As all avid collectors know, the objects we choose to keep in our homes can influence the energy we bring to our daily activities. The smooth heft of a vintage
Stocked with antique and vintage finds that span 1880 through 1980—including everything from elegant-yet-functional
Read on to discover Mara’s approach to curating a peaceful and personable living space—then
What’s the meaning behind your shop’s name?
Saving beautiful vintage pieces is everything to me. My shop name,
What’s your approach to decorating using
I believe in slow styling. It may take longer, but I believe it’s worth the effort and intention. The pieces I personally collect are reminders of moments in time, whether hand-me-downs, vintage, new, or handmade. I love to layer pieces against a neutral backdrop of simple furniture and muted colors because that helps me create a peaceful, interesting, and individual home.
I’m naturally more of a minimalist, so I often envision my pieces as a centerpiece in a more minimal home, and that’s how I style them: very simply, so that the piece itself is celebrated without distraction. I try to carry that same peaceful, thoughtful experience into my shop’s branding and packaging, too. I hope that when someone visits my shop they feel the intention behind it.
What qualities do you look for in the objects you select for your shop?
I do my best to pick things that are simple, functional, beautiful, and timeless. I look for muted earth tones in a simple palette of browns, beiges, whites, grays, blacks, and the occasional green. My preference is for objects made from materials like
I also love to find things that are handmade and artisan-made, like hand-forged iron and blown glass, where you can see the human touch. Maybe heavy
Where do you find these treasures?
Living in Charlottesville there are quite a few antique shops within a 45-minute drive, and I’m usually gifted with a beautiful drive through the mountains and countryside to get to them. It’s a very peaceful experience. I love that my business supports small local shops, which are often run by women. So, when someone buys something from my Etsy shop, they’re supporting my small business, which is run by a Latinx woman (me!), and the small businesses that my shop supports. It’s a beautiful cycle.
How does local history influence your collection?
My collection has grown to be true to where I live in Charlottesville, which is an older part of the US’s east coast. When I started antiquing here, I kept finding these
What trends have you noticed in your shop?
I try to be aware of trends but not let them drive me. I’m not trying to sell throw-away pieces, but hopefully something more meaningful that will last many generations. I do follow the trends of my own shop, and if I have a hard time keeping something in stock—like antique stoneware
Have you ever fallen in love with a piece you intended to sell?
Oh, of course, all the time! I’m very strict about buying only pieces I love and would put in my own home. There’s a
Any tips for caring for antiques?
I personally don’t recommend polishing. When I find a piece I usually don’t do more than give it a good bath. If it’s a candlestick with old wax, I’ll boil water and remove the wax. I don’t like to mess with the pieces too much. The natural patina, for me, is part of their charm and story. So, just dust them off and love them well!
What do you enjoy about running your own business?
This sounds really cheesy, but I can’t help but feel a connection with the people that buy from my shop. It brings me so much pleasure when a piece that I found in my small Virginia town finds a new home in a different part of the world. I feel connected to each person who buys an item from my shop. We both love this piece and share that personal connection. It’s meaningful and it fills me with gratitude.
Photography courtesy of Otherwise Shoppe.