Ventura Breeze

Business Profile:
Mi Hacienda Furniture Store

by Mira Reverente

An affinity with antiques, rustic furniture and economic circumstances helped set a furniture business in motion.

Ede Rangel owned and managed a mom and pop restaurant in Ventura when the recession hit. She was on the lookout for another business venture when she heard from her nephew in Denver. “He said that he knew an antiques dealer and could easily get us connected,” Rangel explained.

The final piece of the puzzle was Rangel’s connections to rustic furniture makers in Mexico. “There is a six or seven-mile stretch of Baja that has nothing but furniture stalls and that’s where we go,” she said.

Old World charm
meets New World needs
 Rangel’s husband, Jose, is a contractor who has owned his painting business for the past 15 years. “We knew that it would work to our benefit because he could finish or retouch the pieces we are selling, if needed,” said Rangel.

Assembled by hand and made with solid pine make up the majority of rustic furniture’s appeal. Historically, rustic furniture was made from whatever natural materials were in abundance, such as sticks, twigs or logs. This type of furnishing or look is often associated with the Great Depression and other hard economic times in the US.

“The furniture pieces are quite charming because there are scratches sometimes and other imperfections,” stated Rangel. But this old world charm makes it easy to complement Spanish Colonial, Tuscan and country-style furnishings and homes, according to Rangel.

Rustic furniture also utilizes various techniques such as chip carving, brushwork, peeled bark and a gamut of decorative enhancements.

To illustrate, Rangel pointed to a massive bar set-up, priced at $3,200 and the most expensive item in the store. “It has a lot of storage and it’s obviously for a big house, but look at the distressed look and the wood and metal knobs,” she said.
Mi Hacienda Furniture in Ventura

On the opposite end of the spectrum are small, decorative items selling for under $40 including glass jars, religious and wrought iron accessories. “No two things are alike here,” said Rangel.

Broad appeal
According to Rangel, they have not done a lot of advertising and marketing, but are relying on word-of-mouth initially and some pedestrian traffic most likely generated by their outdoor display. Curious diners from Yolanda’s, the Mexican restaurant next door, also stop by regularly.

“You’d be surprised but we get a lot of young people coming in and making purchases,” she said. The side tables, available as a set or individually, are quite popular, according to Rangel.

Lamps, wall art, clocks, desks, coat racks, rocking chairs and even antique sewing machines are neatly displayed and labeled in the one-level store facing Main Street. “We’re lucky it’s not a high-rent area so we can allot more cash for inventory,” explained Rangel.

Unbeatable teamwork
Rangel spends most of her days at the store and then trades off with her husband at night when he finishes with his painting jobs. Rangel is in charge of purchasing, design and bookkeeping while her husband coordinates logistics and makes monthly trips to pick up furniture in Mexico.

But even if the business is still in its infancy stage, Rangel has immense plans. She is looking forward to attending the Latin America Fair of Artisans in Central Mexico, this coming March. “There will be over 2,000 vendors and I want to find more decorative items to sell here that are reasonably priced,” she said.

For more information:
Mi Hacienda Home Decor
2735 E. Main St.
Ventura, CA 93003

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