Florida - What do you get when you cross Pinterest with Vintage? Apparently the answer is Vinterest.
As our series on the changing landscape within the antiques and decorative arts community continues, we couldn't help but steer our attention over to the evolving world of the antique-mall, come vintage-mall, and more recently, the appearance of an oddity known as a Vinterest warehouse.
For those who are perhaps a little social media shy, the Vinterest moniker is a catchy play on the DIY and home décor site Pinterest, and the word vintage. At first glance it may seem a strange pairing, but once you think about it for a moment, it quickly becomes apparent that it's anything but - I mean what fits more hand-in-glove than crafty-style home decorating and a fine selection of vintage goods?
For one such entrepreneur on Chestnut Street in Chattanooga's Southside in Tennessee, the answer to this was simple; a refurbished old tool-and-design warehouse, with a sprinkle of 60 or so quality vendor/artists of the eclectic, and you'd have Vinterest!
The brainchild of Katherine Schurer, a veteran business owner from Chattanooga's southside, Schurer felt that the concept of a funky retail space would add to the up-and-coming flavor of the revitalized neighborhood. "It came organically," she said, "Southside is just exploding, and we were able to snatch this building up."
According to Schurer, what makes this experience different from your average antiques or vintage mall is that customers can find a lot more than just vintage items in the store, including handmade crafts, upcycled goods, refurbished and repurposed furniture, custom embroidery, one-off jewelry pieces, vintage clothes, leather bags, boutique soaps and oils, and a variety of other artisan inspired products.
Schurer went on to say that one of the big changes she made, when comparing it to her first location and that of most antique malls, was in the sizing of the vendor spaces. The new booths at the Vinterest mall were designed to be much larger and resemble actual storefronts, she said. "It's almost like a miniature town within a warehouse - with vendors taking a lot of pride in their spaces."
While Schurer is unlikely to be the only person on the dance floor adapting to today's changes in the decorative arts jig - especially as it relates to shared retail spaces and malls - there is no question that she is certainly one of the people leading the charge by actually giving it a name - even if it's just a play on words. Her ideas on booth size and appearances, along with transformative inventory models, are timely examples of the creative and evolving landscape occurring within the antiques and vintage marketplace. And, while handmade soap and locally sourced apothecary goods may not be every antique dealers cup of tea when it comes to inventory, it's worth noting that just few short years ago vintage items weren't either.
If your curiosity has been peaked, and you'd like to learn more about Schurer and her Vinterest venture, you can head over to the company's web site at: http://vinterestantiques.com/index.html
- A.I.A. Staff Writers
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