Home. Fashion. DIY.
Frugal and Fabulous in Leawood Online vs. Local Sales Halloween goes Mid-Century
4DIY Projects BIG
1970s Laid-back country fashion
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Contents Fall 2012 • Volume 1 Issue 2
Features 14 22 30
Vintage Spaces A stay-at-home mom/entrepreneur beautifies a ranch on a budget Vintage Fashion Kick back and relax with the sweet stylings of 1970s country Vintage Spaces Get inspired for Halloween in this 1950s-styled Mission home
Columns 05 06 46
Our Favorite Finds What’s new in the world of online vintage sales? Buy & Sell Choose the selling method that fits your lifestyle and goals Vintage Memories A 1970s love story by chance
Do-it-yourself 08 10 38 40
DIY Decor Create a rustic palett clock DIY Furniture Gather ‘round your own farm table DIY Fashion Fingerless gloves unravelled DIY Copycat Spice up fall cooking with this adorable spice jar makeover
VintageKC / Fall 2012
from the editor
Staff Editor Erin Shipps
A Little Bit Country
rowing up, my grandparents’ northeastern Kansas farm was one of my favorite places in the whole world. They raised cattle, and farmed wheat, corn, soybeans and milo. My parents let me believe the cattle were for milk, knowing my sensitivity to animals, but of course I later learned this wasn’t true. I used to trot down the gravel driveway, stare in awe at Grandpa’s combine and tractor in the shed, and search for sweet kittens. My grandma was an amazing wheat weaver. I used to help her man her booth at the local craft show and I was always in awe of the way she crafted such intricate and beautiful pieces with her own hands. The simplicity and beauty of their quaint farm was attractive to me even as a small child. Living in the hustle and bustle of the city always makes me long for peace, quiet, escape. I find those things on the farm. Our visits are few and far between nowadays since Grandma and Grandpa aren’t always up for hosting their four daughters, 16 grandchildren (I’m the oldest) and three great-grandchildren (not to mention the suckers we’ve brought in by marriage). But I look back fondly on many anticipated Christmas mornings, filling Thanksgiving dinners and peaceful Easter Sundays spent in such a wonderful place with my amazing family. Fall always reminds me of these things. Rustic décor, family gatherings around a big table, cooking, laughing, loving—you’ll find all of those things in this issue of VintageKC. Add rustic detailing to any room with a pallet clock on p. 8, build a family heirloom farm table with your own hands on p. 10, recycle an old sweater on page 38, and organize your spices with style on p. 40. Take a gander at Kathi Hardin’s thrifty yet stylish on p. 12, peek in on a 1950s Halloween party on p. 28, and be inspired by vintage fall fashion from the 1970s on p. 20. Since we launched this magazine in June, I’ve had the extreme pleasure of meeting so many readers, vendors and store owners. Your response is overwhelming and seeing how hard you work in your daily lives is nothing short of inspiring. Just remember, all work and no play is good for no one. I hope you find the time this season to take a break, languish in love, emjoy the brisk fall air, gather with friends and family, and revive your soul. Find your own place of peace.
Me exploring my grandparents’ farm in awesome 80s attire. Are those sauconys on my toddler feet? And how amazing is that bicycle? I wonder if it’s still there...
Fashion Director Mandy Miller Web Editor Jessaca Gutierrez Copyeditor Angela Snell Fashion Intern Calli Green
Contributors Chrystal Andersen Kim Antisdel Johanna Brinkman Michael Fry James Fry Megan Kapple Tiffini Kilgore Lane Leavens Deborah Vogler Rachel Wathen Quinn White Pat Wickham
P hotography DiMartino Photography Layne Haley Photography Megan Kapple VintageKC volume 1, issue 2 is published quarterly by Erin Shipps, 7730 Floyd St., Overland Park, KS 66204. Copyright 2012, Erin Shipps. All rights reserved. Reproduction in part or in whole without written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Printed in the U.S.A.
On the Cover
Dine in style in this Leawood home, complete with monogrammed chairs. Photo: DiMartino Photography.
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our favorite Etsy finds
Retro Ruby’s: Catherineholm blue enamel lotus pattern bowl, $48, shipping $6. Dover 60s purse, black faux crocodile, $25, shipping $8.Vintage Countess Mara ties, Jack Henry, Kansas City, Country Club Plaza, $28 for the pair. etsy.com/shop/RetroRubys
Dancing Bumblebee Cottage: 1940s fabric-covered box, $47.50, shipping $14/Overland Park pickup. Antique painted worn stoneware crock, $60, ship $18/ Overland Park pickup. Antique primitive woman framed photograph, $45, shipping $17.50/Overland Park pickup. etsy.com/shop/dancingbumblebeecott
Tangled Mane Vintage: Vintage 80s Diane Von Furstenberg Silk Assets sleeveless maxi dress, $48. Light gray/brown tweed cropped shoulder blazer, $36.50. Altuzarra inspired baby pink wrap dress, $28. Items can be picked up in KC, for more etsy.com/shop/TANGLEDMANEVINTAGE
House of Belonging: Handpainted sign 2’x2’, $35. Handpainted lyric sign, 2’x4’, $125. May be picked up at Restoration Emporium. Custom available. etsy.com/shop/TheHouseofBelonging Note: All of these shops can be found on etsy.com, an online retailer.
VintageKC / Fall 2012
$ buy & sell
The Art of the (Re)Sell
It doesn’t take much to tackle the resale world— just hard work, skill, and oh ... patience. Here’s some advice on how to navigate. By Michael and James Fry
reasure hunting, whether at vintage/antique stores, or garage/estate sales, can only go on for so long until space and funds (or your significant other) require you to resell some of your handpicked gems. When delving into the realm of reselling, there are now more options than ever, and each have their own set of benefits and drawbacks. Some require more time or space, while others more talent and focus to really succeed. All can be used to create a steady stream of income and support your picking habit.
Booth rental Let’s begin by taking a look at the oldest option on the list— a booth. Now, a booth can be in a flea market, vintage store, antique store, swap meet, or any other type of space where you have to pay (often a monthly flat rate) for your own area to display and sell your items. You pay for the opportunity to sell. Whether you sell five or 500 items you still have to pay for your space. If you are not really serious about buying and selling this is probably not the option for you. Having a booth can really reward continual effort, but punish half-heartedness. The most successful booth sellers add new items and rearrange their space at least several times each week (or each month in event-type stores) to prevent their booth from looking stale and picked over. On the positive side, less time is spent dealing with each item you want to sell. You don’t have to take photographs, write a description, rank the condition, and post them online. Most importantly of all, you don’t have anything to do with packaging and shipping! Kansas City has a number of fantastic antique malls such as The River Market, Mission Road and The Ridge, and vintage stores like Good JuJu and Restoration Emporium (Not to mention a new one popping up every month in the West Bottoms!) that are well worth walking through … and possibly selling from.
Don’t know if you’re getting your money’s worth? Having trouble pricing or finding a good deal on an item? Tell us about it at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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buy & sell He said . . He said
What advice do you have for those new to estate sales?
Michael Getting the best deal at an estate sale is all about planning. Most estate sales take place on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday each week. Set aside an hour on Wednesday to look at the different sales and plan your route based on the sales that have items of interest. Some buyers show up to stand in line several hours before open on the first day. Depending on how much you want an item, plan to show up early. Be sure to bring a unique item such as a pen, or funny rock to mark your place so you can go sleep in your car until the doors open. Another way to get a great deal is just plain ole good manners. I am constantly amazed at the people who use rudeness as a means of negotiation. As the saying goes, “You catch more vintage goodness with honey than with vinegar!”
eBay eBay is one of the most popular ways to sell on the Internet, with more than $1,839 in goods sold every second. That popularity is one of the top reasons it’s such an attractive venue. With 233 million registered users around the world, your chances of the right bidder finding your specific item goes up considerably. With more users comes greater interest, and with greater interest comes higher sales. Unfortunately, eBay leverages its high popularity by charging a steep 9-13 percent commission for every item sold on its site. A great tutorial on
James For most estate sales there is a percentage discount each progressing day. The best time to find great deals is generally Saturday morning. Often everything is half off, and if you get there right when the doors open you’ll have a wide selection still available. Saturday evening 30 minutes before close is another good time. The sale will likely be picked over, but if you do find something good it shouldn’t be too difficult to negotiate them down. In my opinion, the most underused tool of the estate sale voyager is the bid. Almost every estate sale company has a system in which you can leave a bid at any time for any substantial item. If your bid is the highest and more than the next day’s discount, you’ll get a phone call offering you the item at your price. We’ve sold dozens of items at incredible deals just because someone took the time to put in a bid.
eBay selling can be found at squidoo.com/ free-ebay-seller-tutorials. These instructions help you set up a PayPal account, give advice on the best items to sell and which keywords to use, as well as offer marketing tips, teach you how to package items for shipping, and so much more. Etsy This leads us to Etsy. With an attractive commission of just 3 percent, Etsy makes for a good eBay alternative. The site is much more specialized than its larger competitor, only allowing items that are either handmade or can
be classified as vintage (defined as 20 years or older). It also has a stronger focus on good photography, and overall artistic sensibilities as exemplified by high selling shops like: Hindsvik, Jerseyicecreamco, and Lacklusterco. Recently a Brown Button fan told us how he sold two pairs of identical vintage 1950s eyeglasses online. He posted one pair on eBay with a starting bid of $14 and posted the other on Etsy with an asking price of $22. The pair on eBay sold that week with one bid for $14. The pair on Etsy sold within a month for $22. Add to that the difference in each site’s commission, and the proof is in the pudding. If you have the right items, skill in presenting them well, and a little patience, Etsy is worth the effort. Craigslist On the other side of the artistic spectrum from Etsy we find Craigslist.org. With zero commissions or usage fees, it is one of the only options to resell and keep all the profits. Craigslist can be the best route to take when dealing with large objects, furniture, anything extremely fragile, and other lessthan-ideal items to package and ship. Just as Craigslist’s zero commissions is unique, so is its zero accountability. There is no system in place for people to be honest, describe items correctly, etc. It is always a good idea to take a friend with you when Craigslist shopping. But, despite its issues, it can be one of the most powerful tools for connecting you to the local market. The world of reselling has changed dramatically in the last 10 years. The technology explosion has resulted in a national and even international market, many more options on how to sell, and additional tools in the reseller’s belt (Craigslist posting from iPhone anyone?). Whether you sell from a booth or from one of the many online options, technology will continue to play a significant role in shaping and directing the antique and collectable market in the years to come. Choose well where you sell. We wish you the best of luck turning your treasure hunting habit into a profitable pursuit.
Michael and James Fry are brothers and the owners of Brown Button Estate Sales. Find them at brownbutton.com and Facebook.com/ brownbutton.
VintageKC / Fall 2012
Time for a Clock Tutorial
Timekeepers can be expensive, but this oneâ€™s rustic charm and cheap pricetag have our hearts all aflutter. By Pat Wickam
ecause pallet wood is all the rage, hereâ€™s a fairly simple tutorial on making a rustic, personalized clock for your abode. Step 1: Obtain a pallet. There are various pallet companies to call like Midwest Pallet, Ace Pallet Service, Reardon Pallet Co., Pioneer Pallet Brokerage Co., and B&T Pallet Co., all in the downtown Kansas City area (see our resources box for contact info). There are also companies that receive deliveries and then need to dispose of the pallets. Basically, just being in the right place (side of the road, for example) at the right time can land you a pallet, but having a good connection is always a plus, as well.
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Step 2: Take the pallet apart. This is not easy and takes some muscle. Mr. Wonderful would be a great help for this step. Once disassembled, lay the boards from the top of the pallet against each other.
Next determine what size and shape you want for your clock, i.e. circle or square. For a circular clock, find the center, and using a tack, string and pencil, carefully draw the outline of the circle.
diy decor Lay two cross boards on top (in the opposite direction) of the boards you placed together for the clock face. Keep in mind, this is the back of the clock, so put the boards you want as the front face down. Attach the cross boards to every face board with a drill and deck screws (make sure they are the right length). Place screws inside the circle you traced so you’re not sawing through screws, at least one in every face board. Step 3: You are now ready to cut using a good jig saw (with protective eyewear of course). Measure and remark the circle as some shifting could have occurred during the assembly phase. Cutting is easier on the front side of the clock. Step 4: Now the fun and much easier work begins. Depending on your style, sand with a light or heavy grade of sandpaper. Decide whether you want to paint it or leave it natural. A nice middle of the road idea is waterthinned paint in a grey or white for example. Or go all out with color. Step 5: Select your stencils to match your design style, whether that be traditional numbers or a funky Roman numeral. Place numbered
stencils carefully. Tack in a center nail, and run string across the circle to help with even placement. Secure them with painters tape and use a good stencil brush and the paint of your choice. At this point you can also add a personal touch to the clock with your name, a place of special meaning, a significant date, etc. Seal the deal with polyurethane or wax. Step 6: Your last step is placing the clock works. You can purchase these at Hobby Lobby or Michaels; usually 3/4” works to fit through the thick boards. Before attaching the clock works, you will need to drill a hole in the same place you
tacked for drawing the circle. Follow the instructions on mounting the clock works on the package and insert batteries. Now find the perfect location to hang it, and watch the time fly by.
Mother and daughter team, Pat Wickam and Lindsay Claxton will be showing pallet clocks and other wares at the Spinach Festival in Lenexa, Sept. 8, and the Fleeting Flea at the Round Hill Club in Overland Park, Sept. 20-22. They also have booths at TLC Thrifty Boutique in downtown Overland Park, as well as Nellie and Nico’s and Encore Unique Boutique in Shawnee.
VintageKC / Fall 2012
The Gathering Place By Chrystal Andersen
Fall brings families around the table like no other season. This year, build your own table.
arm tables have a long history in dining furniture. Originally made by settlers, the lumber used was whatever was available, most often long pine boards. The construction was simple, long planks on top and post legs. In time, the use of turned legs was introduced, and the rustic farm table became an elegant but warm and cozy design statement. Farm tables are versatile and can be used in a variety of settings from farmhouse to contemporary. Most importantly, farm tables are great for making memories. A handcrafted farm table can cost upward of a $1,000. Being a thrifty gal, I have made my own on several occasions. I built the first one when my husband suggested that we teach our four boys (who lacked table etiquette) manners; I called it “the manners table.” It didn’t work, and my boys remain unmannerly, so I sold it. I have built another
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since then and make them occasionally for my space at Restoration Emporium in Kansas City. This is truly a simple building project with a huge impact in a room. You can create your own fabulous table, sure to become a family heirloom.
Begin by assembling the table top. Lay out the 6’ boards on a flat surface; arrange them for the best appearance and fit.
Supplies Kreg Jig (new $99-$149) One package 1-1/4” Kreg pocket screws Wood glue Oak boards 6 - 1”x6”x6’ (top) 2 - 1”x4”x69” (apron) 2 - 1”x6”x22.5” (apron) 2 - 1”x6”x36” (bread board ends on top)* Pine or stud grade wood 4 - 2”x3”x26” (truss/support under table) 4 - 29” pre-turned legs** *Wait to cut these until long plands are assembled, length may vary slightly. **Chrystal used yard sale fence posts cut to size, available at most hardware stores.
Turn them face down and drill holes with a Kreg Jig (above left), about 12” apart, along one edge of each board. Attach all six boards together using pocket screws (above top right). Measure the total width and cut breadboard ends, attach with pocket screws. The table top is then complete.
Attach the legs to the short 22.5” apron boards first (right). Using the Kreg Jig , drill pocket holes at each end of the board to connect the legs and four-five sets of evenly spaced holes that will later connect the apron to the table. Apply glue to the ends that will be attached to the table leg. Create proper spacing
between the apron, and leg by using a scrap piece of 1” thick wood under the apron and attach the apron to the leg with pocket screws.
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diy furniture Assemble the short ends first, then attach those to the long apron boards. Space the four truss boards evenly (right) and attach them to the apron/ frame. Center the apron and legs on the table top and attach with pocket screws in the pre-drilled holes. The structure of the table is complete at this point. For the finish (far right), I stained the entire piece with a dark walnut stain. The base was then painted with Annie Sloan Chalk Paint in Old White and distressed, then finished with Annie Sloan’s clear wax. The top received three coats of Deft Brushing Lacquer.
Step it up
You can see this table as well as more of Chrystal’s finds/creations at Restoration Emporium in the West Bottoms. Table Styling: Jennifer Wood, Brossie Belle, with Erin Shipps. Photography: Megan Kapple. Chandelier courtsey of Restoration Emporium.
Have the skills to take it to the next level? Try this bold painting technique by Amy Wright Rhodes of A Wright Design. Find the tutorial online at vintagekcmag.com/diy/furniture.
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Setting the Table A table so nice we set it twice! Jennifer Wood of Brossie Belle helped us style this table two times with her darling vintage pieces. Here are her tips for creating the best setting. Tip #1: The 60/30/10 Color Rule. Gain color inspiration from your setting or your favorite vintage accessories and choose two to three colors. These may be in different shades or hues of the same color, but try to keep them all in the same family. As you can see from the photos, we divided our color palette into percentages of 60/30/10: 60 percent dominant color (creams, whites and naturals), 30 percent secondary color (fall colors—yellows, oranges, and browns) and 10 percent accent color (robin’s egg blue). Tip #2: Re-use, Repurpose, Recycle. Never underestimate the power of repurposing—there’s nothing more rewarding than finding an old object and putting it to use again. These things may be old, but they are still useful and bring personality and charm to your setting—not to mention the possibilities are endless! Tip #3: Less is More. It’s easy to get carried away when you have so many cute details and vintage gems you want to incorporate—especially when you’re setting the table for more than six—but try to keep the clutter down to a minimum. Keep in mind that your guests will want their space too, and avoid overly large centerpieces that block views and impede the flow of conversation.
Brossie Belle is a vintage rental company located in Kansas City connecting brides, event planners, photographers and designers to a large inventory of unique vintage décor for weddings, showers, backyard parties and photo shoots. Jennifer Wood (owner), became immersed in the industry during the planning of her own wedding—having since collected so many great vintage finds, she couldn’t help but pass them on to others. brossiebelle.com
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Design on a Dime Leawood resident Kathi Harden shares her advice on taking a piece of nothing, and turning it into a beautiful something. By Kim Antisdel
athi Hardin doesn’t wear a cape. She doesn’t fight crime or leap tall buildings in a single bound. But she is a hero. With one sweeping glance, Kathi can size up a decrepit, frazzled piece of furniture and know there is life left beneath the distress. She can see past the hours of wear on a rusty old clock and know there’s still a tick of beauty inside, waiting to come back out. Kathi is a true champion of the objects that time and kindness forgot—and she’s rescuing them, one at a time. “I’ve always had a knack for finding uses for things that nobody else wants,” says Kathi, a stay-at-home mom and mother of two young boys. “It started as a hobby and has grown into a life’s work for me.” She has spent just shy of a decade fixing up and decorating her home in Leawood, an endeavor that didn’t come easily. When she and her husband Mike moved into the three bed, two bath ranch home, it was nothing short of a design disaster. Though some less enthusiastic homeowners would have been intimidated at the amount of work ahead, Kathi saw the home as a labor of love. “I remember orange shag carpeting and brown paneling,” Kathi says with a grimace. “To me, it was an exciting new project. We gutted a lot of it, including the kitchen. I’ve put years of my work and ideas into this house, and I’m very proud of it.”
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Photography: DiMartino Photography
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To look around the home now, one might mistake the eclectic vibe and distinctive floor plan to be a well planned out symphony of design. But Kathi knows better. For her, it’s about working Homeowner Kathi Hardin smarter, not harder. “This didn’t happen overnight,” she says, indicating her cozy kitchen and comfortably chic living room. “I spend a lot of time leafing through magazines, library books,
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blogs and Pinterest getting ideas. I have stacks of magazines with various things dog-eared. I may not be able to use those ideas right when I see them, but eventually a situation comes along where I might need an idea for arranging a shelf. Then I go back through those magazines and focus solely on articles and pictures that show interesting shelving ideas. It helps to keep me from getting overwhelmed.” Kathi takes the same approach when shopping for unique accessories and furniture for her home. She can be found savvily stalking Craigslist, garage sales, flea markets, and every now and again, curbside shopping. The most important part of her process? Having a definitive goal.
“You never know where you’re going to find a truly great piece and it’s okay to allow for those ‘holy cow!’ moments,” Kathi says. “But usually, when I go out to a garage sale or down to the West Bottoms, I have a mental list in my head of what I need to be keeping an eye out for.” Kathi’s self-described frugal and thrifty home is filled with unique pieces that each have their own story. The two high back wing chairs that flank her kitchen entry are a $15 garage sale find, reupholstered back to life with a fun and flirty zebra print. Adjacent to the chairs, two thrifted, gold-painted frames encase portraits of her two best designs yet, sons Maguire, 10, and Cooper, 8.
Being the only lady in her home, Kathi is a master at mixing masculine and feminine elements and a neutral palette, with soft white couches, china and silver platters displayed and floral details contrasting dark wood, old paintings and brown tones. She also fancies a bit of the rustic with worn suitcases, battered shelving, metal accents and distressed paint. Kathi pays homage to her accountant husband with numbers on drawers (above left).
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At first glance, a design professional might say zebra print is a tired trend and gold frames are too garish for a kitchen space. Kathi couldn’t care less, and she wants you to feel the same way. “I adore breaking rules,” she says with a laugh. “And really, who made up ‘the rules’ anyway? I don’t have a design degree and frankly, I don’t know that I need one. The ideas that come into my head can’t necessarily be taught. What I do is my passion. I mean, the clock on my mantle is off-center because I thought it would look good that way. And it does! It may not be the definition of ‘right’, but it works for me.” Kathi’s easygoing attitude and frugal design sensibility is reflected throughout every square foot of her home. Each vase, suitcase, painting and knickknack is warmly surrounded by shades of grays and inviting neutrals, proudly displaying yet another design rule she’s just fine with breaking. “I always say you should buy what you love,” Kathi reiterates. “I live that every day. A lot of design magazines say you should always incorporate color into your home, many pops of color. I personally just can’t do it! I can’t live in lots of color. Maybe a robin’s egg blue here and there, but I love neutrals. I love picking bright color pieces for other people, but I myself just don’t use them.”
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vintage spaces Kathi’s Tried and True Design Tips
1. Create surprises. Kathi’s kitchen cabinet pulls are actually garage door hardware. Why, you ask? For Kathi, the question is, why not use that hardware? It creates a surprise and sparks a conversation. 2. In with the old, in with the new. It’s silly to think everye piece in your home has to be found and repurposed. Exceptions can always be made if you fall in love with something. One of Kathi’s favorite objects in her home is her Home Depot farmhouse sink.
Kathi makes her home personal with monogrammed dining chairs, and new photos in ornate frames (opposite page, far left). She mixes old and new with style in her contrasting kitchen (above), which features two large repurposed islands, garage door hardware, a chandelier and a DIY island top with personalized scroll (left). Thinking outside the box, Kathi nests two end tables beside a zebra print chair in her kitchen/dining space (opposite page).
Those “other people” might just be some of Kathi’s newest design clients. In February of this year, she, along with her good friend, Joan Bellinghausen, created a new business venture dedicated to redesign. Burlap JunKtion allows Kathi and Joan to use their creative tried and true design tricks, without breaking their clients’ bank. “We love to say ‘use what you have’,” Kathi says. “So many people have amazing pieces hiding in an attic or a filled up closet. Joan and I come in and assess what you already have with a fresh pair of eyes, and design your room from there. If you need a particular piece that you just can’t find, we’ll do that for you, too.”
3. Whimsy is wonderful. Kathi had two lamps she loved, but wasn’t sure which one to use on her living room cabinet. The solution? She used both. The larger lamp emits more light when needed, and the small lamp gives a faint glow at night for ambiance.
4. Go hunting—with parameters. One corner of Kathi’s living room is home to several art prints. Kathi is always on the hunt for the next one, but she has two rules: the print must be under $25 and it must feature a house in some way. 5. Old thing, new use. To give her boys a small taste of reused furniture fun, Kathi found some old lockers to place in their bedrooms. Her sons use the lockers as additional closet space. 6. Change it up. Constant change is one of the only constants in the Hardin house. “Don’t feel like if you hang up a picture, it has to stay there,” Kathi says. “What’s the fun in that?”
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With the start of Burlap Craigslist JunKtion in addition to The curb being a mom, it’s astonishGarage sales ing that Kathi has time Hello Sailor to still find new pieces Home Depot for her home. Somehow Home Goods Marshalls she manages—even if it Old Time Pottery means driving her family Thrift stores a little bit crazy. TJ Maxx “My husband has been known to come home from work to find a room in mid-redesign. After 17 years of marriage, he’s pretty much used to it, though, and he’s incredibly supportive.” she laughs. In return for their years of support, Kathi found a way to pay homage to the men in her life. “My husband works in finance every day and my boys love hotels,” Kathi says. “I found some random metal numbers and bought them, not sure what I would do with them. Eventually, I decided to affix them to the doors of our bedrooms, sort of like a hotel. The kids get their hotel and I see the numbers and think of my husband.” It’s these kinds of thoughtful touches that take Kathi home from generically designed to truly loved. On every surface, in every cranny, Kathi has placed pieces that all tell the same story—and it begins and ends with love. “Practically all of the objects in this house have a history. That’s what I love about garage sales, Craigslist and curb finds,” Kathi says. “I love knowing that my kitchen chandelier was my grandmothers, or that I refinished and painted a dresser all by myself. Anyone can do this if they want to.”
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Ask a Pro
Deb V ogler
I’ve wanted to use an interior designer but was afraid they wouldn’t listen to me. How do I go about making that happen? And can I afford one? Vintage is a family affair in this household. Kathi tracks the family’s schedules in a cozy office nook (above left). Lockers and old wooden beds are featured in her son’s room (above) and numbers (left) adorn each bedroom door (in honor of Kathi’s accountant husband). Lastly, a welcoming entryway showcases an oversized clock (left).
Kathi is a huge proponent of helping people to find their inner antique shopper. It not only is a great recycling initiative, but it gives your home a sense of life it wouldn’t have had otherwise. Though it may seem overwhelming, she advises to just start, even if you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. “I still make mistakes sometimes,” she explains. “You learn what works for you and what doesn’t. You’ll get there if you keep trying different things. But just start.” With a little luck and some hard work, your collection can someday grow as eclectic and vast as Kathi’s—one piece at a time.
You can read all about Kathi Hardin’s fun finds on her design blog at traybellakc.blogspot.com, or check out her redesign business Burlap JunKtion at burlapjunktion.blogspot.com. Is your home filled to the brim with unique pieces and vintage treasures? We’d love to take a peek. Contact email@example.com.
reat questions. Many home or business owners worry about “losing control” to a designer. But it is the designer’s job to guide you through the process, to help identify and execute your style and your taste, not impose a concept that doesn’t fit you and/or your family’s needs and wishes. The relationship between designer and client should be one of mutual respect. You should be comfortable with your designer, open to their expertise, education, and suggestions, but also speak up if you just aren’t feeling it! My philosophy is not a “my way or the highway” attitude but to represent you correctly ... to make your space both beautiful and comfortable. When determining a budget for your project, remember that we can help you avoid making costly mistakes with something as simple as space planning. You won’t order or purchase a piece of furniture that doesn’t fit the space. We have direct access to manufacturers whether it be furniture, fabrics, flooring, lighting, accessories—the list goes on. We have long-term relationships with the best contractors and subs the city has to offer. We help you stay on budget and stay on a timeline. I guess the best question you can ask yourself is: How can I afford not to call a designer?
-Deb Deb Vogler has been creating her own brand of Comfort by Design for more than 15 years. Be it a flat in London, a suburban family home in Olathe, or a shabby chic bungalow in the little village of Westwood, her designs express who the client is and enfolds them in what they love. She deals with all aspects of design, from budgeting, to floor plans (renovation or new construction), to furniture, to color at her full-scale design firm. Have a desigin question for Deb? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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There was a lot of love to go around in the 1970s. We love Ronnie Milsap’s lyric: “Pure love, baby it’s pure love. Milk and honey and Captain Crunch and you in the morning.” Can love (and fashion) be as simple and laid back as Captain Crunch? We think so.
Hairstyling: Transformation Studios by Heydee Hochman Makeup: Ashley Nelson Studios Photography: Layne Haley Photography Styling Assistant: Calli Green
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Calli’s Cost Savers
We asked Fashion Intern Calli Green to come up with some costsaving alternatives to the more costly items in this issue’s shoot. Here’s what she found! Accessorizing the perfect outfit can sometimes leave you over budget. If you're not able to splurge on a great real turquoise piece, why not make one instead? Choose a piece out of your jewelry box that you may not really wear, or a cheap one from a secondhand store. Just make sure you won’t regret painting it. Then, don't get hung up on matching an exact spray paint lid to a turquoise paint swatch. Turquoise naturally comes in all different shades, and it will take on the perfect appearance when the outfit is complete. It's optional to grab a primer white and finishing spray, depending on how vibrant and shiny you'd like your finished piece.
For this DIY tutorial and more of Calli’s cost-saving tips for the looks in this issue, visit vintagekcmag.com.
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Total Look: $29.95
Budget Breakdown On Amy: Vintage dress, Candi Jones California, bought from Penelope Meatloaf Shop on Etsy, $29.95. On Dallas: Wrangler jeans, western shirt, belt, hat and boots all from model’s closet.
Good Ideas We love this idea from TLC Thrifty Boutique. Add some bling to your fall boots with necklaces, belts, garters, lace— whatever you fancy. It’s sure to spice up your footwear! Find these and more for sale at TLC.
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Total Look: $91.50 w/o purse: $16.50
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On Amy: Blouse, vintage, Macy’s Clubhouse, Through our Children’s Lives, $2 on sale; skirt, vintage, Barbara Field by Joyce of Chicago, estate sale, $2; boots, vintage, Zodiac, $2.50; horsehair purse, antique, Wonderland, $75; leather feather earrings, Cart Wheel, donated; leather beaded cuff, Arizona Trading Company, $10.
Total Look: $6
On Dallas: Jacket, vintage, Richman Brothers, Good JuJu garage sale, $4; plaid shirt, vintage, St. John’s Bay, estate sale, $2.
Budget Breakdown Below, on Amy: Dress, vintage, Items of California, Burlap at Good JuJu, $17.50; slip, vintage, Burlap at Good JuJu, $12.50; boots, vintage, model’s closet; leather and feather earrings, new, Arizona Trading Company, $20; belt, model’s closet; leather cuff, new, Arizona Trading Company, $10; peacock ring, new, Arizona Trading Company, $12; handtooled purse, antique, Wonderland; $82. On Dallas: Western shirt, belt, jeans, boots and chinks from model’s closet.
Amy and Dallas just built an amazing home full of reclaimed materials and rustic style. But aside from that, their obvious love makes our hearts melt. Amy’s sweet and beautiful spirit and Dallas’ natural tendency toward “rugged handsome guy’s guy” (he works on railroads for crying out loud, and the farm in this shoot belongs to his parents) were perfect for this 1970s Western fashion shoot. They are also parents to the cutest little rough-and-tumble 1-year-old. Read all about their adventures at Amy’s blog: buffalo-roam.com.
Total Look: $154 w/o purse: $72 VintageKC / Fall 2012 27
Total Look: $52.50
On Amy: Suede dress, vintage, Mollie Parnis, Burlap at Good JuJu, $18.50; boots, new, model’s closet; feather earrings, new, Arizona Trading Company, $10; turquoise ring, vintage, Wonderland, $24. On Dallas: Shirt, belt, jeans, boots from model’s closet. Prop: Bicycle, vintage 1970s Schwinn, editor’s garage.
Opposite page: On Amy: Blouse, vintage, Contessa Monique by Florence Alper, Burlap at Good JuJu, $7.50; Wrangler maroon jeans, vintage, Re-Runs Warehouse, $6; shoes, vintage, Gloria Vanderbilt, $2; sweater, vintage, handmade, estate sale, $3; turquoise necklace, vintage, Wonderland, $42; turquoise beaded cuff, new, Arizona Trading Company, $12; silver earrings, new, Arizona Trading Company, $18; belt, model’s closet; hat, new, Missoni for Target, Pete ‘n Repeat, $20. On Dallas: Paisley shirt, vintage, jeans and boots from model’s closet.
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Total Look: $45.50 w/necklace: $87.50
Total Look: $68.50 This is Dallas’ horse Pongo that he’s had since he was a teenager. Come on now, “Aww!” Add some 1970s flare to your eye makeup by diffusing a bold color all around the eye. And you can never go wrong with big, soft waves for 1970s hair.
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Retro Spirits When a 1950s pin-up photographer throws a Halloween party in her retro fabulous home, what does it look like? We’re glad you asked. Add some fun to your parties and your home this season with vintage treasures. Plus, we’ll take a peek at what else makes Nikki Moreno-Whipple’s house so darn darling! VKC: How long have you been into retro style/fashion/decor? Nikki: Great question! Let’s see, well it all started when I was a young teenager. I idolized Marilyn Monroe; I bought any book I could find about her and watched all of her movies. I also frequented TCM (Turner Classic Movies) and watched as many black and white films as I could find. I loved Doris Day, Fred Astaire and Elvis. My love of all things vintage really started there. The women were always so glamorous in those old movies with perfect hair and flawless brows, the furniture had great lines, and the cars were to die for. The old movies always felt very familiar to me.
I’ve always had a knack for decorating and anywhere I lived you could see my personality but some of my previous partners didn’t share my same design esthetic. My now husband however really loves my fun tastes and gave me the keys when it came to decorating. A few years ago I really embraced my love of Mid-Century design when we moved into our first house. I’d always lived in lofts and apartments before—never really settled in to one place too long. But when I got my first house and could paint and design with no restrictions, I decided to really make my home what I’d always dreamed it could be (with my husband’s blessing). Instantly I knew I wanted tons of color, rich textures and fun decor that
Homeowner Nikki MorenoWhipple (left) with friend Candy Cunningham.
Photography: DiMartino Photography
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Group like items together on signature pieces of furniture to make a statement at parties.
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vintage spaces shows off my playful side. After several years of work the house is where I’m really happy with it. Now I just have to find more places for my new finds! VKC: How do you choose home decor pieces? Nikki: Color is the biggest deciding factor for me. Turquoise is my favorite color as you can tell by our house. If I find any unique piece in this color family, I buy it instantly. I’m very picky about pieces and always shop on a budget, so the price has to be right. I love fun Chalkware and porcelain figurines, playful—cute pieces that make me smile every time I see them. The late 50s early 60s era really draws me in. Pieces like our boomerang coffee table were a must have. And when it comes to staple pieces I’m willing to wait for just the right deal. It took me two years to find our sectional. My husband and I drove all the way to Springfield, MO, for it! Next on my wish list is a vintage bar. I’ve looked for one over the last year and have seen so many, but the right one hasn’t come along yet. VKC: Where are your favorite places to shop? Nikki: I love the ladies over at Good Company; the prices are so affordable. They know me instantly, and I have never walked out of their door without buying something. So many pieces in my house came from that place. They have odd hours but if I see a sign out saying they are open I stop in no matter what my day looks like. The River Market Antique Mall is also a favorite. I can get lost in there for hours. The Westport Antique mall is great as well. I don’t get to stop in as often as I like but I’ve found some great pieces there. Thistle is another fantastic store everyone should check out. The owner is a doll; I picked up my dinning room table from her one day while she was having a garage sale. She lives a few streets over. Shopping for antiques is my happy place. For clothing, I love Retro Vixen, Donna’s Dress Shop, Wonderland and Boomerang. VKC: Any interesting/funny stories about pieces in your home? Nikki: Oh yes! We have these two pink Mid-Century lamps in the living room that I have a funny story about. My best friend Candy and I were traveling to Columbia, MO, a few years back to see the Scissor Sisters in concert. We’re totally lost and driving down a street, and out of the corner of my eye I see the most fabulous vintage store. We both saw it at the same time and nearly wrecked. We did a quick U-turn and pulled in.
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Nikkiâ€™s beloved dogs inspired a feature art wall in her living room.
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The place was closed, but the owner was there picking something up and was walking out the door. She saw our dismay when we realized they were closed, and she let us come in. This place was a gold mine. Tons of immaculate 40s and 50s dresses and furnitureâ€”I was in heaven. On a shelf up high I spotted a pair of pink lamps and asked the price since they werenâ€™t marked. She gave them to me for $60, and I about fell over. It was such an amazing price for lamps that still work and are in pristine condition. I only wish I had more money that day and more room in my car! VKC: Where are some good places to find retro Halloween decor and costumes? How do you know itâ€™s retro? What are some things to look for? Nikki: My husband and I are huge fans of Halloween, and I credit him for teaching me most of what I know about vintage Halloween decor. With vintage Halloween there is a whole world out there and tons of great resources! There are authentic vintage pieces, which can be very, very pricey and hard to come by. You can find those on places like eBay and a few websites that cater to vintage buyers. Not everyone can afford the rare pieces though. Thankfully, today there are tons of
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Nikki’s Tips for the Perfect Retro Halloween Costume
1. Start several months ahead. Nothing is worse than throwing something together a few days ahead of time. A little planning will go a long way! 2. Decide on an era. Halloween costuming is fun all the way from the roaring 20s to the 80s. 3. Look online for inspiration. I always get my best ideas from Google images, but the kids these days keep telling me about Pinterest. I think I should move forward with the times!
Mid-Century cutness abounds with a tiny owl figurine (above), retro lamps, bar glasses and an L-shaped couch (far left). Above left: an atomic inspired chandelier in Nikki’s dining room. Left: Nikki will buy almost anything turquoise, including this beautiful high-back chair.
fans of the vintage Halloween aesthetic, and there are several artists and companies that create amazing reproduction pieces at a third of the cost of a vintage piece. We’ve collected a few vintage pieces but mostly our collection is comprised of reproduction pieces. We start our Halloween shopping every year in late August, early September when places start releasing the new collection for this year. We always hit Marshalls, Micheals, Target, Hobby Lobby and a few places online for reproductions. Our favorite artists for reproduction pieces are Johanna Parker and Bethany Lowe. Year round we stalk local antique stores, Craigslist and eBay for deals on authentic vintage pieces. With some research you can find which companies made authentic vintage pieces, one of the most famous being The Beistle Company. There are people who work solely in appraising these items so it can be hard to spot a fake without some help. Anything that’s too shiny or colorful is likely a reproduction. Look for wear on the piece and detailed painting, which was common in older pieces. I’ve read that the scarier the item is, the more likely it is older. Some of the most desirable pieces are vintage die-cuts, candy containers, lanterns and German toys or figures. You can also look for stamps on the bottom of pieces and then research the
4. Start with what’s in your closet. Have an old skirt or dress? With a little imagination that piece can have a whole new life. And when you can’t find anything at home, hit the thrift store. It’s cheap and if it gets torn up or you bedazzle it up, who cares? It only cost you a few bucks. 5. Hobby Lobby is your best friend. Oh and don’t forget the hot glue! Cheap rhinestones, fringe and ribbon can give a boring piece a whole new life. Get creative! 6. Don’t forget about your hair and makeup! This goes for the fellas too. Having a great costume is wonderful, but if you’ve put no thought into your face and hair it won’t make as great of an impact. 7. Shop the costume and party stores out of season. You can find great clearance deals and can stock up. 8. Not much for crafting? Rent! There are great places like The Kansas City Costume Company and Have Guns Will Rent that have a huge array of costumes in all sizes.
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This adorable Mid-Century kitchen features true period colors. Take risks with your own spaces using statement retro items like sugar and flour bins, mixers, straw holders and 3-D art in a similar color pallette. Serve up fun at your parties with quirky décor and handmade items (like the black cat/jack-o-lantern below right).
company name. Always research before you buy. There are several great books on the market for collectors. Most of the earlier items that are heavily sought after were made in Germany right after World War I. Germany made many of the blow mold and paper mache pumpkins popular at the time and exported them to the United States; most were made between 1920 and 1935. There were also many items made in the United States
from 1910 all the way into the 1960s. Whether you’re into authentic pieces or reproduction, there is a whole world out there! VKC: What are your favorite pieces in your home? Nikki: My favorite Halloween piece would be a German paper maché pumpkin my husband and I found at an antique store in Independence. Other pieces not Halloween related would be the vintage porcelain Boston Terrier figures my husband got me last Christmas. They remind me of our two Boston’s and light up my day every time I see them! I also love our couch; it was well worth the wait! The whole house really ... it’s home!
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Rip it, Rip it! Reuse thrift store sweaters for winter accessories! By Quinn White
nitting is a dangerous obsession. Certainly, it is wonderful to dream up and create accessories to complement my favorite outfits, to have the pleasure of gifting a baby their first hat, and to custom make Christmas presents. But an inspiring yarn can make quite a dent in the pocketbook. As I came down from a post-shopping high that followed a particularly dangerous shopping spree recently, I wondered how I could make my yarn purchases mirror my other purchases: inexpensive, clearance and oftentimes used or repurposed. Immediately, I thought of a sweater I found at Goodwill the previous week, realizing that the material it was made of could be easily repurposed. I was completely unwilling to frog (knitter’s language for unknitting the stitches) my new fall staple, so I set out to the thrift stores to find sweaters I didn’t feel so strongly about. And, lo and behold, I found an oversized, green sweater (that I would never wear as is) for under $5. It was a perfect candidate for my experiment. The autumn green was just begging to be worn this fall, and the seamless torso would be easy to unravel. I bought it, guessing that it must at least consist of four skeins of yarn. Here is how I transformed this sweater into a ball of yarn to make a pair of fingerless gloves (with tons of yarn to spare). I found a spot on the garment where the yarn had been weaved in with a needle. I undid the weaving and cut the knot so that I could begin to frog the sweater. This may not be as obvious
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on some garments, and you will have to simply cut into the garment to begin unraveling. I then began to pull the yarn. If your garment has edging like this one, you will most likely have to make some cuts to the yarn that has been used to attach the main part of the garment to the edging. When unraveling this sweater, I had to make a cut each time I reached the edging. Be careful when doing this not to cut the yarn that you are pulling. As you frog your garment, form the yarn into a ball for your knitting convenience! Remember, it is important that you gauge your yarn before starting a project. This should be your practice no matter what yarn you are using, but it is especially important when using yarn that does not come with guidelines printed on a label. If you would like to make these vintageinspired fingerless gloves, you can find the pattern on my blog: www.ktogether.word press.com. It is a perfect fall project, easy for beginners, super quick for all of you busy knitters, and—the best part—it’s free!
Quinn White is a writer, knitter and teacher from Olathe, KS.
DIY Spice Jars Think you can’t afford that high-priced look? Think again! By Megan Kapple
hen we spotted these chalkboard spice jars at Anthropologie, they seemed like the perfect little DIY project to try at home. These jars are so quick and inexpensive to recreate and they would make a sweet little hostess gift or accent for your own kitchen shelf.
Step 1: First you will need to spray your jars and lids with white spray paint. Flip them upside down to make sure that no paint gets on the inside of the jars. Cover them in a few thin coats to avoid any dripping.
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Step 2: Now that your lids are white, a brighter color of spray paint will cover much better. Choose a few colors and spray two or three thin coats and allow to dry.
Step 3: Once your jars and lids have dried for at least six hours, you can begin adding the chalkboard template. Design your own or print the template from this article at vintagekcmag. com in the appropriate size. Using an exacto knife, carefully cut it out.
Supplies Baby food jars, small craft jars or glass spice jars White gloss spray paint A few bright colors of gloss spray paint Chalkboard paint Small paint brush Black Sharpie Chalk Exacto knife
Step 4: Trace around the inside of the template lightly with a pen or pencil onto your jar. Lift off the
template and then go over your lines very carefully with a Sharpie.
Step 5: Using a very small paintbrush, carefully paint inside the Sharpie lines with chalkboard paint. This will take about three coats of paint. Allow about 10 minutes of drying time between each coat.
Nothing but adorable things come from Anthropologie, but at $10 each, these allpurpose jars are not easy on the olâ€™ pocket book.
make. The materials I already had on hand and the few I purchased were enough to make quite a few more than three jars if I wanted to, so the savings could be even greater! Next time you are looking for a quick and inexpensive project or gift, you have no excuses. Get out there and start crafting!
Step 6: Once your jars have dried again for about four hours, you can write on them with chalk. Fill with your favorite spices and label them. The great thing about this project is that you most likely already have most of the materials on hand, making these little jars super cheap to
Budget Breakdown Old baby food jars: Free Or small glass jars: $2.50 each White spray paint: $4 Small bottle of chalkboard paint: $6 Leftover spray paint for lids: Free Sharpie, exacto knife, template (already had on hand): Free Total: $10-$17.50
Megan Kapple lives in Kansas City, MO, with her husband and two daughters. In addition to being a mom and wife, Megan spends her days dreaming up projects, scouting out thrift stores, sewing, cooking and many other creative endeavors. You can read all about her adventures on her blog: homemadeginger.com.
The French Maker
Vintage Boutique Beautiful French-inspired furniture and home decor Antique, vintage and new
Windmill Square Shops, south side 7393 W. 97th St., Overland Park 913-648-2788 Tuesday-Friday: 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. and by appointment email@example.com thefrenchmaker.blogspot.com also find us on Facebook!
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where we’ve been
July 5-7, Rag and Bone celebrates opening in the West Bottoms.
July 5-7, Sit On It . . a chair gallery opens in the West Bottoms.
June 23, The Old Summit Country Antique Show hits Lee’s Summit. 42 VintageKC / Fall 2012
where weâ€™ve been
July 5-7, Brocante Bliss opens in the West Bottoms.
June 29, The Parking Lot Flea Market at the Jesse James Antique Mall and the indoor Pop-Up Vintage Market at the Rusty Chandelier take form in St. Joseph.
May 21-26, Brown Button throws a massive warehouse sale. VintageKC / Fall 2012 43
stores we love
Restoration Emporium West Bottoms
From the rustic to the redone, we’re thoroughly inspired every time we step foot in fabulous RE. VKC: How long have you been into vintage? Chrysy: My husband and I have been interested in antiques/vintage/repurposing for 20+ years. VKC: What got you started? Chrysy: My parents used to pick old farms, and I always thought it was interesting to see what mom would do with an old piece of furniture. As I got older it seemed to be a way Jeff and I could spend time together doing something we both loved. We are very into history and so it just another way of studying. VKC: Why did you decide to open a business? Chrysy: We made the decision last fall. It is something we talked about doing when we retired someday. The timing for us, the location, was all just something we could not pass up. It was really kind of a miracle how it all fell together. We just knew we had it in us to do it and that it would be amazing! VKC: What advice do you have for new pickers? Chrysy: This is not something you do because you think you can “get rich” or jump into because the trend is maybe higher than normal. This is hard work. You need to love it because it’s not a pretty business. It’s down and dirty, nasty, stinky, sweaty, hard work everyday. VKC: What are your favorite pieces to buy? Chrysy: Jeff and I really both love architectural pieces. We recently brought back an entire duffle bag full of porch pieces from old homes
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in Pennsylvania. The more rusty and chippy it is the more I love. VKC: How do you choose vendors for your store? Chrysy: We are very picky. Chemistry is number one. We have an amazing group of “partners,” and so our chemistry is the most important thing. We are very close and take care of each other. If someone doesn’t gel it can throw the whole store off. Second is your product. I want to see that your product is the best in the Bottoms. A one of a kind or wonderfully restored piece is a must. We want the best designers at RE. VKC: How would you describe the style of the items in your shop? Chrysy: We call it “Farmhouse to Urban Chic.” We feel that we have a very eclectic style. You can find just about anything in our store. However, the way I describe it the most is “that it just makes you feel better.” The pieces seem to speak to you and your own history or past so you’re able to combine our style with anything old or new thus, the first description. VKC: What item(s) in your house could you not bear to sell? Chrysy: One is our feed trough entertainment center. When we saw the wood and metal trough at an auction we knew we had to have it. At the time it was not clear what it would be used for. At one point we actually tried to sell it “as is” at a show. Luckily it did not get purchased.
Jeff combined the trough with some uncut timbers that we picked from a horse barn and completed the piece. It is something we show to anyone who will look at it! VKC: What is your business philosophy? Chrysy: At our store we are focused on our internal and external customers. Early in our business discussions we wanted to make sure that we were a vendor (partner) friendly store. We had been at a few stores and learned from each what we would and would not do if we had our own. Simple things like access to electricity, providing meals for our partners, extended work hours during the month. These things add up to happy internal customers, which help us make our buying customers feel the difference when they walk in our door. VKC: What experience do you hope your customers have in your store? Chrysy: This is summed up in a comment we had from one of our customers. They said, “I feel like I just walked into Pinterest.” We want them to be inspired by our partners’ work, buy a piece and then work on a project of their own. Our store is not a destination but a journey. New ideas and pieces can be experienced every time you walk into the store. VKC: What other vendors/stores do you love. Chrysy: Sentimental Journey, Good Company, Pappys Antiques in Bolivar, MO, Anthropologie.
stores we love
Urban Mining Homewares Westport
Urban Mining has street smarts and urban style, which is right up our recycling, green-loving alley. VKC: How long have you been picking? Owners: There are 37 dealers at Urban Mining, and many are long-time vintage devotees. Some of us started with a passion for collecting antiques, and some enjoyed the thrill of turning a cast-off find into a renewed masterpiece. Others were seeking an outlet for their artistic and creative skills, and vintage and repurposed items were a natural extension of that creativity! Owner Heather London started with her first vintage find when she was just a teenager. It was a Modigliani style female bust that she found at a garage sale for $5. Owner Susan Hartnett caught the bug when furnishing her family’s first home. VKC: When did you decide to open your own business and why? Owners: Our original owner, Mary, was the first person in the metro area to pioneer the “First Friday weekend vintage market.” She started with a passion for green living, and repurposing items to avoid having them end up in landfills. In 2003, she opened Urban Mining in the basement of Midtown’s historic Meyer Building on Main Street. With just a few dealers joining her in the beginning, the business grew by word of mouth, and some of her dealers eventually spun off the business model in the West Bottoms and other areas of the metro. VKC: What advice do you have for new pickers?
Owners: The most important thing to consider when selecting an item for potential repurposing or renewal is build quality and style. Try to see through the flaking paint, tattered upholstery or dated colors to the inherent lines of the piece. VKC: How do you choose vendors? Owners: When selecting dealers to join our team, we consider the quality of their offerings and how they will fit into our current merchandise mix; their reputation and experience in the industry; and most important, how well their personalities will mesh with our close-knit, friendly and fun-loving team. VKC: How would you describe the style of the items in your shop? Owners: One thing that sets us apart is that much of our inventory is a little more “urban” than most. We have specialists in European provencial, Mid-Century, retro-modern, and industrial era furnishings and décor, and we have some of the most talented craftspeople in the metro, who repurpose and build spectacular, one-of-a-kind furnishings and lighting. Plus, several of our “Miners” are experienced interior designers. VKC: What is the biggest item you’ve sold? Owners: One of the largest and most expensive items we sold was a fantastic custom-made retro sectional sofa that was so huge it took
three of us, with a van and two trucks to move it to The Mine! It was gorgeous, and in great condition, and sold for about $1,200 within an hour or two of opening for the weekend. VKC: What is your business philosophy? Owners: Our philosophy is simple. We are committed to ethical business practices, quality inventory and workmanship, and we are proud to be a green business. While some of our offerings certainly aren’t “cheap” we strive to offer exceptional value, which is why so many designers and dealers shop with us. And, we believe that our work should be fulfilling and fun. VKC: What experience do you hope your customers have in your store? Owners: We hope that our customers are thrilled each time they visit us with our fresh, varied inventory, great prices, and casual, comfortable environment. We want every customer to feel a sense of welcome, belonging and friendship, and that coming to see us is a little bit more than just “going shopping.” We like to recognize and acknowledge our repeat customers, and to personally welcome new customers whenever we can, and we want them to feel a sense of fun and excitement as they make their selections! VKC: What other vendors do you adore? Owners: Donna’s Dress Shop, Retro Inferno, Parrin & Co., Thistle, Mission Road Antiques
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They Each Other By Quinn White
utumn is a time for change: Leaves turn, temperatures cool and school commences. For Kevin Sipe, the fall of 1979 ushered in changes much more monumental than the typical autumn transitions—some he chose, and one that seemed to choose him. He had recently moved from a suburb of Minneapolis to Bonnor Springs, KS, to live with his brother, learn carpentry and escape a broken heart. “I had dated a girl for three-and-a-half years before I moved, and we both thought that it would end in marriage. When it didn’t work out, I had a really hard time dealing with it,” Kevin remembers, “After this experience, my mindset was that I would not take relationships so seriously and would not ever get married.” He dated casually when he arrived in Kansas, but he decided to travel solo to a two-day concert series put on by The Grateful Dead. The first night, he noticed two girls on the arena floor who kept glancing back at him throughout the night. He remembered being amused at how obvious they were at checking him out. Finally, one of them approached him and asked for the time. “It was funny because there was a giant clock on the wall, and plus, who is concerned with the time at a concert?” Kevin chuckles, “But I didn’t mind because she was cute. We hung out
for an hour or so. We talked, and I asked for her number.” She agreed and wrote it on the back of a Topeka High School hall pass. Their first date was to the movie theater, and their movie choices were “The Jerk” and “Jesus.” They flipped a coin, and “Jesus” won. This was telling, as Kevin and Mara were in different places in their lives. Kevin was 21; Mara was 17. Kevin was an ex-Catholic agnostic; Mara was a recently converted Christian. Kevin was not ready for a serious relationship; Mara was ready to find her husband. These differences were bridged throughout their long-distance relationship that resulted in some ridiculous phone bills (this occurring before the age of cell phones, of course). But Kevin’s fear of a lifelong commitment was still a hurdle. “After a short time of dating I realized that there was something different about Mara. Something about her personality caught me. I thought, ‘Uh oh, I could really see myself falling in love with this girl.’ But I was still afraid of marriage. It was a scary thing at that time in my life,” Kevin admits. They dated for about two years, during which Mara called it off twice out of the frustration of waiting for Kevin to ask her to marry him. But during their final separation, Kevin came to realize that he really did not want to lose her, that she was really special. So he took a leap. He called her house to see if he could visit
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her, if they could talk, and she responded in exasperation, “Haven’t we said it all?” Meekly, Kevin answered, “Well … there is one thing we haven’t said.” He then drove over to her house where she was sunbathing and asked her to marry him. He offered her the wedding band that her great-grandmother passed down for this occasion. “I actually still have the hall pass,” Kevin finds the ragged piece of paper, smiles, and reads it: “Mara Campmier (913) 266-8294.” The hall pass is safe with him and the family jewel has been passed down to me, the second of Kevin and Mara’s four children. The two will celebrate their 31st year of marriage this autumn.
P.S. Did you catch that Grateful Dead reference in the title? The band first performed “They Love Each Other” in 1973.
Quinn White is a writer, knitter and teacher from Olathe, KS. She chronicles the memories and reflections of those around her because she believes the hearing and telling of each others’ stories and life lessons can be consoling, galvanizing and transformative.
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