small talk // florence tang // co-founder of lot, stock and barrel


i came across lot, stock and barrel at the pop up flea in nyc several months ago. there, the brand had a unique selection of interesting vintage tees, lots of quality denim and outerwear, and several items that had beautiful embroidery and huge patches. i reached out to florence tang, the co-founder of lsb, to pick her brain about the company and have since learned a few things: 1. the embroidery and patches are created by the chain gang in la who are experts at chain stitching (florence's partner ben is currently apprenticing and learning their techniques) // 2. most of lot, stock and barrel's apparel was made in the united states and is sourced on their many trips across the country // 3. the product is mainly menswear with some smaller sized items but the company also offers custom tailoring and repairing // 4. lot, stock and barrel recently did a pop up with the chain gang featuring a full assortment of repaired, refurbished and quality vintage levi's denim at the levi's headquarters // 5. their store is located in downtown la, an area where people understand and appreciate what they do.

lsb's tagline "inspiring vintage goods and curiosities" has stuck with me and i love their thoughtful, personal approach to vintage buying and selling. you can really sense their own journey and the history of clothes through their curated offering and the "stories" section on their website. more about florence tang and lot, stock and barrel below:

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015  // photography by  jon dragonette  // chain stitch work by  chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: tell us more about you.

florence tang: it's been quite a long journey to where i've landed in starting lot, stock and barrel. growing up in toronto, i started with a degree in graphic design from york university and then continued my education in visual communications at fidm in san francisco. i then started my career as the assistant visual merchandiser for levi's xx at levi strauss working at their office before moving down to los angeles where i joined a creative consulting company, working for companies such as filson and spiewak. there was a point where i realized that there were many other interests i had and wanted to pursue those endeavors. i then teamed up with my partner, benjamin phillips, in building lot, stock and barrel last year. combining our passion of vintage items with our background from the creative field, we are a design studio servicing multiple other brands with anything ranging from store design and visual merchandising to seasonal concept design and graphic design. our store in downtown los angeles is our home base where we showcase vintage apparel, accessories and home goods in a retail setting to share our passion with other like minded individuals.

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: tell us more about lot, stock and barrel. how did the name come about?

florence tang: lot, stock and barrel is a vintage store in downtown los angeles where we curate vintage items with select production pieces and also offer the service of chain stitch embroidery. we have been lucky to meet some great friends along this path such as the chain gang, who are the ones creating the beautiful chain stitch pieces that we have in our store. in addition to our store, we offer a large variety of design services derived from the backgrounds of both benjamin and myself. the concept came about very organically as we started out as an e-commerce website only, and quickly realized that we missed the human, tactile experience. we then opened a store by the ace hotel to showcase our vintage products to the public in an environment that was not ideal, but worked for the budget we had. shortly after we moved to the arts district of los angeles to continue growing the store presence and we've been loving it ever since. the name came from the saying "lock, stock and barrel" which means all or everything. we used "lot" instead as we are also a wholesale business where we offer large lot units to other resellers. we also offer a very broad assortment of vintage items, hence the name lot, stock and barrel seemed very fitting.

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: what kind of products do you sell and what other brands do you feature? what is your process for sourcing products?

florence tang: we try to include something for everyone at our store, which includes anything from kids lee jackets to vintage biker tees and levi's cut off shorts to vintage french indigo textiles. our product categories include vintage native american turquoise and sterling silver jewelry, vintage apparel, accessories such as bandanas and hats, and home goods. we travel all over the country to source and secure items for the store. on our last trip we went to colorado, new mexico and arizona where we stopped at multiple private dealers, thrift stores, and even hoarders. every item is handpicked, washed, and repaired before it is placed in the store. we pay very close attention to details in every repair and even try to replace missing buttons with the historically accurate ones we find. 

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: tell us more about the "stories" section on your website.

florence tang: all of the stories on our website are written by benjamin and reflect a theme that we've either found in the items we source, or something we find interesting and want to share while curating vintage garments with each theme. for each story, we only use imagery we've found in vintage publications or private family photo albums. we like showcase material that has not been seen multiple times and we go through very extensive research to keep everything in our stories authentic. 

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: what plans do you have to grow lot, stock and barrel in the future? 

florence tang: we would love to open another lot, stock and barrel store on the east coast to expand our offering. as of now we have our hands full but we would love to be bicoastal and showcase our findings to a larger audience and offer the best possible store experience in addition to continue our creative consulting work where we can help other brands tell their story. we want to continue collaborating with like-minded individuals and we would love to open a space some day to host other related brands including makers, furniture and accessories.

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: have you discovered any unique places or hidden gems on your travels?

florence tang: sedona is one of my favorite places to visit and on a recent visit, we found a store on the top of a mountain where there was a beautiful selection of vintage native american jewelry. but the best part of our visit was being able to get to know bob, who's been working there for over 10 years and has been repairing vintage jewelry for as long as he could remember. not only did i learn quite a bit that day, but it also reminded me that the experiences of meeting and learning from people on my travels is what has become the most fun and exciting part of my travels. 

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: what are your favorite places to see art, shop, get coffee, eat and hang out around la?

florence tang: my go to places include creatures of comfort for shopping, blue bottle for coffee, proof bakery for eating, and the thirsty crow for hanging out.

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

cultureisland: what are you listening to right now?

florence tang: ryan adams.

  lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015   // photography by   jon dragonette   // chain stitch work by   chain gang la

lot, stock and barrel lookbook 2015 // photography by jon dragonette // chain stitch work by chain gang la

* check out the lot, stock and barrel website here // facebook // instagram // twitter *