burbank for that matter.
The group that runs the association is like a clique back in high school. They’re very devoted “good buddies” who would not cross lines to reach out to someone else. If our businesses do not benefit from their promotions and parties, we can lump it. It’s outrageous. They want us to pay $360 a year to give them more power to plow ahead over anyone who gets in their way. We have been personally bullied by one member of the board, Kerry Krull of Romancing the Bean –also on the 3400 block of West Magnolia. She tried to intimidate us. Her business has impacted our business in a serious way (as well as other businesses on the block).
The Magnolia Park Merchants Association board should have members who have a deep understanding of all the various types of businesses and their needs. At this time, if you’re not in their clique, your business may be discussed at their meeting (in an unfavorable way). Bottom line is if you’re not of their mind-set you won’t be welcomed on this board. Also, they give the impression they would rather you didn’t attend the association meetings. Magnolia Park Merchants Association has some big problems that need to be fixed.
Ralph Persinger is co-owner of Burbank Antiques, 3423 West Magnolia Boulevard on “Antique Row” in Burbank’s Magnolia Park (818) 845-5700. They carry a wide selection of collectibles including vintage toys, dolls, phones, record albums, record players, oil paintings, Fiestaware, and hundreds of lunch boxes.