Meet the Dealer: ReVamped Vintage by Sophie’s Cottage

stars-antiques-pdx-vintage-stars-dealer-aj-sophies-cottageToday we’re talking with AJ, the Stars Antiques dealer behind ReVamped Vintage by Sophie’s Cottage–Stars dealer space #2. AJ does a beautiful job with vintage and collected items to create one of a kind treasures and she makes wonderful things for your home from upcycled materials. Come down to the shop to see!

Here is a fun Q&A we had with AJ:

How did you get into vintage?
For me, necessity truly was mother of invention. I guess, because of my background, when it came to vintage shopping I was always more intrigued by the old and ugly stuff that no one else wanted. I get a true sense of accomplishment from taking something that was on its way to the dump and fixing it up into something that will have many more years of love and use.

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Living in big apartment complexes, someone was constantly moving in or out and, inevitably, old pieces of furniture would be put next to the dumpster. I think the first thing I ever dragged home was an old baby bassinet with the legs broken off. I spray painted it brown and used to display all my houseplants. A few years later, when I was pregnant and very poor, I fixed it up for my son to actually sleep in. I painted it white and got a big ol’ vegetable crate from the grocery store to use as a base. Then I sewed up a pretty turquoise gingham check skirt and bumper pad. It was ADORABLE! After a new pad, sheets and blankets—we were set.

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How long have you been a dealer? Do you work with anyone?
I first met the Stars folks back in 1999 when a group of primitive crafting friends talked me into doing the Magic of Christmas show. I had worked with a LOT of different store owners during my crafting years and I can sincerely say that the folks at Stars have always been truly a PLEASURE to work with and for. We had a booth at Stars for a couple of the same years we had our own shop, Sophie’s Cottage, in Hillsboro. Our shop closed and I’ve have been back at Stars for nearly four years now.

I do most of my work alone, but my boyfriend Michael helps me A LOT. He is also a ‘scrounger’ and is always bringing home junk for me to use in my projects. All the wood I use for my sign making is reclaimed wood that he has gathered. He also builds a lot of the furniture pieces from that same wood, then I paint and style it, We really make a very good team!

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What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
Upcycling and revamping—trash to treasure types of projects. I try to keep my prices very reasonable too! Also, I love my signature aqua color in my space.

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What is your dream vintage score?
I would love to have a REAL vintage Santos Cage Doll!

Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
Globes, crowns, skeleton keys, old teddy bears and CRAFT SUPPLIES!

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Any vintage shopping tips?
We live WAAAY out in Gaston, so I seldom just go junking, but I NEVER go anywhere without also making a few junking side trips. Try to incorporate your vintage hunting into your everyday life and schedule!

My best piece of advice to those who ask how I manage to find so much cool stuff is that you have to get out and look OFTEN! Also, I share quite a few vintage shopping tips as well as how to’s in my Trash2Treasure blog.

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How do you like to unwind?
Sleep! Ideas pop into my head even while I am sleeping! Before my spine injury, I used to love to go on day hikes. Oregon is such a beautiful state with so much to explore!

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What are some of your favorites place to eat, visit or shop in Portland?
I really don’t get into the city much except to stock my booth at Stars! I’m pretty much a ‘country girl’ these days. Before my spine surgery, I worked in the restaurant business in the Portland area for 27 years, so I really enjoy a good home cooked meal with friends more than eating out these days.

As for shopping: Stars, The Habitat ReStores, the ReBuilding Center, ANY thrift store . . .

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What is your idea of the perfect summer day?
I hate to sound like an ‘all work and no play’ kind of person, but I really kind of AM since surgery left me with a permanently damaged spine and by the time I finish doing what I HAVE to do, I’m usually too worn out to have ‘fun’. My fun IS the revamping work I do! And a dry summer day is PERFECT painting weather!

Stop by Stars to see dealer #2, ReVamped Vintage by Sophie’s Cottage!

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