SAN FERNANDO, Calif. — With ‘80s music playing in the background, Christie Bernal makes sure everything in her vintage store called “1984 Vintage” is perfectly placed.
Bernal is a Valley girl who grew up in the ‘80s.
“I really love the ‘80s and I think the ‘80s are never going away,” she said.
But it’s not just ‘80s merchandise one will find in her store, she says “‘60s, ‘70s, ‘80s, ‘90s even Y22 believe it or not is vintage now,” Bernal said.
While she has dedicated customers, the pandemic took a toll on her store and nearby businesses within the shopping district known as the San Fernando Mall.
“It was hard to get people out to come into the store, people didn’t want to leave their houses, it was a scary time,” Bernal said.
So, in response to the lack of customers, she got together with other business owners and created the San Fernando Outdoor Market.
Adriana Gomez, who is a board member for the Chamber of Commerce, said the outdoor market “gives people a reason to come to San Fernando and once you’re here, hopefully you’ll stay and shop and dine and have fun.”
The market started out with ten vendors, but as it started growing, they knew they needed help, so they teamed up with event planner My Valley Pass. Now, for their April 16 market, there are already more than 80 vendors registered.
Gomez said it’s not just helping business owners in the mall but also providing opportunity and exposure for new potential business owners.
“We all have creative dreams, at least some of us do and this provides an outlet for that person who’s creating something or making something or designing something to expose it to the market to hopefully eventually get a brick and mortar store,” Gomez said.
Bernal said she’s excited to see the market grow.
“I think it definitely created a buzz around the city and around the mall specifically,” Gomez said.
More interest means more foot traffic and customers, not just for her but for her neighbors as well.