Makenna and Manny Gonzalez are living the dream: a happily married couple who successfully runs their own business. This talented duo created Funky Thrift, an online thrift shop that sells unique vintage pieces for an affordable price. They currently work out of and house their inventory in a quaint studio space in Huntington Beach, and maintain their online shop at the touch of their fingers.
While their lives now seem blissful and easy, the road to starting this business took countless months of hard work and dedication.
Living together, Manny found himself out of a job and needed to make money in order to support his relationship and himself. Makenna mentioned her dad used to drag her to yard sales and local flea markets to buy and sell old fishing equipment on EBay, and told him to give it a shot. He tried it out, and was hooked ever since.
While Manny managed their growing EBay sales, Makenna went through her weekly routine of a Monday through Friday gig, without feeling any sort of attachment to her current job. She often felt uninspired and longed to work with Manny in creating something they both knew would become big.
So, she quit her job. Reality sank in, and she immediately knew they would have to support each other even more so and make this business grow. They dedicated all of their time and energy into going from thrift store to local Goodwill shops to flea markets and garage sales, finding the right products and putting it up for a fair price. Now, they enjoy the freedom of being their own bosses and taking their business on the road.
If you sit down with these two, they can carry the entire conversation on the stories they have about the process of finding each item, and the history that goes along with it.
As we were speaking, Manny pulled out a box of rolled of maps of various sizes and explained they all belonged to a little old man in Wrightwood who was having a garage sale they stumbled upon.
After talking to him, they discovered he was a park ranger in the 40’s and 50’s for one of the national parks nearby and surveyed the land to create those very maps. He walked around the parks, took in the beauty of nature, and documented all that he saw. The end results were intricately detailed maps of the surrounding areas.
Each item they discover has history attached, and the understanding and appreciation for what those items are is the excitement and fun in it all.
When asked what their favorite items were Manny had no problem coming up with his, a little boat motor from the 1970s. The cool thing? It was designed by famous baseball player Ted Williams, who played left field for the Boston Red Sox. He is holding onto it for their vintage wooden canoe that they will one day own. Right now it stays safe and secure in their closet.
He also mentioned another item which you would have to see to believe. Tony Lama yellow ostrich skin boots from 1985. He recalled them as “the sweetest thing” and basically “running shoes for cowboys” because they were so worn in.
Makenna had to think about her favorite item she found. After much thought, she recalled a special edition red Catholic Bible. She explained how she had never seen a bible like that one, and after the initial shock of the interesting and rare find wore off she immediately wanted to put it on the website so another person could appreciate it just as much.
She explained her love for bibles, and how she receives a ton of inquiries asking if she found any with inscriptions written on the inside or other special bibles.
While these two have their hands full, they never stop motivating each other and growing themselves. Makenna has started another website A Piece of Happy where she rents out vintage and mismatched utensils, dishes, cups and other trinkets for weddings and parties.
Manny also owns a company called Defensive Coatings, a new online distributor for Rainguard, that specializes in sealers, water proofers and other protective coatings for your small or large projects.
You can find them at their studio office in Huntington Beach or check them out online at their Funky Thrift website. Makenna and Manny continuously update their website, Facebook page and Twitter, @FunkyThrift, so you can stay current on their next flea market or item up for sale.