Today we’re talking with Doug Nakanishi, one of the dealers behind Splendid space #52. He and his wife, Connie, are the duo who run Vintage Rust–one of the Stars Antiques family’s newer spaces. They do a wonderful job finding industrial pieces, signage, salvage, vintage souvenirs, furniture and a lot more. Come down to the shop and check them out!
Here is a fun Q&A we had with Doug:
How did you get into vintage?
I was born and raised in Chicago and I was always into collecting vintage things when I was growing up. At a very young age I collected stickers, beer cans and as I grew up I collected vintage clothing, used albums and even worked for a used book store that sold antiques, too.
How long have you been a dealer? Do you work alone?
In the 1980s, I was a picker in Chicago. I went to the University of Iowa and I used to go to farm auctions before Ebay. I would bring treasures back and sell them to collectors, dealers, photographers, and designers. I was a professional photographer in Chicago and I used junking to supplement my income. In the 1990s I took a corporate job, but I realized that I didn’t enjoy the corporate path, so I returned to my true love with was hunting for treasures. I have been a picker my whole life!
What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
My specialty is reclaimed treasures from the past. Therefore, the company name is Vintage Rust. I enjoy industrial, farm primitive, and americana past treasures. American history such as the machinist era, and pieces that bring back America’s past is what I love.
What is your dream vintage score?
My dream vintage scores are pieces with stories from where they came from. For example, a “game of chance wheel” that came from a old carnival or a industrial piece that came from an old garage in Chicago, etc. Treasures with stories.
Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
I am not a collector. I know that’s rare in this business, but I try not to get attached to physical objects. I enjoy them for a while and then I sell them.
Any vintage shopping tips?
My vintage shopping tip is only buy what you love! Never buy things because you think you can make a buck.
How do you like to unwind?
I unwind with my wife and 2 Golden Retriever dogs. Fly fishing, traveling on the road for stuff and eating at great places.
What are some of your favorites place to eat, visit or shop in Portland?
I love Portland. I have so many favorite places to eat. I am a foodie at heart. I love Toro Bravo, Screen Door, Pok Pok and Podnah’s Pit. My favorite place to shop is Stars & Spendid and Monticello antiques malls.
What is your perfect winter day?
My perfect winter day is fly fishing with my wife in one of Oregon’s rivers for Winter Steelhead and then, if the fish aren’t biting, finding some farmer who has stuff to sell!
Thanks, Doug & Connie!
Stop by Splendid to see dealer #52, VINTAGE RUST!