Betty Woody - May / Jun 16
Bettie Woody established Woody’s Antiques on North Glassell in 1989 not long after she retired from Disneyland after three decades in the marketing department. Her son, Woody, helps her with the business.
Bettie Woody and her son Woody (yes, his name is Woody Woody) have had similar career paths through the decades — both were employed for many years at Disneyland before getting into the antiques business together.
“My working relationship with my son is fabulous,” says Bettie, co-owner of the venerable Woody’s Antiques, which opened in Old Towne in 1989. “At this point in time, he knows even more than I do about antiques.”
For 17 years, Woody worked at Disneyland in the maintenance department. Hired in 1956 right after the park opened, Bettie worked in the marketing department directly under future Disneyland president Jack Lindquist.
“Back then, we thought of Walt Disney as just ‘the boss,’” recalled Bettie of her early days at Disneyland. “As the years went by, it got more exciting to have known him.”
Antiques, says Bettie, were always her first love. She started refinishing furniture as a teenager, but her first claim to fame was modeling for Edsel automobile advertisements featuring images of her foot on the accelerator. She then moved from Detroit to Orange to follow her mother, who wanted to be closer to Bettie’s brother when he was stationed at El Toro Marine Base. Thus began her colorful and fabulous life in Orange County.
Bettie and Woody opened the shop at 169 North Glassell immediately after she retired from Disneyland in 1989. Named after the two of them, Woody’s Antiques has remained at the same location since its inception. The store is known throughout Southern California for specializing in Heywood-Wakefield Midcentury Modern furniture.
Celebrities, movie studios, TV shows, interior designers and collectors frequent Woody’s Antiques for hip and cool collectables, including named Danish pieces.
“The nicest movie star we ever sold to was Rob Lowe,” recalls Bettie. “When Woody and I delivered furniture to his house, he refused to let me lift anything and helped my son take everything inside.”
For Bettie and Woody, the secret to success is sticking with what they know. Maintaining personal relationships with customers is key. Now that Bettie’s daughter Alisa has moved back to Orange County from North Carolina, Woody’s Antiques is even more of a family affair.
“Alisa just started doing vintage jewelry, which she sells at the store,” says Bettie. “All of us love each other so much, and it’s such a pleasant place to work. On Mother’s Day, you will probably find us all at the store.”
169 North Glassell St, Orange CA 92866 / 714-744-8199
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- Building Character
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