The eclectic look in home decorating is trending. Repurposing, reusing, refurbishing is
in vogue. Thank Goodness. I never thought my house would ever get back in style. Actually one of the reasons why are in the antique and vintage linen and lace business is because we love quality. Hold a piece of 1890 – 1930 lace up to a piece of lace from the “mart” stores, you’ll see what I mean by this. Remember the 70’s? Avocado walls, polyester and shag carpeting? I can do without the long shag, but the denser and shorter shag does make a great retro look for select rooms. How about the 80’s with the popcorn ceiling and the color “salmon?” What, you don’t remember salmon colored walls? How about avocado? We don’t use sideboards that much anymore and we don’t store blankets or linens in chest of drawers that much, because our homes and condos are getting smaller. We don’t have the room for too much furniture, but we still want the quality and style associated with that era. So, what can we do? One popular idea is to repurpose / retrofit a Victorian Chest of Drawers or Side Board into a remodeled bathroom sink and cabinet. My next decorating change will be to scrape the popcorn from my ceiling. However, thinking with my retro state of mind, if I don’t look up, it can wait for another year. Who knows, it might come back in style.
I wish to thank all you who helped make my stores as successful as they were last year, especially those of you who stopped in and said hi on the weekends when I had a chance to be in the stores. I had a ball meeting with you. Let’s do it again real soon.
I want to thank those who stopped by my Facebook Page and who visited our website/blog at Linens2Lace.com. Thank you for your kind remarks. I want to thank those of you who purchased the many types of vintage linens I have in stock and those who simply browsed and had kind words to say. Thank you for picking up our “Use Anytime” discount cards and for telling your friends.
I want to thank my furniture buyers. You made my year. We decided to mix up our offerings this last year by bringing in antique and vintage furniture that reflected what you might find in sewing rooms or the bed and bath area. We are very pleased with the results of this mix.
My wish for all of you is a very prosperous 2014. My mother always told me to never discuss politics or religion, so I won’t – except to say that my hopes are for 2014 to find a congress that remembers that they are “for the people” and not just their individual party affiliations. Sorry Mom – I had to do it.
I am looking forward to this year. I am looking forward to meeting all my friends again, including strangers who I consider friends I haven’t met yet. With my teaching schedule, I get in to the stores on weekends and on holidays so once again, if on a weekend you see someone with their nose buried in a pile of vintage linens or lace – it’s probably me. Stop in and say hi. I’d love to visit and show you around.
Let’s talk certainties. Let’s talk about self-sufficiency and dependency. Let’s talk about
small business and Colorado Springs. Specifically, let’s talk about the certainty of supporting the individual antique dealers who run small shops in all the local antique malls here in town.
When the average antique shopper walks into one of the Antique Malls here in town, they tend to think of that mall as being “the antique store.” In fact, that mall is a retail site that houses many antique stores or small businesses, each responsible for their own inventory, their own displays and their own advertising. Your support of the mall equates to you supporting hundreds of small business owners. This is a good, because that owner is the same small business owner who buys their groceries from where you work, pays for gas from your service station, which powers the cars and trucks that your son or uncle may have worked on. The same owner who collectively employs the staff that works behind the counter when you check out, who helps you load your antique purchase into your car, who later that night, will take their spouse and family out to eat in the local restaurant you own or work in.
The antique mall you walk in to, be it The Antique Gallery, The Treasure Shoppe, AmericanClassics, the American Indoor Flea Market, the Garage Sale or Willowstone, house over 800+ independent businesses combined. That is a lot of small businesses, but that’s not counting the hundreds of other individual dealer’s countywide that make up this unique group of retailers. 800+ businesses that supply jobs to the local community. All they ask is that you support them by purchasing your favorite antique or collectible from them, instead of only ordering from the Internet.
From the income derived from your purchases, they will pay their taxes that will keep the roads clear and the schools open, they will educate their children in the schools where your son, daughter or granddaughter teaches, and all without extra shipping costs. These owners buy the homes your family and friends worked hard to build and in doing so, they keep their dollars local. They are not some outside multi-million dollar conglomerate with virtual offices, where income is a matter of international trade. They are not the antiques that when you buy from their internet site, some person in India, Germany, Britain or China gets a little richer. They believe in sharing the wealth and they believe it starts at home first. Support them and they will support you.
As my wife and I are proud members of this independent small business community of antique dealers, we thank you all for your continued support and your patronage. The next time you come in to one of our Mom & Me Vintage Linens & Lace stores; as our way of saying Thank You, pick up one of our permanent discount cards either at the Treasure Shoppe (space B4), American Classics (space B30 & B26) or American Indoor Flea Market (“Found Treasures” in space 301). If you see us there, say hello. Let us know how we’re doing. We’d love to meet you.
We purchase our vintage linens and lace from estate sales or from people who are downsizing. People call us and we meet them – usually at their homes. The conversations flow as we gather history on the items and occasionally the conversation turns to vintage or antique items other than linens. Naturally, as people who love antiques and collectibles, we run across great deals that we can’t pass up. (An allergic condition called collectoritis) For example, my husband restores vintage furniture, so he is constantly on the lookout for items that fit our late 1800’s, early 1900’s Sewing parlor and Victorian format at the American Classics Antique Mall, space B26 & B30. (Right under the Dick Clark Lane sign) Take a look at that beautiful little Singer sewing machine and cabinet we have in space B26.
Occasionally however, he will run into furniture that is more towards that of the early 50’s to late 70’s, like our 1957 Singer Sewing Machine Desk, that once held a Singer Slant-O-Matic sewing machine. It is Singer’s Hampton Court Mahogany series. He wants to repurpose into a computer and writing desk. It is so pretty with its deep red mahogany finish, we couldn’t let it sit in that old garage any longer. We are going to put that into our Treasure Shoppe location. Our industrial sewing cabinet with the Singer Mod 66 Red Eye machine is one my husband refers to as the Steam Punk model. You’ll also see that in The Treasure Shoppe.
Of course, we also run into great buys or things we just can’t pass up, but don’t fit into any of our sewing themes, but are simply great to have or have a lot of life left in them. If the price is right, and we think they have a market, our collectoritis sets in and we buy them. For those items, we opened a small store in the American Indoor Flea Market, space 301. Items like our in perfect condition Commercial Hobart Meat Slicer that the hubby was going to make his own beef jerky from, or the humidifier that he purchased because it got too dry in the house during the winter. He never jerked any beef (I just cracked myself up) and it’s still dry in the house. Hurry up and buy the meat slicer before he knows it’s gone. I priced it at half of what they go for on eBay.
Rummaging through our lace box, the young woman asked me if we ever dyed our lace. I smiled thinking back to the hours of hand washing, categorizing and pricing each piece. I told her no, that due to the demands on my time, that was one area of owning a vintage linen store, I had yet to venture in to. I asked her what she was looking for. She didn’t know, just looking but she mentioned that she was in town for her Aunts second wedding and was looking for a special gift, “something old,” she said. Lace and Ribbons for sashes are used for weddings or first communions. They make great gifts and because they are from gentler eras long past, they represent something very special. Pale blue or light rose are perfect colors. Think about a spring winter morning sky.
By the way, as long as we are talking quality vintage and pricing, (we were, weren’t we?) monogram bed linens are often very heavy. They were favored by the wealthy who could afford to have them monogrammed. The thread count for many of the vintage linens is over 1000 and some we have estimated approach the 2000 mark.
Remember, if you like bargains, (and who doesn’t) when shopping either one of our stores; “The Treasure Shoppe” or “AmericanClassics Antique Mall”, be sure to pick up your discount card. Keep the card with you, give one to your friends and every time you or your friend purchase our linens, just present the card at the checkout counter.
And once again, if you see a woman with her nose buried in the linens, it’s probably me. Stop in and say hi. Tell me what you’re looking for. I probably have it.
And now I want to step away from the store for a moment. These last couple of weeks in Colorado have been devastating. The flooding has uprooted and separated family’s, destroyed or severely damaged homes and cost lives. As I write this, the news is reporting on another tragic loss of two young people caught in rushing waters. I’m trying hard not to cry. We may be strong here in Colorado and we can rebuild property, but we cannot bring back loved ones. My heart goes out to all who are affected by the floods. Please head the warnings and do whatever you can to keep you and your families safe.
This post is directed to the person or persons who painted the 1927 Singer sewing machine case baby blue – thank you. You have given my husband many hours of pleasure and kept him out of my hair. He has toiled away in his workshop, lovingly removing the hideous color from what he tells me, is beautiful oak. Thank goodness, they didn’t paint the machine itself.
By the way, for all you shabby chic aficionados who are reading this, this was not shabby chic. I’ll be kind and simply say this was at best – a very poor, sloppy paint job. (I said I would be kind) While we love good shabby chic, this was not it. As the appraiser said, because the machine works are in excellent condition and the cabinet was the more expensive seven drawer model at a time when most of the ones sold were the less expensive five drawer cabinetry, the only solution for preserving it, was to restore it to its natural oak finish. Once my husband carefully removed the paint, he refinished the beautiful wood with three coats of hand rubbed Tung oil. That gave it life again and because everything was by hand, he even managed to save some of the old patina that had been painted over.
Once again, I can see where the hand of a young mother rubbed the finish as she guided the fabric through the foot. One of Singers earliest conversions to power, it still has its treadle, but I can see where her foot rested on the power switch and where the soles of her shoes wore the black paint off the side. I can see the dents and scratched made from buttons, dropped scissors and probably a child’s tin toy. If I close my eyes just right, I can even see the gleam in the little girls smile as mother holds up the new Sunday dress she just finished.
The next time you are in Mom & Me’s Vintage Linens & Lace in the American Classics Antique Mall, stop in space B30 and marvel at the simple ingenuity of these beautiful sewing systems. Look at the quality of the cabinetry work. The careful attention to the joinery and style of the design. You know that old world post-war craftsmen created them. Rest your hands on this beautiful machine, close your eyes and see if you can relive its history. Yes, it’s for sale at below appraised value because my husband hopes that its next owner will be able to repurpose the machine, but not want to paint it ever again.
We would like to launch a new feature in our Treasure Shoppe series and give our readers a chance to know some of our vendors. The store is heading into its fifth year and our success is shared among our many dealers. These talented individuals lend their time and efforts every day to make the shoppe experience a pleasant one for our customers. So it is our pleasure to take a few minutes and let you take a virtual walk through the aisles via this blog.
“I craft, therefore I am”, says Mary S., the proprietor of “The Little Store”. Card making is her focus. She guarantees that every greeting card in her booth was personally handmade. She has a huge collection of “stuff” to utilize when she creates. Mary began this hobby after her mother passed away and she was housebound with pneumonia. It proved to be a soul and spirit…
Join us in Philadelphia! New friends, amazing workshops, a swanky hotel and all delicious meals included for this weekend get away!
Each day this week we will be sharing a little about their teaching style.
Up next is Elizabeth-who will be teaching-Perfect Quilted Totes!
Class Description: In this class, students will learn a simple and fun quilt-as-you-go technique that combines scrappy patchwork with utility fabrics to create sturdy panels for a polished tote bag that stands on its own without the use of interfacing. Topics covered in class will include fabric selection, fussy cutting, and quilt-as-you go tricks like finding a perfect stitch length, joining multiple areas of patchwork, and preventing seam allowances from showing through. I’ll also go over some of my favorite bag finishing tricks, including making handles, adding pockets, making a stay-put lining, and making a top facing. Students will leave class with a variety of…
We all come to a point in our retail life, that we lose sight of the big picture. Life as an antique retailer requires us to assume so many roles; accountant, buyer, seller, stocker, etc. that just like the movie “How Stella Got Her Groove Back,” we tend to lose our stores identity.
In the haste to grow, we often lose sight of what we originally started out doing and that was to have fun. In the effort to grow profits, our original plan is lost along the wayside; either because we failed to write it down, or failed to read the plan periodically. Either way, we take this to the point where we lose control over what we offer for sale. Suddenly, we look to…