We walked into a little slice of heaven, a 250,000 sq. ft. warehouse on a serene street in North Hollywood where the Gods joined forces with Mother Nature. You feel like you have left Los Angeles and are a million miles away. The store is closing soon, so hurry up.
Madonna and Sean Penn would visit with a pick up truck. Cher took a limo. The crème de la crème traveled from Malibu, Beverly Hills, and Pacific Palisades to this quiet street to select antiques from all parts of the globe.
Jerry Stoffers is still going strong and will be maintaining Arte de Mexico’s Wholesale Lighting and Custom Contracts Division, which liaisons with hotels, restaurants, and resorts.
“I just got sick of traveling.” He’s been visiting parts of the globe six months out of the year. And although his clients were of a glam nature, his world was not. “I went everywhere the tourists did not go. That is where I found my treasures.” These included doors, tables, mirrors, chandeliers, statues, tables, dressers, even antlers.
There are stories behind the stories. The high school dropout decided at a young age that he wanted to make millions and do it on his own turf. He succeeded. He left home and moved to Mexico with some buddies, found odd jobs and started collecting. The rest is history.
Not everything is in perfect shape when he finds them. Jerry has a knack for locating the right restorers, iron workers, and sculptors to whip the pieces into shape before it passes our American standards. He started selling out of a truck on a street in Hollywood.
Now his clients include Sylvester Stallone/Jennifer Flavin, Salma Hayek/Francois-Henri Pinault, Justin Bieber, Eddie Murphy, Miley Cyrus/Liam Hemsworth, Nikki Sixx/Courtney Bingham, Justin Timber-lake/Jessica Biel, and Barbra Streisand/James Brolin.
He also furnished the home of a rock star and his wife and the home of his mistress. We can’t say whom!
The Toluca Lake resident has properties all over the place that he is constantly redoing with his own furniture. “It’s not hard to let go of these things I love. I want to make others happy. And if they can sell it for more than they paid, I am thrilled for them.”
Married to his wife Kim for 25 years, the duo work together in many areas. “She puts up with me with all the travel and runs my business while I am away.”
His son David works in sales. “It’s a family venture. I’ve also taken my younger son on buying trips during his summer vaca-tions. He’s had an opportunity to see things many people don’t get to see.”
And by this, Jerry doesn’t mind not having hot water in his hotel. “I never get sick.” If a tourist takes a certain route, Jerry doesn’t. “I can find more interesting pieces in areas that are unexplored.”
His favorite areas: India, China, South America, Middle East, and Europe.
Arte de Mexico is located at 5356 Riverton Ave. in North Hol-lywood, CA 91601