Ortwine’s – Going back in time

When I first got my driver’s license up until her passing, I used to take my grandma to Ortwine’s (or as she would say, “Ornshwines”) to get craft supplies and yarn. Ortwine’s is a hardware/general/craft supply/sewing supply store that’s been around since the 60’s or 70’s. It’s located in an older neighborhood of South East San Diego. My friend, Phuong, found the store a few weeks ago and I was surprised that it was still open. I decided to take a trip there on Saturday, lugging along my two girls. I really wanted to show Mya where “mommy used to go when she was a little girl.”

Once we stepped in, it was just as I remembered it – hardware and some general items to the left, craft items to the right and in the back, fabric, yarn, trims and notions. The aisles were tighter than I remember (maybe it was because I was smaller back then) and it was still disorganized and dusty. The best part… they don’t update their inventory unless there’s a need to. So the store was stuck somewhere between the early 70’s and mid-80’s and so were their prices. I think their inventory of fabric trims and zippers is a lot larger than Joann’s (although it a much smaller space).

I took a few photos of the craft and sewing items with my camera phone:

Their yarn inventory – this is what I remember the most since my grandma loved to crochet.

Rotary phone in the back.

Zippers galore!! They also had 50 cent zippers up front.
Every color and size of bias tape that you can think of!

Their trims, trims and trims! (Sorry for the fuzzy photo)

Stacks of vintage fabric – lots of cotton. Notice the pipes and hardware in the background.

These creepy doll-making faces. Yikes!

There were lots of other interesting things, like paper napkins and tablecloths from the 70’s, serving and warming pieces from the early 80’s, pea shooters from who knows when, and lots of general hardware supplies. It’s worth checking out if you like that kind of stuff.

Ortwine’s Hardware & Appliance:
4715 Federal Blvd
San Diego, CA 92102

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