Explore Geyserville: Hidden treasures await shoppers at Gin’Gilli’s Vintage Home
Loosely translated, Gingilli is an Italian word meaning a lot of little things together; a little bit of junk, a little bit of jewels.
With 45 vendors and an eclectic mix of handmade, one-of-a-kind, antique and vintage items for sale, Gin’Gilli’s Vintage Home in downtown Geyserville certainly lives up to its name.
Elisa Burroughs and her mom, Linda Elgin, opened the 5,000-square-foot store in 2009. Housed in a building that was once an auto dealership, Gin’Gilli’s has become a ”must visit” destination for locals and tourists alike.
While most of their vendors are from Sonoma County, including a few from Geyserville, others are from Mendocino, Lake and Humboldt counties. One is from Redwood City and another, a shop favorite, is from the Sacramento area. Six vendors have been with them since they opened.
One vendor, who chose to identify herself only as “BP,” considers the store and her booth a rebellion against big box stores and internet shopping. The back wall of her space showcases framed paintings of various sizes, many of which depict horses or landscapes. She also has several unique lamps for sale, as well as chairs, pottery, statuary and mirrors.
“Being here is entertaining in its own way,” she said. “I don’t expect to get rich from my sales, but I really enjoy what I’m doing. I meet a lot of interesting people and once even sold a piece to a local museum.”
For folks moving into their first home or those looking to decorate or redecorate their current one, shopping at a store like Gin’Gilli’s is probably the best kept secret.
“The stuff they find here will be 10 times more interesting and a heck of a lot less expensive than they’ll find in a regular department store,” said BP.
At the “Previously Possessed” booth, set up by a Geyserville resident who majored in textiles in college and previously ran a division for Levi Strauss, visitors can find a combination of antiques and collectible kitchen and primitive items.
Burroughs says shoppers visit their store from all over the world.
“We had a couple from Scandinavia come in just last week. Another time, a gal from Japan, whose husband had business in San Francisco, came in because she had seen our information in ‘Romantic Homes’ magazine and fell in love with our pictures,” she said.
Holly Barber of Cloverdale works in Geyserville and is a frequent shopper. Most recently, she was in the store trying to find knobs for a newly purchased chest.
“I first discovered Gin’Gilli’s while attending the annual car show and I’ve been a steady customer since,” she said.
While a few out-of-town customers request certain items be shipped, others are more resourceful, opting instead to carry their purchases home in one of the vintage suitcases on display.
Prices throughout the store generally range from 25 cents for little metal pins or Scrabble tiles to $1,200 for a vintage stove. A 14-karat gold fleur-de-lis framed mirror from France sold for $2,799. A mid-century six-piece tumbler set and matching pitcher, each sitting in a woven wicker holder, was on sale for $38.
A seasoned vendor, who happens to have experience with a well-known auction house, once brought in a large mirror and placed a $900 price sticker on it. After doing a little more research, she discovered the piece was actually valued at $12,000. She immediately returned to correct her mistake.