New Los Angeles Thrift Store Shines | Public Estrellas

New Los Angeles Thrift Store Shines | Public Estrellas

In Los Angeles, everywhere you turn you experience a different era, trend, and overall vibe through the outfits you see. Most people constantly look for the next garment or accessory to add to their wardrobe all the while not hurting their pocket. For years, second hand stores have been conserving trends and fads by repurposing clothes and re-selling for a substantially lower price. The newest thrift store in Lincoln Heights Public Estrellas displays how Los Angeles shines through re-wear.

If you’re visiting or live in Southern California and you’re looking for a new Los Angeles thrift store, you’ve come to the right place!

Los Angeles shines through re-wear at it's newest Lincoln Heights thrift, Public Estrellas.

Image by Camille Roth

Public Estrellas: A New Thrift Store in Los Angeles

This cute spot is a thrift store established in 2023, found in the neighborhood of Lincoln Heights in Los Angeles. Located at exactly 2701 N Broadway, you find the reseller easy to spot on a corner in a white building with its logo painted right on the front.

After personally looking for a new thrift here in LA, I visited the store on my own and ended up purchasing around 10 pieces of clothing that felt like gems, hidden in racks. The place is organized by articles of clothing, sizing, and prices. The prices immediately caught my attention. Multiple racks fill the store that hold all types of tops and bottoms ranging from 5 dollars to about 15. They also have a section with higher priced pieces where you’ll find famously known brands. Some of the articles of clothing I bought include brands such as Members Only, Levi, and Fox Motocross.

Public Estrellas in LA

What really stood out to me was the customer service I received. From the moment I walked in I was greeted and soon after shopping at the check out register, I met Chris. I found out that Chris was the owner of the store. After talking a bit about journalism and photo journalism, I learned that the pictures that the store was filled with were all taken by him.

We spoke a bit more about the store but kept it short due to the line that was forming behind me. I left the store extremely inspired by Chris and his ambitions with the store, I wanted to write about it. I also knew Respect My Region would love to shine some light on a local business in SoCal. So, I messaged the Public Estrellas Instagram and ended up in contact with Chris once again. We spoke briefly and after explaining how great I found the store he agreed to do an interview and share a bit more about his shop and endeavors.

Interview with Christopher Aram Ohanian

Please introduce yourself, your full name and some facts that you would like people to
know about you.

My full name is Christopher Aram Ohanian. I am 29 years old and am an Armenian entrepreneur from Bad Oldesloe, Germany. I love fashion, music, photography, soccer and have always pursued my passion for them. It is my life.

What motivated you to open a thrift store in this community?

I opened my thrift store in the Lincoln Heights community to work for myself, become
independent, and bring hope to an intricate part of Los Angeles. Overall, owning a
business allows me to spread sustainable fashion in countries that need it most,
especially Armenia.

Can you tell us about the concept and vision behind your thrift store?

The concept and vision of Public Estrellas are about finding your muse through re-wear.
It is a phrase I created so that people can find themselves through the clothing and
accessories I sell. Everyone is a star by already being themselves, not necessarily
being popular. The true nature of your being is already significant enough to feel vital for
yourself and whoever surrounds you, whether it’s family, friends, or the public. We are
already stars by being ourselves. Unfortunately, society makes humans try to fit in,
which should not be that way. So, by being yourself of who you are, the way you dress
and feel is what matters about you the most. Public Estrellas is a community.

What types of products can customers expect to find in your thrift store?

Customers may always find pieces that are European, Asian, and American. I keep
curious about what customers may see through racks because the point is to make it
adventurous and rewarding.

Another part is that I use the concept of a coffee shop. I keep it simple and direct; the price boards on the walls and banner ensure the category’s price. Every rack in the store displays the
category’s price point. I intend to use tags or barcoding on items only if the items are

Bundle and save is another method at Public Estrellas to keep customers
buying more for more discounts. The more is purchased, the higher the discount is
redeemed. Five items (5% off), seven items (10% off), nine items (15% off), and eleven
items (20% off) max. Lastly, clothes and accessories for store credit. Customers can
donate clothing and accessories at Public Estrellas for store credit. Customers earn
$0.15 in-store credit for every donation.

Once the donors drop off their apparel and accessories, I guide them on placing the bag or box on the scale. I give them a voucher with the total donated pounds and store credit they earned.

During the small conversation we had, Chris had also mentioned that they host monthly markets, where he aspires to bring the community together. “Public Estrellas is more than a business itself. It is a bazaar, too, Estrellas Bazaar. I always create different concepts so that customers and vendors will always be intrigued to find themselves having a community through clothing, music, and art.” says Ohanian.

Recently you held a flea market, can you recap what that day looked like?

The second Estrellas Bazaar had a great turnout! We all had an excellent time bringing
our businesses and people together. We were expecting more foot traffic, though.
Communities like Lincoln Heights must shed more light on such events to unite small
businesses and individuals who want to become their businesses. It is a win-win
automatically. The second flea market involved more diversity from jewelry sellers,
tattoo artists, artworks, clothing resellers, candlelight sellers, deejays, etc. It lasted until 9

Such as any new business, Ohanian has faced hiccups. Being very transparent he mentioned in the interview that “Due to being a new business it usually takes a few years to build the constant sales through the reputation and image the store is known for.”

Something that really stood out was the fact that he does run the store ENTIRELY himself. “Especially managing everything myself without employees is a lot of more time consumption and working over the hours everyday. Everyday is a lesson and homework for me to make my store fall more into shape.” Ohanian described ways he would like to collaborate with the community of Lincoln Heights that can be prosperous for both ends.

New Los Angeles Thrift Store Brings Opportunities

“I want to collaborate and offer an internship program with local schools to give students opportunities to help me clean up the streets in Lincoln Heights or have students create content for the Public Estrellas social media and help in-store organization such as organizing, customer service, and coordination. On the other hand, students will earn in-store credit, fill in their resumes, and have a great experience in retail for a small business.”

The future of the Public Estrellas seems bright (no pun intended). With plans for more upcoming events Ohanian mentions that he has high hopes for not only his store, but for the Lincoln Heights community.

Ohanian is the epitome of those living in Los Angeles who dream big. “The space I am in
has more than just a thrift store potential. I have many concepts in mind to make it
official. One already falls into place with the Estrellas Bazaar, where diverse businesses
and organizations come together. I also want to host music and open mic events. A lot
will come along once the store gets more in shape.”

The Future of Public Estrellas

Chris makes it very clear that although he has high hopes for his business, he wants others in the Los Angeles area to shine through re-wear also. “Overtime, I see Public Estrellas the number one destination for finding affordable and endless categories of apparel and accessories. It is a community; more than a thrift store.”

That’s exactly what stood out, the fact that this thrift store was more than just a thrift store. Through own personal experience shopping at Public Estrellas mixed with an honest conversation with the owner, I knew this place deserved back the light that it shines on it’s own.

For both visitors and locals who have been searching for a local Los Angeles new thrift store to find great articles of clothing, Public Estrellas is the spot to check out!

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