Keep The Weirdest Little Store in Vegas, Las Vegas Oddities, Rising Up From The Dead.
Hi, my name is Vanessa VanAlstyne. In October 2017, I had the opportunity to own my horror film inspired dream and open Las Vegas Oddities. I aimed to make Las Vegas Oddities a one-stop shop for weirdos, and witches. The shop has allowed me to meet so many amazing people since that time that run a wide gamut: entertainment industry, military, stage, magic, magick, and everyday life. I can’t imagine ever doing anything else, as the community has embraced this store more than I could have ever hoped.
Now everything I have worked to build is at risk. Several people from the local and national horror communities have asked me to put up a crowdfunding page after hearing our plight, in hopes that the community can help keep Las Vegas Oddities (un)alive.
Below, I’ve outlined some of what our store is, what it hopes to continue to be, and why we need your help.
Before that, we have to be out of our current space as of January 1st, 2020. We are moving to: 900 E Karen Ave, Las Vegas, NV 89109
The goal was always a cool place for people who consider themselves odd or outside of the popular cultural norms. Unfortunately, the landlord has never really been ‘on board’ with the theme and direction of LVO. They feel the 18b arts district, and Main St. in particular, will be better served by trying to become more like the Summerlin area than a quirky artist district. With their approval, I sunk a significant amount of capital into refurbishing the storefront and building before the landlord doubled-back on previous verbal agreements, including lease terms, rental costs, and time in which to recoup the investment.
My hope was that, given time, LVO would become a reasonably popular tourist destination for the local Arts District. LVO was recently voted “Best Offbeat Gifts” by NPR, Best Creepy Hangout” by the Vegas Weekly, and “Best on Main Street”&”Creepiest Store In Las Vegas” by Desert Companion Magazine. We hoped would convince our landlord to see the value LVO brings to Main St and the greater Las Vegas area. Unfortunately this has not been the case. Our lease has not been renewed, and it is our understanding that once we vacate, the building will be turned into a high-end restaurant similar to those on Fremont East. Which leaves LVO in a very tight spot.
Because of these developments, I have scoured the city for the best place to move the store. New Orleans Square has a strong central location, and other local artists and business owners from 18b have relocated there due to commercial gentrification. New Orleans Square has started to build a community of funky, unique, passionate people which are akin to our clientele of LVO.
So, why are we here, and where does this leave Las Vegas Oddities? Well, LVO has a month to come up with $15,000 in moving expenses. We have been lucky enough that the store has a little money saved for emergencies. But our emergency fund is not enough, and bank loans will come with astronomically high interest rates. What we have is not enough, and that is why we are asking for donations to help defray some of the costs. If this campaign only make $50, I will use it to buy anyone who helps me move pizza. If we make $500, I will use it to paint walls and help with the deposits. If we make $5,000, it will cover a portion of the deposits needed to secure our new space. Nothing is too little or too much. These donations can keep a really unique small business thriving for years to come. Also with the lower rent in the new location we will be able to focus on higher end and cooler products than what we are able to carry in-store now. It’s going to be great once we get there, but getting there is the problem we’re facing right now.
Thank you for all your time and support. As a small business owner (and as just a person who hates asking for help) it is awkward for me to write this, but this is where I am at, where LVO is at.
Hi guys. Thank you again.
P.s. Since opening, LVO has been interested in enriching the lives of the local horror, mystical, and arts community live their best lives, and encourage self-expression without fear of retribution. In my personal experience, I’ve found the people who come in to LVO show they are in tune with their passions, reaching out and educating themselves further in areas of unique study with more passion than any community I have witnessed previously. Las Vegas Oddities also gives back to the community by hosting classes, rituals, vendor nights, special events, and last year’s Zom-B-Que, an event that was part Halloween/Samhain celebration, and part community outreach, serving food to any and all who chose to attend without charge.
Additionally, LVO also allows a space to showcase the wide variety of rare and unique pets I have adopted, to allow the public further access and understanding to the species often deemed “unique” and “scary”. This collection ranges from Puppernickel, our resident chihuahua/corgi rescue turned store supervisor, to reptiles, insects, arachnids, and more. We work hard to keep all our animals alive, healthy, and happy, and provide access to the public free of charge. I wanted to put this here to remind you I really do appreciate you guys, and hope you can help keep a small part of Las Vegas Weird.
Here are some videos and press covering us:Review Journal Interview w/Vanessa https://www.reviewjournal.com/videos/las-vegas-oddities-shop-in-downtown-las-vegas/Review Journal On Zom-b-Quehttps://www.reviewjournal.com/videos/las-vegas-oddities-celebrates-one-year-with-zom-b-que/Travel Vlogs: