by Susan Custis, Vintage Fusion
‘Tis the season for decking the halls and readying for the new year. ‘Tis the season…for spending time with family and friends…for cooking and feasting…for searching for the perfect gifts. And that means, ‘tis the season for shopping for all things vintage! When we shop vintage, we support our small businesses, buy things that have proven to be lasting, and find the ultimate in a unique, thoughtful gift. All of the Vintage Finds Magazine purveyors of vintage have gone all out to offer the most unique in vintage décor to get your home ready for the holidays, as well as many other treasures, large and small, that are sure to please everyone on your holiday gift list. So, we empty the faithful woodie, add a wreath to the front hood ornament in tribute to the season, and hit the road once again in search of the best in vintage.
What can you expect to find when you shop ‘vintage’? Once was if you heard folks deep in conversation about the best vintage they’d be talking about bottles of wine. Wines that carry a vintage year were produced from grapes from a single year, hence ‘single vintage’.
Now days, folks deep in conversation about great vintage might also be talking about the increasingly popular trends in home décor where ‘vintage’ can refer to either the time in which a piece of furniture or other decorating item was manufactured or the ever popular Vintage style of decorating. In the latter case, items thought of as vintage are recognizable and of enduring interest, attractive in design, and of good quality. The popularity of vintage extends far beyond home décor to include jewelry, fashion, and collectibles.
When the term ‘vintage’ is used to reference a period of time, an item is generally considered vintage if it is older than 20 years, but not older than 100 years at which point it is considered an antique. The rise in popularity of decorating with vintage pieces or in the vintage style blends a nostalgia for the past with the affordability and trends to reuse, repurpose, and recycle pre-owned furniture and household items. There’s nothing more fun than the ‘wow’ moment of a flea market find that might set the tone or guide the design for an entire room.
Vintage, when referred to as a style of decorating, is generally attributed to using the designs of the 1940s and 1950s, whether in reference to original pieces or to items that are newly manufactured but created to look like they hail from that period. Certain decorating styles, such as Rustic, Farmhouse, Country, and ‘Shabby Chic’ often blur with Vintage decorating with the addition of older pieces of the same style, or newer pieces deliberately designed to look old, incorporated into room design and décor. However, vintage home accents, jewelry, and clothing are also in high demand. And, with Christmas as a holiday filled with memories and traditions, shopping for unique vintage holiday items can be especially exciting when you discover that unexpected, yet perfect, addition to your holiday ornament, tabletop, linens, and other Christmas themed collections.
For this edition, we visited shops in Hillsborough County. We start in Valrico at Gather & Seek Vintique, located at 2609 SR 60 East. Here there is over 3,500 square feet of shopping delight showcasing the wares of 11 vendors. Many are local artists whose talents range from woodworking to sewing in a variety of styles from farmhouse to country to primitives, and more. Part ‘vintique’ and part ‘boutique’, at Gather & Seek we also found a great selection of specially curated gift items, including new jewelry, soaps, potpourri, cards, and so much more, and they can gift wrap that special item, too. Follow them on Facebook and Instagram to find their special classes and events, including a pop-up market held outside on the second Saturday of every month, from 9 to 4, where you’ll find still more unique offerings from local vendors. If that’s not enough, they also paint furniture, hold fundraisers to support the local community. They also make ‘loaded teas’ and protein drinks to go. Although their address is on SR 60, they are just off the highway. Look for them on the east side of Steak & Shake. While they are a bit hard to find, it’s worth the search. Once you find Gather & Seek, ‘come in and take a peek’.
While in Valrico, you don’t want to miss Ragamuffin Outpost, located at 1040 Bloomingdale Avenue. This charming shop started from the owner’s love of paint and painting. She said, at first, she’d ‘slap a little paint’ here and there on treasures in her own home, but soon found friends and others loved how her works of art turned out. Soon they became a premier Dixie Belle retailer. What makes them different is that they will provide one-on-one advice to guide you through your project. You can buy paint for your DIY project, or commission them to do it for you. They also offer small classes once or twice a month. At Ragamuffin Outpost, they take pride in supporting local artists and family businesses, noting that every product they sell supports ‘something’, a family business, or a charity. In addition to painting furniture, they also paint signs. They also carry a large array of boutique, home décor, and craft items, including candles, soaps, towels, tumblers, coasters, and books to name a few things. At Ragamuffin Outpost, they take pride in knowing their customers and creating a family environment.
On we go to the Rustic Door Décor & More, located at 788 W. Lumsden Road in Brandon (with another location at 367 Lynx Paw Trail in Valrico). Here we found a really cute decor shop with a country and farmhouse flair. The merchandise is beautiful, and the prices are great. They also host community events and neighborhood markets. This shop is filled with TONS of wonderful finds! You’ll find custom furniture that’s beautiful and exceptionally well made. More than half of the store merchandise is handmade items of what is trending as well as vintage, unique items. Both locations offer Wise Owl Paint and the Brandon location is an Elite Dixie Belle Retailer. Follow them on Facebook and check out their ad in VFM.
Once again, our trek down the vintage road has been a huge shopping success. We made our list, checked it twice, and found everything on it and more! With the woodie overflowing with our ‘wow’ treasures, we head home for the holidays to get ready for the holiday merriment and cheer. To the readers of Vintage Finds Magazine and those who follow us on the vintage road, we wish you the Merriest Christmas ever and blessings for a safe, healthy, and prosperous 2022!!!!
Hit the Vintage Road - Thank you to our roving reporter, Susan Custis for hitting the road and sharing these fabulous shops. Be sure to stop by Susan’s shop Vintage Fusion, located at 7720 N. Wickham Rd., #107 Suntree, Fl. Boardwalk at Suntree Plaza, between Cotton Candy Kids Hair Salon and Dynasty Nails. Look for the purple bench! Stay tuned for our next issue to see where THE VINTAGE ROAD leads us!
Hi I'm Kathy, owner of Vintage Finds Magazine. I hope you enjoy these vintage shops and markets.