When Dawn Moore bought a parcel of land in a hilltop trailer park five miles north of Malibu, she carted away its mobile home to install a pre-fab house —or rather, one and a half modular houses that she attached together and customized into a 1,625-square-foot aerie.
Neighbors in Topanga, an artistic community that's home to Viggo Mortensen and artists Liza Lou and Chris Burden, were impressed by the aesthetic, affordability and green nature of the abode; several asked her design for them, too. And so Moore transitioned from her longtime career as a PR executive to a designer.
Emboldened by her experience, Moore is now embarking on another venture as an Internet entrepreneur along with Holly Palance, the former editor of Santa Barbara Magazine. Together they have launched MixxCentury, an ecommerce site for furniture and décor that's either antique (100+ years old) or vintage (20+ years).
“My parents were passionate collectors, and Dad was always bringing a prop home from the set,” says Moore, referring to her father, Clayton Moore, who played the title character on the TV show The Lone Ranger. “I love picking up an English Regency piece and mixing it with a rococo console in a contemporary space.”
MixxCentury is not the first website for gently used furnishings, but Moore hopes to distinguish it with a point of view along with Palance, the daughter of Jack Palance, of one-arm Oscar pushup fame. “Holly and I value a sense of history and humor, luxury and provenance. I love taxidermy; she loves gilding. We both have a wink in our homes and objects that represent our lives and travels. The website, with an ever-evolving exclusive collection, represents exactly that.”
The site is perhaps best described by what it isn't: no overstock, no reproductions, no “new,” and nothing that's not for the home. To ensure a handpicked feel, Moore and Palance are doing just that, curating pieces themselves and limiting their affiliations with dealers to a fraction of the business.
“People sometimes ask me, 'What was it like to grow up in Beverly Hills?'” Palance says. “Well, I didn't know anything else.” MixxCentury isn't about the life of a celebrity offspring, of course. But culling from its pieces, the pair hope, will enable anyone to set the stage to be the star in their own show.