the Vintage Modern shop – vintage, budget chic style for your home & wardrobe

The Vintage Modern shop offers curated, vintage style at budget-friendly prices. It’s like shopping with a team of interior designers without the designer price tag. And you never even have to leave your couch.

upcycled

We Want to Celebrate Our 1 Year Anniversary with You!

Home Decor Ideas, Home Design Ideas, macrame home decor, Minneapolis vintage shop, Minneapolis vintage store, Minnesota Makers, Upcycling, Vintage Love, Upcycled furniture, Vintage home decorPamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

It’s hard to believe, but our digital doors have been open for 1 year today. Woo hoo! Cue the streamers and popping champagne bottles.

Ok. Ok. Now that we’ve all settled down a little bit, I wanted to look back at some of my favorite upcycled furniture and vintage home décor pieces.

Who could forget the Make It Your Family Farmhouse, Upcycled Trestle Table? I was lucky enough to have my dad build me a similar table for my dining room. And then my dad built another beautiful table for the shop, and a very nice family in Chanhassen made it theirs. This table was definitely a labor of love.

The Shoe Collector Curio Cabinet and Upcycled Wood Dresser was one of the first pieces listed in the shop. I love how the copper drawer fronts contrast with the blush pink chalk paint. Oh and the marble paper lined shelves and black and white knobs. If I had a bigger master bedroom, you can bet I would have a piece just like this one. I sold this piece to a very sweet woman who told me her two year old said, “Pretty,” when he saw it.

The Everything is Coming Up Champagne Vintage Carved Dresser is one of my favorites for all the amazing carved details. And I just love how raspberry chalk paint compliments the reds and browns of the wood tone. This dresser sold to a lovely couple who had just moved into a new apartment in St. Paul.

I had some more help on this one! My mother made this Knotty by Nature Vintage Macramé Plant Hanger Curtain back when macramé was first popular. I love it because it is such a unique, well-made piece. And it went to a fellow maker in Minneapolis, so I know it is being well loved.

The moment I saw these marble and brass candlesticks, I knew we needed the pair for the shop. These candlesticks didn’t even make it to the website. I sold these to a customer at the Minne-Mile NightMarket put on by Minneapolis Craft Market in June.

Marble and Brass candlesticks 1a.jpg

 

Please remember to check the site frequently! I will be adding some new pieces that I’m super excited about this week. Also if you are on our email list, please check your inbox tomorrow for a special offer in celebration of our 1 year anniversary. And if you’re not on the email list, anyone who joins this week will also receive our special offer.

Thanks for shopping the Vintage Modern shop! Now let’s get back to that champagne.

 

Worry less. Do More.

Minneapolis vintage store, Minnesota Makers, Upcycling, Women in Business, Failure, Creative ClassPamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

I can’t even remember where I saw this saying, except it was somewhere down a rabbit hole on the internet.

But it really stuck with me. And it fits along with trying to not be so hard on myself. Like not everything I try the first time is going to be a success. Or even the second time. That’s ok.

Failure is a part of the process. I know I have talked about that too before, but it is a lesson I will forever need to learn and re-learn.

Because I am still pretty hard on myself. Like when I run out of time to get a project finished. Or when I work on a project, and it doesn’t turn out well. 

I feel like a failure. Even when I know I shouldn’t, I do. And then I don’t want to fail again, so…

Yeah. You can see where this is going. I beat myself up for not finishing things quicker. I get scared to try other things.

I worry. I worry. I worry.

So I like this mantra because it tells you to get out of your head. Don’t listen to that voice of self-doubt, and do the thing you’ve been wanting to do.

Like pom poms.

I’ve been all about pom poms for a while now. I know I’m not alone here.

I have two different sets of pom pom curtains in my house. I bought this little pom pom bag charm from Jefa Moda Mexicana at a Girl Creative event. Not to mention all the pom pom earrings I keep wanting to buy and then not buying. (I am pretty into smaller earrings now that my hair is super short. But still…)

So I finally bought myself a pom pom maker a couple of weeks ago. You can create pom poms without a maker, but it is supposed to be a lot easier if you have one. (Full disclosure: Making pom poms is not hard at all, but if you can make it easier on yourself, you should.)

The other night, I decided to try to make my first pom pom.

Admittedly, the instructions weren't great. But there was a YouTube video that showed not my exact pom pom maker, but one pretty close.

As I was watching it, I was thinking this is one of the most soothing videos I’ve ever listened to/watched. Haha.

When I was struggling to free my pom pom, I worried I would ruin it. (And maybe you’re thinking what kind of person gets worried about ruining a pom pom? This girl right here. That’s who.)

After I freed it and trimmed it up (I think this is where practice helps), I had a medium-sized purple pom pom. It’s not the worst pom pom ever. Nor is it the best pom pom ever.

But I had tried something new, and I had this pom pom to show for it.

The not-the-worst-or-the-best pom pom.

The not-the-worst-or-the-best pom pom.

What a tiny thing.

But then not-so tiny either. I had done more and worried less.

So what tiny or not-so tiny thing have you been afraid to try? Why not just try it? Who cares if you fail? You can always try again. Or try something new.

I promise you that worrying less and doing more feels a heck of a lot better than doing nothing.

Does Your Grandma Like Rock and Roll? Well then, We’ve Got Your Saturday Planned!

Flashlight Vinyl Market, Upcycling, What to do on Labor DayPamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

I’m going to keep this week’s post short and sweet, or maybe short and a little punk rock. 

So did you hear? This Sat. Sept. 2nd, the Vintage Modern shop is offering its unique brand of vintage furniture, home décor and accessories at Flashlight Vinyl in NE Minneapolis from 10 am – 3 pm.

The Rock 'n' Roll Farmers Market will feature a mix of live music and DJs, makers, vintage sellers, food vendors/farmers and interactive activities from Flashlight Vinyl.

The Minneapolis Craft Market, who is organizing the event, stated, “This ain’t your grandma’s farmers market.” Which of course depends, on the kind of stuff your grandma is into. If she likes rock and roll, I say bring her along.

There is also a rumor burlesque dancers will be performing. I’m not exactly sure how that’s going work, but I'm looking forward to finding out!

For more details, see the event listing here.

Also each day this week on our Facebook and Instagram page, we are featuring vintage and upcycled items that will be available at the market. So if you aren’t following the shop already, head on over to Facebook and like us, or follow us on Instagram (or both, we don’t mind!), and you’ll get a sneak peek of the vintage goodies we’ll be offering this weekend. Like this dresser...

This vintage oak dresser was made by Drexel. I added a coat of light grey and charcoal chalk paint, kept the original brass knobs added new square beveled brass-look pulls from Martha Stewart. It will be for sale Saturday at the Rock 'n' Roll Famers Market. 

This vintage oak dresser was made by Drexel. I added a coat of light grey and charcoal chalk paint, kept the original brass knobs added new square beveled brass-look pulls from Martha Stewart. It will be for sale Saturday at the Rock 'n' Roll Famers Market. 

Then mark your calendars, so you can get first crack at all the upcycled furniture and home décor goodness!

Hope to see you Saturday, friends.

Why Shopping Vintage is One Way You Can Make a Difference

How to Make a Difference, Buying Vintage is Green, UpcyclingPamela DeweyComment

Hi friends.

I wrote this post before all the events transpired in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend, but I wanted to briefly address those acts of terror and intolerance.

I was horrified by the hatred and violence that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia over the weekend. Emma Goldman said, "The most violent element in society is ignorance." White supremacists, neo-Nazis and other hate groups are not only completely ignorant, but are also incredibly dangerous. And we cannot let hateful speech and actions like this continue. We must denounce this type of intolerance, and we must be vigilant in our denouncement of it. So to all my friends that are people of color, queer, transgender, Jewish, female, and all other the people these ignorant, violent idiots are rallying against, I stand with you and against this type of hatred. 

The rest of the blog was written as a reaction to the federal climate report that was leaked last week.

***

This year has left many of us feeling helpless. There are so many causes that deserve our attention: police brutality, transgender rights, access to birth control, immigration law and let’s not forget—the environment.

Last week, I was reading about the federal climate change report in The New York Times, and it stated, “The average temperature in the United States has risen rapidly and drastically since 1980, and recent decades have been the warmest of the past 1,500 years.” 

So the world is getting warmer, as climate scientists have warned us for quite some time. And we are not doing enough to address it. There are still many that deny that global warming is caused by the actions of people.

I first learned about global warming in elementary school, and that it is caused by pollution. I never questioned my science teacher or the reading we did in our textbooks. I also tend to trust the 97% of the climate scientists that think global warming trends are likely due to human activities.

When I read things like the climate change report and hear about our country stepping back many environmental protections, I too feel a little helpless.

So what can we do to make a difference? Or more specifically, what can you do to help the environment?

You can shop vintage.

I know, I know. That sounds super self-serving. I own a vintage store. You’re absolutely correct.

But the truth is shopping vintage keeps these items out of landfills.

Remember our Stormy Sky Chic Upcycled Wood Dresser? I found that on a curb. It was in terrible shape. It took A LOT of repair work to fix that dresser. But fix it I did, and then a nice woman and her daughter purchased it for her daughter’s apartment.

But if I had not intervened, it is likely that dresser would have ended up in the garbage dump.

And who could forget our Make It Your Family Farmhouse, Upcycled Trestle Table? My dad built this table from boards removed from his family farmhouse. The house is no longer habitable, but the wood is certainly still usable. My dad pulled as much wood as he could out of his old home. He ended up making three tables, and has a fourth in the works, from all the boards he salvaged.

Obviously, not all vintage furniture or home décor is bound for the dumpster. But the truth is, some of it is.

There are plenty of people that don’t have desire, skills or time to rehab these items. And I get it. My life is incredibly busy too. I certainly don’t have the time to save every dresser on the curb.

But each dresser, pile of boards or old blanket that we rescue is one more step towards a healthier, less wasteful world.

We made these  Cabin Chic Upcycled Plaid Valances  from an old blanket. Green decor can look pretty beautiful, huh?

We made these Cabin Chic Upcycled Plaid Valances from an old blanket. Green decor can look pretty beautiful, huh?

And every time you buy vintage, know you are doing your part in helping care for our planet. It is a small thing, but if we all band together and do a lot of small things, it can make a big difference.

Oh and you may just get an awesome brass planter out of the deal. :)

How to Build a Perfectly, Imperfect Farmhouse Table (Or at Least Some Ideas)

Pamela DeweyComment

Pro-Tip: Hay Barn Building Experience May Prove Helpful

Hi friends.

This week on the blog, I thought I would share something a little different. I interviewed the builder who created our Make It Your Family Farmhouse, Upcycled Trestle Table. And the builder just so happens to be my dad.

What was the first piece of furniture you built? When was that?

I built a bench and a toybox in 4H. I was about 10 or 11 years old at the time.

Did you create the pieces from scratch, or how did you know what to do?

There was a 4H planbook that had pictures, told you the materials you needed, instructions to follow, what lengths to cut boards, etc.

What was the next thing you built?

I helped build the hay barn (on the family farm) when I was 20.

Wow. That sounds intense.

Yeah. I mean I didn’t do it on my own or anything. I helped my pop build it. It took us a couple months.

I know you make drawings beforehand. Tell me a little bit about your design process.  Where do you pull inspiration from?

I pull inspiration mostly out of my head. Some of the drawings skills (to create the table blueprints) I learned in high school, college and at work. (My father is a retired, electrical engineer.)

Tell me about where the wood from this table is from.

The wood is all out of the house. (The house is farmhouse my father grew up in, located in Kansas.) The wood is mostly fir, maybe some pine. It is the wood that was the floor joists, as well as studs out of the wall. I call it structure wood.

What is one of your favorite memories of growing up on the farm?

I loved the freedom. Back then, there wasn’t so much fear of bad things happening to children, like them being kidnapped. We worked a lot, but we also had free time to go fishing, wander around, and just explore. 300 acres is a pretty good area to go exploring in.

How did you come up with the color for the stain?

I used a pre-stain sealer that turned the wood a reddish color. Then I applied ash-colored stain to return the aged look to the wood. Then I sealed the table with several layers of polyurethane.

What is your favorite part of making a table?

Letting the creative juices flow. None of the three tables are exactly like. (This is the third farmhouse table my father has constructed. The other ones he built are in my and my brother’s dining rooms.)

What is one thing you have learned from making these tables?

I like to work with repurposed wood because it doesn’t have to be perfect.

Yeah. I think that is what makes these tables so beautiful. The imperfections make the tables completely unique. 

An Aside To the Readers

The older I become, the more I appreciate imperfection in home design. Let’s be real. Your house is never going to look like the cover of Architectural Digest or even HGTV Magazine most days. You live there, you have kids, you have pets. Dirt gets on the rug. Wine gets spilled. (In my house, far too often.) Dust settles EVERYWHERE.

So rather than worrying about all the ways my house doesn’t look like an magazine cover, I decided to embrace imperfection. Seek out something with a little patina, a little chipped paint, or a few scuff marks. It shows the piece has age and character. And then when I spill wine (or paint) on that old trunk I use for a coffee table, I don’t worry. I am just adding to the charm. And the less things I have to worry about, the better.

A Long-winded Introduction from the Vintage Modern shop

Pamela Dewey

Hi friends.

My name is Pam Dewey, and the Vintage Modern shop is my new online store. I am the owner, the boss, the designer, the shopper, the stylist, the marketer and the copywriter. I think that about covers it?

A little more about me to start. My mother started taking me to antique stores when I was about five or six years old. From the beginning, I loved all the sparkly, costume jewelry antique stores sell. The more bling, the better.

And I loved the old clothing. I love 50s and 60s style clothing, Dior New Look style dresses with nipped waists and the paisleys and the floral prints of the psychedelic era. There was an extended period of time where I wished I was born in 60s, so I could have lived my true life as a flower child. 

As I got a little older, I began to frequent thrift stores. I searched for the clothes to complete my grunge wardrobe along with cute 50s style cardigans.

When I was In college, shopping at thrift stores became more of necessary part of the broke college student existence.

The year after I graduated, I rented my first solo apartment. I was excited about having my own space, but it also meant furnishing an apartment on my own. I was working as a visual manager for a dying department store, so my home design budget was very modest.

And to be honest, I didn't know much about interior design yet. But my mother was determined to help me create a good looking apartment. (My mother is a retired teacher, but she is also an amateur furniture refinisher and all around crafty lady.)

We took my hand-me-down couch, futon and end tables and added an Asian-inspired table lamp, black and red floral, silk pillows (that my mother made), my parent’s old Persian rug (that nicely covered the stain on the carpet), a few pieces of cheap art, a vintage ice bucket (to hold magazines) and a wicker chair from Pier One. The chair was a horrible dark green, but my mother spray painted it a bright, beautiful red.

All of sudden, I had a living room that looked like a grown person with some taste lived there. I was astonished by what a little bit of styling and creativity could do.

Shortly thereafter, the department store decided to close its doors, and I found out I was about to be out of a job. But it just so happened, my best friend had moved to NYC, and one of his roommates was moving out of their Brooklyn apartment.

I had visited NYC once years ago and loved it then. It seemed like fate. So after an exploratory visit for New Year’s Eve, and I decided to take the plunge.

My former employer was owned by the same company as Saks Fifth Avenue, so I tried to work those connections. Unfortunately, I didn’t have much of a visual portfolio, so the first interview at Saks didn’t go great. But the HR woman did compliment me on my outfit, so it didn’t go terribly either.

In the meantime, I got a sales associate job at H&M. I wanted to work my way up to a visual position, but then I received another call from Saks. I was in.

I worked at Saks Fifth Avenue the rest of my time in NYC. I started as a visual merchandiser and was promoted to a stylist position. Along the way, I learned.

I learned about couture and the fashion industry. I met some fashion designers. I attended a runway show during Fashion Week.

I also learned how to use a hand sander, how to use a staple gun, how to assemble a chandelier and lost all my fear of ladders.

I learned how to create a statement wall with some peacock feathers and a staple gun, to build a chandelier out of Frisbees, to design a snowman out of denim and styrofoam, to create fabric flowers from muslin and liquid starch and how to gold leaf an entire mannequin platform. I also met some crazy talented, wonderful people who shared their knowledge with me.

It was wonderful. It was exhausting. I got burnt out. On the job and on the city.

So I moved to Minneapolis, at the end of 2008. The recession was just taking hold, and I started temping in an accounting office. I eventually was hired on. And then I stayed and stayed.

After I moved to Minnesota, I also started refinishing furniture, basically sanding and painting vintage furniture to give it new life. I started with an abandoned dresser at my old apartment. I spray painted it silver and added new hardware. It looked brand new.

The next piece I refinished was a vintage buffet I inherited from my grandparents. Sometime in the 60s, my grandma painted it the at-the-time popular avocado green. I painted over the unsightly avocado with  black paint. The beautiful lines of the buffet were accentuated with the new, moody dark paint. 

After working inaccounting for awhile, I decided it was time to make a change in my life. I enrolled in a Strategic Communication Master’s program, so I could seek out a new career path, something with some writing involved. Along with fashion and design, writing is my longtime passion.

While completing my degree, I took classes like copywriting, social media communication, advertising and content strategy for web communication. Last spring, I enrolled in my Capstone Class. A capstone is essentially a thesis project people that must be completed to graduate.

On my former blog, I wrote about the “(wo)man in the mirror” moment I had as I was contemplating my Capstone project. You can read that here. It was essentially the moment I ditched my original project idea and decided to write a business plan. A business plan for this business, the Vintage Modern shop.

The Vintage Modern shop provides a way for me to combine all my passions into one project. I get to frequent thrift stores to shop for vintage items that need to be refinished, reimagined or just need to find the right home. Then I get to work on these refinishing projects, write the product copy, market these items online and then blog about the process here.

Here are the last two sentences from my Capstone project.

“Though I know there will be bumps along the way, I will get to funnel my skills of writing copy, social media promotion, and strategic planning into an online store where I sell furniture and art my friends and I have created. It is kind of the dream.”

And I get to be my own boss. So that is how this whole shop came to be. 

I apologize for this longread. Future blog posts will be much shorter.

Going forward, the blog will focus on the refinishing process, as well as things I am learning while running the business.

But today, I wanted to say an incredibly long-winded hello.

Heeeelllllllloooooo.

For fun, I wanted to share a before and after of one of the pieces for sale on the website. I think it turned out pretty great, right?