In support of PoP’s quest to showcase every shop on U Street, I have temporarily abandoned my post as our Mount Pleasant contributor to tell you about Legendary Beast, a tiny little vintage jewelry shop on the third floor of 1520 U Street (above Shoefly and G Books). The space may be small, but owner Anne Fox makes good use of it. Walking inside is kind of like walking into an ancient treasure chest full of mystical allure and wonder, attributable in part to the 5 years Anne spent working in a metaphysical jewelry store, no doubt. Every display case and countertop is overflowing with jewels, and what space is not full of baubles and bangles is covered with artwork, or home to antique artifacts and religious relics.
Legendary Beast has been around for just a few years, but Anne has a long history in the world of vintage. She was one of the original owners of Meeps, the vintage clothing store now located on 18th Street, which she sold to its current owners in 2001. Her years at Meeps (and elsewhere) have gained her quite a loyal following but she’s picked up many more fans in her current location.
Anne’s got a lot stuff, and she knows a lot about it. Whether you’re looking for a delicate necklace, a funky cocktail ring, a strand of brightly colored exotic beads, or a chunky gold chain (a la Mr. T) with an owl pendant, chances are Anne has it. Once you find what you’re looking for, she’ll likely be able to give you a story about where it came from too. She finds most of her stuff at estate sales and flea markets, but sometimes people come to her with vintage jewels and she also has some more contemporary stuff from local designers. Story continues with more photos after the jump.
Since she owns the building, purchased in 1993 for a steal, she’s been able to create her own schedule which accommodates her long commute from home in Charlottesville, VA. The store’s only open on weekends, holiday Mondays and the 3rd Thursday of every month, which frequently makes for some interesting phone calls from customers who have fallen in love with a particular piece and frantically try to reach her throughout the week to find out if it’s still available.
Prices are pretty reasonable and there are lots of items in the $20- $40 range. If you’re looking for a real bargain, the $8 table is full of great stuff. Thus far my personal purchases at Legendary Beast have included, a pretty strand of cloisonné beads, a cool mushroom pendant (from the actual 60’s not the early 90’s revival), a pair of cute crab pins made out of seashells, and a funky seashell ring – which also doubles as a covert weapon should I ever need to punch an assailant in the face!
Check out the website for more info and detailed store hours www.legendarybeast.com