The White Rabbit - Mar / Apr 21

Beth Mehau and her daughter, Morti, inside The White Rabbit, which is Mehau’s 13th antiques store.  Her previous shops were located in Hawaii.

The White Rabbit

Old Towne Orange is known as the unofficial antique capital of SoCal, and Beth Mehau, owner of The White Rabbit, is adding another vintage shop to the mix.

Mehau opened The White Rabbit in November and is hosting her pieces in the storefront that previously housed A&P Collectibles, an antiques shop that served the Old Towne community for 40 years.

Although Mehau owned 12 thrift stores back home in Hawaii, she recently was doing contract project management work until she realized her true calling lay in antiques.  “I always fall back on the love of being in the shop and making things look beautiful,” she says.  “I love seeing treasure rehomed, appreciated and valued.”

With The White Rabbit, Mehau aims to curate a new experience for customers every time they walk through her door.  Her goal is to have a minimum of 100 new pieces a day.  “We’re trying to create an experience for the customer, so that when they come in, they find that once-in-a-lifetime piece that really moves their heart,” Mehau says.

Already, Mehau has seen customers fall in love with new pieces and instantly rehome them.  In December, she had a shopper find the exact model of teapot his grandmother once owned.  “He walked in and his eyes filled up with tears, and he cuddled that teapot and kept it around the store with him,” she says.  “A teapot turned into a holiday treasure for him, and that’s precious.”

With a name like The White Rabbit, inspired by the classic “Alice in Wonderland” character who leads Alice to the tea party, the store is bringing whimsy to Old Towne.  Mehau encourages customers to stop by to browse the one-of-a-kind furniture, glassware and Mehau’s personal favorite, vintage dresses from the 1990s.

Lisa Baldwin, who operated A&P Collectibles for 40 years, is looking forward to seeing The White Rabbit’s growth and its effect on Old Towne, not just the antique community.  “When you go shopping at The White Rabbit, you’re acknowledged and you matter,” she says.  “That’s what makes antique shopping in Old Towne so unique.  It’s not just a transaction, it’s a relationship.”

After working at Orange antique store Tea Leaf Cottage, Mehau understands the vintage landscape and is ready to make her mark in the area.

“She’s not just a shopkeeper, she wants to be a part of the fabric of the Orange community,” says Baldwin.  “I think she’s going to be a good fit down there.”

Although The White Rabbit has only been open for a few months, Mehau is already grateful for the opportunity to connect with the Old Towne community.  “I feel like I clicked my heels three times, and I’m home again,” she says.  “This is such a blessing.”

The White Rabbit
146 North Glassell St, Old Towne Orange CA 92866  /  949-922-0009

Published in the Mar / Apr 21 edition of the Old Towne Orange Plaza Review

Article Written by Yuki Klotz-Burwell, Photo by Jeanine Hill

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