Team Ledbury is a segment on our blog where we highlight the ranging interests and quirks of the members of our staff. The first is Diana from our customer fulfillment team, who has been with us for nearly a year, but will soon be leaving to dedicate more time to her business, Era Vintage. Era vintage is a carefully curated collection of vintage furniture and home accessories which currently retails online and, for a few more months, at a pop-up store here in Richmond located at Modern Artifacts in Carytown. After work, we visited Diana at the Era Vintage pop-up to find out more about her business and what’s to come in the future.
How long have you been doing Era Vintage?
Officially April 1, 2012 was my business license date but I started collecting pieces for Era Vintage as far as six months prior to the launch. While I was still in college, I would visit Richmond and shop at a vintage store that is now closed but I would always say, ‘Maybe one day I would like to own a store of my own.’
What draws you to vintage furniture?
I’ve always been drawn to vintage styles of apparel, home furnishings, and cars. I’ve been teased about being born in the wrong decade but I think it makes it better that it is old and has a history. I love some contemporary design but it is more of the idea that something has been connected to a person and already has a history rather than just being new.
What do you look for when you are on the search for new inventory for Era Vintage?
I try to hit furniture first, then I move onto lamps, dishes, and then I delve into accessories. I know what I like and what looks right to me. For instance, I have a Russel Wright dresser and hutch here on consignment and this particular design has an interesting niche following. If I found something like this while I was out I would probably buy it but I’m not as specific on brands, manufactures, or originals and I think this sets me a part in a totally neutral way. If it is old, I’m into it. For now I can’t afford a lot of designer pieces but this is a huge reason why I wanted to start selling; to make it affordable for people to have vintage and mid-century pieces. You can afford to get an entire bedroom or living room for the cost of one designer piece that may be out of reach for some people. Some of my prices are more, but I try to keep them lower to make the shop accessible for most.
Your shop includes many different eras of design, but which is your favorite?
Through the art history classes I took, I started learning about architecture and this turned into learning more about furniture design; the early ‘50’s is what I love the most. Due to changes in technology, everything in design was beginning to progress beginning with architecture and furniture, as well as cars. Such a quick transition between styles is so inspiring, seeing certain things really take off and others that did not.
Your pop-up shop at Modern Artifacts seems to be going extremely well. Do you have plans to open a brick and mortar location in the future?
I plan on opening the storefront in Church Hill [a historic Richmond neighborhood] within the next six months, but hopefully much sooner than that. I received an East End Development grant for $10,000 and part of the constraint was that you have to open a business somewhere within the Church Hill zip code. I’m lucky to be able to build and grow a small business much quicker than I expected without such a huge financial burden.
Lastly, what is your favorite Ledbury shirt?
We are sad that this is Diana’s last week at Ledbury, but we wish her the best of luck and will be stopping by her new space when it opens later this year. For more information of Era Vintage, visit their online store or stop by her pop-up shop at Modern Artifacts if you find yourself in Richmond in the coming months.