…building a business: reproductions

There are so many wonderful, vintage-y shops popping up every where you turn these days. It’s wonderful to have them in the mix of the Pottery Barns and Lululemons. I was just at the mall and I saw a pop up shop with painted pieces and accessories. Then I walked through Nordstroms and many of their items in the home section were the same look. Hmmmm. As much as I love having this look available in the real world (and not out at a flear market), there was something that felt a bit phoney, if I’m being honest.

The pop up shop has bright blue nightstands at great prices, signs on what looked like reclaimed wood and mason jars in various colors. But, none of it was old.

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I think there is something super special about it being authentically OLD. Isn’t that the chase, the find, the score when antiquing? To find something that lived a life before being sold into a different generation?

I like to consider the antiques that I’ve purchased and think about who owned them before me? Did someone read all these vintage, colored books? Did someone use these old wood barbells? What about my Wolfe dress form?

The treasure is in the age of the piece, I think.

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Reproductions are just fine and I have plenty of them scattered throughout my house. They fill a purpose; a look. When I walk into a shop I immediately walk through the new-stuff-meant-to-look-old to the back, filthy corner where they sell the dirty ladders and shutters and gems.

I’ve talked to many of you that are selling in shops or have your own shops. How wonderful! I would encourage you to continue to search for the gold to sell. I am disappointed when I walk into a shop and only see manufactured pieces. I feel let down. It all ends up looking the same to me and my eyes glaze over. There is a specialness in selling what is rare.

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Comments

  1. I feel the same way! Love finding new little shops to explore, only to be disappointed when half the things in it are clearly from a wholesaler. Even the big vintage stores with multiple vendors do that. Vendors tell me that is how they make the sales. So I leave them to it and go back to the hunt at little mom and pop shops, old dusty antique stores and funky thrift stores. Just bought an old wire basket similar to yours to hang on the wall for the bathroom to store rolled up towels!

  2. Excellent post Christen. I so agree with everything you said. For those of us who cherish the past and enjoy the pieces that are so special and unique…and to fill our homes with “Repurposed Gems”…..that is the whole point. I like to think that I am doing a small part in this world to recycle and repurpose. I am sure the new “old” has its place…and its customer base, but for me….I will continue my search for the true “old.” There is nothing better than solid wood pieces and dovetailed drawers! Those pieces have stood the test of time.

    Laura

  3. That is beautiful said! I agree 100% and will always choose to use the old in my home as well as sell. There is something special about knowing a piece has a history; like you are a part of a bigger picture and story. Thanks for sharing and for expressing so well what is continually in my thoughts as well!

  4. Well said. I think back to Saturday when I was way up in a backroads town, in a crumbling shed, digging for treasures…. found two old doors, and had to ignore the signs of a rat living between them….. When I clean these up and bring them into our shop I can offer them as truly old. And please don’t question me on the price…. you didn’t step on the remains of the rat, as I did. (Good thing it was a hundred years old…)

  5. I couldn’t agree with you more! The worst part of going into a vintage or antique store and seeing the reproductions in the mix is NOT BEING APPROPRIATELY LABELED AS REPROS. That is just not fair to someone new to antiquing, and is misleading on the part of the vendor. {off my soapbox now}.

  6. I think they look very fake and if it looks fake in the store it will look fake in your home. Should be labeled as fake…

  7. oh I’m so with you. I can also feel my eyes glazing over!

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