Tabata Gordillo / Mustang News

If there’s one word that Ruby Rose owner, Stephanie Hendry, lives by, it’s “authentic.” To be authentic means to be genuine in nature. To be authentic means to be true to the core, regardless of any obstacles that may arise. From the apparel on mannequins to paintings on the walls, Ruby Rose is the purest essence of authenticity.

The quaint vintage shop, located on Monterey street, displays one-of-a-kind garments, decor and artifacts. Every corner of the shop embodies different places and stories.

The roots of authenticity

Ruby Rose was inspired by the cross-country road trips Hendry and her family took in the sixties. She fondly recalls stopping at gift shops as her favorite part of every trip. Even at a young age, Hendry had an eye for objects that were out of the ordinary. Because of this, she opened her first store about fifteen years ago.

“I want everyone who walks through the front door or that leaves to feel like they’ve got to get back to the gift shop,” Hendry said.

Following the latest trend does not concern her. Hendry would rather sell items that make her truly happy.  Hendry said she falls in love with something, someone else will too.

“If you’re a purist or if you’re looking for something timeless, this may not be your store,” Hendry said.

Because of its original aesthetic, Ruby Rose became a fan favorite for local artists who wanted to sell their crafts at the shop. However, because of lack of space at the store, Hendry was not able to provide this service to everyone.

“It never felt good to say ‘no’ because all of their products were amazing,” Hendry said. “So, we thought, ‘what could we do to give them a front door?’”

Coming together

After showcasing different vendors in the store for some time, Hendry decided to start an event that allowed several vendors to come together and share their products with the community. This event started two and a half years ago, and came to be what is known as The MoJo Flea + Makers Market.

Tabata Gordillo / Mustang News

According to Hendry, this event has allowed local businesses to take off. A lot of vendors want a booth in the show, so choosing what vendors to showcase can be difficult. Artists must apply online and are chosen based on how well their products fit the market Ruby Rose aims for.

There are two flea markets per year and this year’s second sale took place Sept. 23, where different booths displayed jewelry, clothing, skincare products and more.

Leta G. owner Nisan McLeod, shared her western vintage and antique finds at MoJo Flea + Makers Market. Like Hendry, she takes pride in finding items that are recycled. McLeod travels to Arizona and along the California coast to find merchandise in estate sales and antique auctions.

“When they first started the MoJo, I went as a customer and I just had to be in it,” McLeod said. “I was lucky enough to get in the show.”

Liberal studies senior and owner of Jenna Bee Handmade Jenna Cady also expressed how excited she was to be a part of this season’s event for the first time.

“[My favorite part is] just meeting everyone and talking to people,” Cady said. “Everyone in the community is so supportive and the energy is so good here.”

The flea market proved its success yet again as vendors, students and families came together to celebrate the old and the new.

Like with her store, Hendry emphasized the importance of making events available because they make “authentic” items constantly available to the public.

“We need to keep that alive or else we’re always going to look like yesterday,” Hendry said.

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