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Like its neighbor, the Vista Theatre, lifestyle store Uncle Jer’s in Silver Lake is an established neighborhood staple. The eclectic shop’s hand-carved shelves are stacked high with giant two-headed teddy bears and toy cameras fashioned from soda cans. Everything is effortlessly merchandised, your eyes moving from one rare find to the next. We caught up with owner Rob Graney to get the story behind his longtime exotic shopping haven.
Why this store here in Silver Lake?
This store’s been open for thirty years and I used to come here before we bought it. It always struck me as sort of a gateway to the eastside; it sets the tone for the whole neighborhood. The merchandise is from all over the world so it appeals to all different kinds of people, and LA is such a melting pot.
What’s been flying off the racks?
Our jewelry is a big draw, the handmade Mexican earrings. They’re not cast so they’re really light. And the Ronni Kappos jewelry. She’s an LA designer and all her beads are from the early 1900’s so it's all out of production and the shapes are very distinct to that time period.
What are you most excited about in store right now that maybe isn’t flying off the racks?
We have these bowls hand carved from one big piece of wood. We also have these little vases that come in pretty colors. They are only $16 and handmade and they're just not selling like I thought they would.
You have one $100 to shop in LA—where do you go?
I would come here.
Team LC or Team Heidi?
Who? Oh right? yeah I’m not buying tickets to that game.
Fringe is supposed to be really big this fall. Thoughts?
I like movement. And everything has to end so I guess fringe is a good way to do it.