Brittany Nicole and Jackson “JAKSIN" Valiente, partners in Kreepy Tiki and Old Ghosts of Hollywood, the famous Fort Lauderdale retail collection of “art, antiquities and oddities” and tattoo parlor, were in a bind. After almost 15 years, they had lost their lease and needed to find the perfect new space.
Passing by Melina’s at 2010 Hollywood Boulevard in Downtown Hollywood, enroute to an estate sale to shop for the store, they spied the store’s iconic vintage-designed sign and windows.
“Wow," said Valiente, "wouldn’t it be great if we could find a shop that looks like that?”
Little did they know that estate sale they were visiting was at the home of Melina’s owner, the much-loved Hollywood doyenne Elsie Johns, who passed away last month at a young 100 years. And it was indeed available for rent!
“It was like divine intervention,” said Nicole. “We got along really well with Elsie’s family, and it took off from there -- it was a perfect fit!”
Valiente and Nicole have been working together for about eight years. First, she helped run the business side of Kreepy Tiki, which at that time also included a bar, music, and frequent themed events. Then about four years ago, they closed the bar and partnered to open Old Ghosts, a unique art gallery and emporium with “a huge range of old, weird stuff and original art, from the Victorian era to the '60s," explained Nicole. “It’s an eclectic art collection of almost anything that’s old.”
Kreepy Tiki and Old Ghosts enjoy a great loyal following, both locally and on social media. “People travel from everywhere,” she noted. The partners love the increased walk-in traffic at their new Hollywood location.
“We’ve been amazed at how crazy busy it’s been already here,” Nicole continued. “There are so many people, the events are awesome, and it’s great how the city is so heavily involved. It’s truly a different world from where we came from, where we were so isolated. Here, the other local businesses have been so friendly -- everyone helps each other out promoting… it’s wonderful.”
Valiente has been a tattoo artist for over 20 years, and along with his Kreepy Tiki team does work from the simple to the extreme. Old Ghosts has a constantly evolving collection and is as much a museum as a retail store. They also offer photo shoot packages, prop rental, and custom-made, hand-painted sideshow banners. The feeling in the store is welcoming, unique and definitely weird!
Elsie would be really happy.
“Yup,” said Valiente. “That’s what everyone says."
Kreepy Tiki and Old Ghosts is open from 1 pm to 8 pm Tuesday to Thursday, 1 pm to 10 pm Friday and Saturday, and 1pm to 6 pm on Sunday. The shop is closed on Mondays.
To get a sneak peek at what to expect, visit www.oldghostsftl.com or www.kreepytikitattoos.com, or look them up on social media. For further information, call 305-803-9014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.