Follow Your Bliss
Midtown cooperative offers array of fun finds
By Jessica Laskey
Looking for an antique armoire? Maybe a beautiful vintage dress? Or perhaps a tabletop accessory, cute pillow or fun kitchen sign? You don’t need to drive all over town. Just head to Midtown Bliss Home & Gifts, a one-stop shop for unique vintage and antique items, home décor, furniture and gifts from more than 120 vendors.
Co-owners Sydnei Kelly and her mom, Stacy Tomlinson, opened their first Bliss outpost in Rancho Cordova in 2016. Tomlinson had run her own antique and vintage shop in Folsom for years before it became too hard to make ends meet, due in part to the 2008 recession. When Kelly returned to Sacramento after a stint in Texas for her husband’s job, the mother-daughter duo went into business together.
“We wanted to have a space where we could have a place for local vendors that wasn’t their own brick-and-mortar store,” says Kelly, a former teacher and mother of three. “It’s so hard and time-consuming and expensive to have your own store, especially if you’re on your own.”
Bliss Marketplace in Rancho Cordova boasts 70 vendors, each with their own mini shops in a large, shared space. The Bliss model allows these small business owners to function cooperatively. Each vendor is required to work only one shift per month, which gives them time to be present at other sales opportunities, such as farmers markets and antique fairs.
After enjoying four years of success with their first venture, Kelly and Tomlinson decided to open a second space in Midtown.
“My sister had a rental in Midtown with her fiancé and invited us over for Christmas one year,” Kelly recalls. “Across the street was a vacant warehouse and right away, when we got out of the car, my mom and I looked at each other and said, ‘We need a second store.’”
The business mavens tried to rent the warehouse but never heard back, so they scoped out other spaces until they landed a renovated warehouse at 27th and R streets. Today it’s home to Midtown Bliss Home & Gifts.
Timing wasn’t on their side. They opened the Midtown location March 5, 2020, and closed March 18 for the pandemic. Their plan to fill the new warehouse with vendors within three months turned into a yearlong endeavor. Kelly now reports the space is full and they have a wait list.
With two stores comes two types of clientele. Kelly says their Rancho Cordova customers tend to prefer farmhouse and shabby chic styles, while Midtown shoppers tend to look for mid-century modern and boho items, plus vintage clothing. She describes Midtown as more of a lifestyle shopping destination, while Rancho attracts those hunting for furniture and home décor.
But no matter the location, Kelly and Tomlinson offer special events each month to keep customers happy. Themed “Sip and Shop” events invite customers to dress up and enjoy tacos and mixed drinks from Dad’s Kitchen. They also offer Dollar Days, where they mark down thousands of items to just $1—a treasure hunter’s dream.
“By building one person’s business, we can grow the whole community,” Kelly says.
For information, visit vintageblissmarketplace.com.
Jessica Laskey can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram: @insidesacramento.