Friday, July 20, 2012

Introducing the competition

It's been a little over five months now since the snowy February morning that I made my wide-eyed debut peddling my vintage wares in booth 78 at Kenrick Antique Mall, and since then, to be honest, I haven't met many of my fellow vendors.  In fact, I've yet to meet the one I'm about to introduce to you all, at least in person.  But when her booth popped up shortly after mine, I felt like I knew her, or at least like she'd be a fun person to know. So of course I I had to stop for a good look.

A snap I took of the booth shortly after I first spotted it.
I wish my walls went all the way up like that!
Our styles were similar.  We both stock vintage rather than serious antique items, generally from the 40s-70s.  We both seem to have an affection for cheery colors, toys and a bit of kitsch, and we both sell crewel work and vintage luggage, but right from the start she was brave and savvy in a few ways I'm still not yet.  This booth sold furniture, brought vintage pieces new life with bright, glossy paint and, cleverly (now you know my inspiration for finally getting 2ndhand Moon on Facebook) engaged in branding.  The booth was, adorably, called "Jack Loves Fronie".  The kind of name that sticks in your head.  So I asked my good friend Google about it, found the Facebook page and sent a message.  

We've swapped stories a bit since then, and found a few more things in common, and almost from the beginning I thought how fun it would be to do a little profile here on the blog - to share with you guys what awesome (and friendly!) competition I have for your interest when you wander the aisles of our mall.  So I finally got around to it, and now you get to meet Rachel Mowrey, proud proprietor of booth 12 at Kenrick Antique Mall.  Here's her smiling face now, with two of her adorable children:
How exactly does a mom of 3 manage to also keep up with an antique shop?
The one question I didn't ask her - every superwoman has secrets to keep!

I did send Rachel a list of questions, and here are her answers, interspersed with pics she supplied of some of her favorite items you've already missed the chance to snap up - her favorite sales!

How would you like to introduce yourself? What should readers know about you?

I'm Rachel. I'm the wife of an amazing guy, mom to three sweet kids and a graphic designer who finally realized it's ok to shop at thrift stores! I'm hooked and always feel like there's a treasure out there waiting to be found!

Gold-striped coffee carafe
Golden hearts Pyrex dish

I love your booth - you have a fun, lighthearted retro vibe. How would you describe your style? Where does it come from?

I'm starting to grow into my style, I'd say. It's definitely unstuffy, retro and eclectic. My philosophy has been, if I like it, somehow it will fit. I am drawn to mid century, but not always modern. I love pattern and color and like to pair things that don't belong in the same style family or era. I like to think of our home as my constant art work in progress!

I credit my style to my grandparents (the shop is named after them: Jack + Fronie...short for Florence), though I doubt they would take credit! I always loved the style I saw in faded photos from their youth and my mom and uncle's childhood. There was something so alluring about the 1950s and 60s...almost like a dream. Visiting my aunt and uncle's house and seeing their nostalgia on display and hearing their records constantly turning created a spark in me.

Damask chair
Fun blue floral chair

Have you always been interested in 'old junk'? What got you started?

I have always been interested in old junk! It's funny to think that it's always been in me, but as I grew older, I didn't feel the freedom to explore. As a child, I would collect small trinkets and hide them in a bottle with a corked lid and tuck it away. I'd forget about it and then, when I would discover it months later, I'd spend an hour pulling each trinket out and savoring the memory or beauty of it. As a teenager, I always preferred shopping at thrift stores but my family couldn't understand why I'd ever want things that had been used by someone else. It took hitting my thirties to realize that I'm not the only one into this sort of idea and that, actually, it's a really helpful outlet for me to express myself creatively!

A trio of kitschy big-eyed owls - so cute!

And a pair of chi-chi fancy peacocks

What's the first vintage item you remember acquiring? Do you still have it?

The first vintage piece I remember acquiring would be an old 1940s hat. I started collecting them around age 8 or 9. But a fonder item would be a rusty, vintage Clash of the Titans lunch box I got at a flea market and took my lunch to school in faithfully my junior and senior year of high school.  Unfortunately, I have no idea what happened to any of those things!

Big, bright, pretty crewelwork basket of flowers.

What's the best treasure you've ever scored? 

The best treasure I ever scored was a 1960s Plycraft Mr. Chair off Craigslist. It wasn't listed for sale but I saw it sitting in the background of someone's garage and got them to sell it to me for a song. It needed reupholstering, which I never ended up getting around to, so I resold it and now it resides with Mr. Modtomic who recovered it himself!

The (envy-worthy) chair itself, after Mr Mod's
ministrations (photo linked to his awesome site).

What sorts of things insipre you?

I'm easily inspired, I think. I love small towns and movie theaters, where it feels like time has not passed by too quickly. I love little details, soft light in the evening from a great old lamp, the comfort of quiet habits like cups of coffee in my favorite mug in the morning (or afternoon). I love seeing how other people take old things and give them a new spin, though, most often, I find the original beauty of things even better. As a design major, I can't avoid saying I appreciate beautiful typography, poignant photography and great illustration. But most of all, I am inspired by that sparkle in my family's eyes that comes from me thinking of them and creating spaces that makes them feel cozy and cared for!

Bright, fun, funky luggage.
Saucy electric blue mirror.

Where do you usually find your treasures? Any secrets to share with other vintage lovers like yourself?

I find most of my treasures out thrifting. My favorite spots are any of the Value Villages, Goodwills or Salvation Armies. I hit St. Vincent DePaul off South Kingshighway a few times a week since it's near my house. Most of the really great stuff comes from estate sales, but I don't often get the chance to do estates much. My biggest treasure trove is small town shopping, usually when I visit my mom in northeast Missouri. Things are much more affordable there and I stock up on lots of inventory when I travel to that neck of the woods!

Pretty buttery sofa
Dramatic red velvet sofa

Can you believe all the fabulous stuff Rachel has already sold?  But don't worry, there's still plenty for you, if you've missed out so far!  Here are a few of the items that stood out to me when I took a peek at the competition the other day:
Round suitcase
Cute toy piano!
Pretty cookware - Fire King?
Adorable bright cups/saucers

And here are some pictures Rachel provided to give you an idea of how her booth looks and what's for sale now:

Love the mushroom/butterfly wall hangings!
Great stuff on a great shelf!

The whole big lovely booth - isn't it fun?  You know you want to check it out!

 So now that you know all about my competition, why don't you come down to Kenrick Antique Mall on Watson Road in Shrewsbury and check us both out?  Rachel's booth, Jack Loves Fronie, is booth # 12 at the end of the first row as you walk in, and the 2ndhand Moon booth, #78 is about 2/3 of the way back on the east side of row 3, and both are chock full of goodness just waiting for you!

And don't forget to check out the Facebook pages:
Jack Loves Fronie and 2ndhand Moon

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