Meet the Dealer: Deb Zsori

Today we are talking with one of our newest dealers at Stars, Deb Zsori! Deb is Stars Antiques dealer #53 at Stars and it is truly a visual treat to see how she merchandises her wonderful vintage wares. Very inspiring! You can find Deb on Instagram and follow some of her fun shopping adventures–she’s a true vintage lover. Stop by and peruse her booth!

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

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How did you get into vintage?
I’ve been obsessed with vintage since i was a teenager, scouring thrift stores for fun vintage clothing to wear. I’ve been shopping and collecting vintage ever since. I love clothing, linens, pottery, artwork, books and whatever else catches my eye! My taste has evolved over the years, but my passion for hunting for great old things has never waned. I am constantly on the hunt for “new to me” treasures! I love shopping in all types of environments for vintage: thrift stores, yard sales, estate sales, flea markets and antique collectives. I also make a yearly shopping pilgrimage to Brimfield, MA with my sister, Pam.

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How long have you been a dealer? Do you work alone?
I have been selling vintage seriously for about a year now but, again, I’ve been collecting treasures ever since my high school days. I work alone, but I’ve found that the customers and vendors around me at shows, fleas and collectives are such a support and form a great feeling of community. I feel very fortunate to be a part of this great community!

What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
It’s hard to say what my specialty is–I’m drawn to such a wide range of eras, styles and categories–my taste can be very eclectic. I love unusual homegrown studio pottery pieces, but also the white, green and aqua pottery from the 40s and 50s. I love all types of artwork from oil paintings, line drawings and sculpture. I love unusual books (40s-50s children’s books, vocational/industrial books from the 20s to 40s–engineering, carpentry, dictionaries, atlases, textbooks). Other things I gravitate towards are linens, silver, trophies, old schoolhouse paraphernalia (chalkboards, chairs, textbooks), some midcentury and some industrial. For me, it’s more about how things work together in color, texture, form or theme. Since I’m drawn to such a wide variety of styles, I work hard to merchandise the items with unifying elements of color, collections of items, themes, etc.

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Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
My home collections (or hoarding!) reflects what I sell at Stars–pottery, unusual books, silver and vintage artwork. My favorites are my vintage oil portrait paintings of ladies from the 20s to the 60s.

Any vintage shopping tips?
Shop high, shop low, shop everywhere! You never know what you’ll find and where. And really trust your gut–if you find something that you just love, buy it. Even though it may not work with what you normally buy or collect, you will find a special place for it in your home.

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How do you like to unwind?
Sharing a delicious meal out and a cocktail with family or friends OR vintage shopping. I could shop 25 hours a day!

What are some of your favorite places to eat, visit and shop (vintage or not!) in Portland?
EAT: Grain & Gristle, Por Que No?, Miho–these places all have the perfect combo of delicious small plates and variety. Plus, tasty cocktails and great prices.

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VISIT: I love the farmers markets. Sauvie Island for concerts during the summer. The Multnomah Falls and the Portland Art Museum.

SHOP: Rich’s for magazines. Uwajimaya in Beaverton for fave Asian foods and Japanese magazines. Ink & Peat for candles, lotions, potions, textiles (full disclosure-it is my sister’s store, but it would still be one of my favorites, even if we weren’t related!!). Palmer Antiques show at Expo–my favorite is the July show with the outdoor vendors, too! Anthropologie for inspiration. Lowell always has such interesting, unusual pieces and they do a great job with display. Beam & Anchor is a great space and great mix of product and display. And, of course, I’ve been shopping at Stars for years and there’s such a great variety of vendors and merchandise.

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What is your idea of the perfect fall day?
Digging through the pumpkin patches of Sauvie Island to find the perfectly imperfect pumpkin or multiple pumpkins… you can never choose just one! OR vintage shopping!!!

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Meet the Dealer: Kathleen Ernst

Today we are talking with wonderful Stars Antiques dealer #89 at Splendid, Kathleen Ernst. Kathleen has nearly 30 years experience with antiques and is well-known for the gorgeous 100 years plus old salvaged stained glass windows that she hauls to Portland from the United Kingdom. Make sure to stop by her space to find yourself some unique pieces for your nest!

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

How did you get into antiques?
I got into the business by accident, literally. My son had a tractor accident when he was young. I had been working in the art department at a liberal arts college at the time and resigned because the accident was so serious. God watched over my son and after a year in a wheel chair he was walking once again. I took a deep, thankful breath for my son’s recovery and fighting spirit. I naturally fell into the antique business allowing me to stay home and became an antiques dealer as antiques had always interested me. Owning my own business gave me the luxury of setting my own hours and being home for the kids when they were younger. I started traveling overseas for business once they’d grown.

My mentors were my eldest sister Linda who has been a dealer for years and my first business partner, Jonelle. Jonelle invited me on a buying trip in the mid-1990s to England as her assistant and took me under her wing to learn the business of importing. Quickly she realized I was a good buyer, committed to the business and asked me to become her business partner. We opened a 3 story shop together that lasted nearly 10 years. We’d fill 40 foot marine containers 3 to 4 times a year with older vintage and antique furniture and architectural elements. Priorities and situations have changed and I only need to maintain the one space I’ve now at Splendid.

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How long have you been a dealer? Do you work alone?
Way too long, 30 + years–but that’s a good thing! With age comes experience, they say? I do work alone most the time, but am not afraid to ask for help if needed. I have one of my best friends from Richland, WA that helps me occasionally. The seasoned dealers seem to make themselves available, helping out when they “see we need help” at the antique malls–watching out for one another. I’ve been selling furniture and heavy architectural elements for a long long time with some wear and tear on the bones, but so far holding my own. I’m still loving the business and the hunt. Hard work, but very rewarding!

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What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
I L-O-V-E seeking out the antique salvaged items that a homeowner or contractor can incorporate into their homes or homes away from homes, that’ll last another 100 years. I enjoy looking for late 19th century to art deco era pieces, especially today when the older pieces are getting more difficult to come by. That pushes my buttons to become more “diligent” in my buying true antiques or older vintage elements. I love antique stained glass windows and larger transom windows–they are my speciality. I’m one of the larger retailers in the NW selling these salvaged elements of the past. England has a program to replace the 100 year old windows with new painted stain glass or plain double paned windows, so some of the frames are rotten and I either have the frames replaced overseas before shipping or I make the frames myself. I also offer a custom service of changing the size of the old windows or combining windows purchased by customers to be installed into their house with precision.

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What is your dream vintage score?
I guess some of the century old pub signs that used to hang on the outside of pubs throughout England as you would see today–a huge strawberry, a huge copper ball for a lawyers office and spectacles for a eye doctor stands out. Also, wonderful old crowned chimney pots that came off cottages channeling smoke as a chimney would here in the States and iron cottage gates that customers can install in their gardens. Elements not found much nowadays. In hunting for elements of the past I love the smile it brings to our customers. If they’ve smiled and sought you out to say “thank you”, then you know you’ve done your job.

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Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
My collections consist of a few pieces of French furniture and unique items that tugged at my heart which are in a few oversized, open cabinets scattered throughout my cottage. I never collect one of anything. I do confess in coveting the garden antiques though. I kept one 19th century crown chimney pot, a few finials and roofing elements for my garden and a hand-carved early 19th century stone corbel off a building near Bath that was salvaged by a company that supports SALVO. This is a organization that makes certain that elements are legally salvaged and I like buying from dealers who belong to this group.

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Any vintage shopping tips?
Shop and sell frugally. If you’re in the business, you’ll stay in business for a long time buying frugally. There is a time and place to haggle over the price. Don’t panic buy, but don’t pause too long or the item may very well go home with someone else. If you’re a customer, buy what tugs at your heart and what will fit in your home.

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How do you like to unwind?
With close friends and family who seem to make certain I stay out of trouble by going on hikes, renting beach houses, camping and sleepovers. I love to work on my historic house and in the garden. I love traveling! I have been blessed with the opportunity to travel and I love to share the travel fun with family and friends. Life is short–I’ve always jumped at opportunities that incorporate traveling if possible.

What are some of your favorites place to eat, visit or shop in Portland?
I believe its called Ruth’s Chris–it’s a steak house that my son and daughter-in-law took me to recently. Yum! My pocket book takes me to places like Pot Stickers or I love McMennamin’s.

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Meet the Dealer: Liz Davis

Today we’re talking with Liz Davis, the Stars and Splendid Antiques dealer behind behind case #32. Liz loves things that are, “Weird and whimsical, but useful.” Come down to the shop to see!

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

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How did you get into vintage?
I am an eclectic. My pieces come from family, fairs and foreign travel.

How long have you been a dealer?
I have been with stars for three years, but my work work is estate sales which I have conducted for 25 years.

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What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
Weird, whimsical but useful. Objects have to perform a function, although I make a few exceptions!

What is your dream vintage score?
Of course an undiscovered Rembrandt, but in the real world I love big American pottery vases–McCoy and Bauer. The colors are fabulous and they hold water–they have FUNCTION!

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Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
Brass hose nozzles. My grandfather invented them but failed to secure a patent. I have the original with his company name.

Any vintage shopping tips?
Do not pass on anything! Garage sales, thrift stores, your neighbor’s basement, etc. You will never know unless you look!

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How do you like to unwind?
A cool cocktail, a great glass of wine and fantastic food.

What are some of your favorites place to eat, visit or shop in Portland?
Enzo’s Caffe, OX and Cedo’s Falafel and Gyros (all in NE). Enzo is super original Italian. OX’s clam chowder with bone marrow is over the moon. Cedo’s makes the best gyros I have ever had. I live in the Pearl, so I have become spoiled when it comes to restaurants. Via Delizia on 11th and Marshall–right outside our front door–has an excellent happy hour with caesar salad, pasta and a glass (or two) of wine you’ll have it made. Plus, the portions are big enough for two! Love Indian food? Try the Bombay Cricket Club on SE Hawthorne. Portland is a food lover’s mecca. We used to think we had to go to San Francisco or Seattle for the best food, but it is all here right under our noses.

What is your perfect day?
I would plant myself by any body of water–lake, stream or ocean and feast on crusty Italian bread, cheese, cured meats,fruit,cookies and wine.

Stop by Splendid to see dealer #58 in Splendid case #32, Liz Davis!

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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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Meet the Dealer: Vintage Rust at Splendid!

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!

Meet the Dealer: Jim from Stars!

Today we’re visiting with a newer member of the Stars Antiques family, Jim Kubess. Jim is known as The Sherwood Pedlar and is dealer #62 at the Stars shop. His space is a mecca for vintage advertising! If you’re looking for old signs, salvaged gas station signs and fixtures, colorful oil cans, cool Coca Cola loot, vintage soda glasses–this space will blow your mind! Come down to the shop and check it out. Here is a fun Q&A with Jim:

How did you get into vintage?
When the farm properties began disappearing in Sherwood, I started picking the things left behind by the farmers.

How long have you been a dealer?
I’m in my first year as a Dealer, I’ve been a Collector since 98′.

What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
Advertising and farm items.

What is your dream vintage score?
To find the unopened box of Coca-Cola buttons in some warehouse.

Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
God bless my wife, she has allowed me to decorate our home in advertising!

Any vintage shopping tips?
Be nice, be fair and good deals will come.

How do you like to unwind?
A cold beer in the warm sun. Too bad we only get 90 of those kind of days a year!

What is your perfect summer day?
82 degrees sitting on the boat on the river.

Meet the Dealer: Michelle from Splendid!

Hello! Today we’re excited to catch up with one of our wonderful newer Stars & Splendid dealers, Michelle Kunigisky of Michelle Kunigisky Designs and Busy Bee Quilt Designs. Stop by her space–she’s Splendid dealer #3.

Meet Michelle–here’s a fun interview for you and some photos of her space!

How did you get into vintage?
I became fascinated with vintage items as a kid visiting my grandparents in central Pennsylvania. We went to auctions with our lawn chairs and bought lunch from the Mennonite ladies who sold fresh baked goods from their table as the auctioneer emptied a house of its contents, one box or item at a time. I loved the thrill of it all and each treasure I collected was a memory of the fun day spent with my grandma and grandpa!

How long have you been a dealer? Do you work alone?
I have been a dealer for about 18 years. I like to work with my friend Rich or my mom, Birdie. We are good at knowing what each other likes and we tend to move at the same pace. Working with them makes everything more fun.

What would you say your specialty as a dealer is?
I love vintage linens and dishes. I would say those three are my specialties but then, I love a lot of categories.

What is your dream vintage score?
Italian Ex Votos, which are ornate heart shaped, silver offerings, are an ultimate score for my personal collection. I found a close second recently when I came upon a detailed metal statue of Mary on a wooden pedestal from a monastery in Switzerland. It is a treasure that makes me happy every time I see it!

Any vintage shopping tips?
When shopping for vintage items, never pass on something you truly love. There have been several pieces I walked past only to pine over them for years. Also, it pays to check your favorite shops regularly as you never know what will show up!

Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
I collect cream McCoy pottery, vintage fabric and monogrammed silver for my own home when I find pieces that speak to me.

How do you like to unwind?
Reading is how I usually unwind but hanging out with friends is the very best.

What are some of your favorites place to eat, visit or shop in Portland?
A couple of my favorite places to eat in Portland are Por Que No on SE Hawthorne or Screen Door on E Burnside. Screen Door’s fried chicken and their green tomatoes are the best! Ink & Peat has amazing gifts, jewelery and beautiful floral arrangements–it is a favorite shop where I always find the perfect gift and a lot of inspiration.

What is your idea of a perfect summer day?
My perfect summer day is having a cookout with all of my family at my mom and dad’s house. The food is always delicious and being with the people I love is my idea of perfect.

Meet the Dealer: Orient Express Antiques!

Today we’re spending some time with Michael Burns, Stars & Splendid dealer #44. His business is called Orient Express Antiques and he’s been in the Stars family for nearly 5 years. His specialty is Asian and eclectic antiques and he’s been a dealer for more than 25 years. Stop by and visit his wonderful space and check out some of his current amazing pieces online HERE.

A FUN Q&A WITH MICHAEL FROM ORIENT EXPRESS AT SPLENDID

How did you get into vintage?
Just started collecting miscellaneous stuff of no consequence until I saw a friend’s collection that really hit me and then we started collecting in earnest.

Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
Yes, Asian items mainly, but also eclectic items.

What is your favorite era?
18th & 19th century.

What is your dream vintage score?
Finding the unusual Asian pieces that no one else has.

What is the vintage score that got away?
Well, if you snooze you lose when you see something and it happened to me with a pair of very unusual vases, which I have always regretted not buying at the time.

Any vintage shopping tips?
Be very careful!

What is your favorite place to eat in Portland?
We don’t go out to restaurants much to eat, so it would be hard to say but we do like to eat at the University Club.

What non-vintage shops do you frequent?
We check out a lot of the consignment shops, as you never know what might be there. Although the picking are slim these days.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Since we are retired, anything we want to! We like to garden, entertain and go to movies.

How do you unwind?
Gardening and reading.

Have any fun trips planned?
Yes, several this year: Georgia, San Francisco, Palm Springs and who knows what else.

Do you find inspiration in any movies, TV shows, music, theater, arts, sports, recreation etc?
We enjoy adventure, sci-fi movies and some comedies.

Thanks, Michael!

Meet the Dealer: You’ve Been Pinked!

This week we’re talking to Devanda! She is 1/2 of the best friend duo behind Stars and Splendid space #6, You’ve Been Pinked. I must say their booth looks like a dreamy valentine right now! So many sweet things to bring back to your nest. Devanda and Pam have a lot of fun finding new treasures to bring to the booth. This is their first romp of selling vintage and they’ve been with us for almost two years now (time flies!!). Maybe you will find that special something you have been looking for–they bring in new items on a weekly basis.

A FUN Q&A WITH DEVANDA & PAM FROM STARS AND SPLENDID

What would you say your specialty is?
Furniture from the 20s and 30s. We stock our booth with things that we would have in our own homes. Romantic homes style things.

How did you get into vintage?
We have always loved it and have been collecting forever

Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
Toleware and anything pink (of course!). So many different interests. Hard to list them all!

What is your favorite era?
Pam’s is the 30s—50s and mine is… probably about the same!

What is your dream vintage score?
Oh there are so many…

What is the vintage score that got away?
Can’t really think of any right now. We don’t really worry about the ones that got away—just always on the hunt for more treasures.

Any vintage shopping tips?
Just have to keep at it and have some luck!

What is your favorite place to eat in Portland?
Sayler’s Old Country Kitchen

Do you find inspiration in any movies, TV shows, music, theater, arts, sports, etc?
Love watching old 30s and 40s movies… love the houses, furniture… all of it!

What non-vintage shops do you frequent?
Target and home goods stores.

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Pam loves to read and I love to decorate and read all the decorating magazines.

How do you unwind?
I unwind with my magazines.

Stop by Splendid and see You’ve Been Pinked!

 

Meet the Dealer: Janice from Stars!

Today we’re hearing from a longtime member of the Stars family, Janice Plihal, Stars dealer #60 of Janice’s Primitives and Garden. Janice has been with us for about 9 years and she is one very talented lady! Her custom furniture has a long list of people scrambling for her creations. She is also the resident Queen of Shells–come see her beautiful boxes brightly lit in a special case on the edge of her space. Not surprisingly once you see it, Janice’s work has been featured in numerous shelter magazines: Country Living, Coastal Style, Romantic Country and Traditional Home.

“I love it when my husband, Charles, delivers a large piece of my furniture from Stars to its new home. He gets to see the house and surroundings–and so many times he tells me that it looks as though I’d designed it specifically for their home.”–Janice Plihal, Stars dealer #60

★ A FUN Q&A WITH JANICE FROM STARS ★

How long have you been a dealer?
I started at the old Pay-n-Pac swap meet in the early 90s, moved to Antique Alley in Hollywood, then Monticello and found my home at Stars. LOVE it here, Brent, Darwin and Gayle have been beyond supportive as I started with a wall, then a corner and then two full spaces!

How did you get into vintage?
Vintage probably isn’t the right term for me as much as avid recycler. When I bought my home 20 years ago, I realized the value of shopping estate sales, garage sales, and thrifting to furnish my home. As an artist, I’ve always seen other uses for found objects. My degree is in Design and Textiles, so I think when you work with so much form and function, it becomes second nature to apply those principles to everything around you, ie, gardening, home decorating, and apparel design. I now use the same theories in my wood, stone, and shells. Hence my custom business name, byDesign.

Do you collect some specific things for your own home?
I LOVE stuff. It’s endless. Depression Era pedestal cake plates, ceramic dogs that look like mine, vintage seashell ships teamed with old aquarium castles and bridges, turn-o-century shaving mirrors, architectural elements, weathered wood and metal chairs for my garden, birdbaths and cement statuary, angels, ocean paintings, heart shaped rocks, nativity scenes from 1900-1970, and old hand carved teak furniture from the 1870-1930’s. Team that with my husband’s globes and spheres, chinese checkerboards and marbles, and surfboards and we have quite the eclectic mix. Did I mention the Vintage Glass Ornaments and ShinyBrites have taken over the basement along with over 200 salvaged wood, wavy glass, and leaded glass doors from 1890-1940?? HAHA!

What is your favorite era?
Easily 1870-1930. I think I would have been a fairly good pioneer woman.

What is your dream vintage score?
Either someone’s lifetime shell collection or a weathered piece of 1890 furniture, filled with character and patina and fabulous floral-engraved original hardware.

What is the vintage score that got away?
Probably something wonderful that Darwin marked way down and I was a day late or a dollar short!! 😀 He and Brent have taught me the beauty of collecting what you love.

Any vintage shopping tips?
There’s nothing like a road trip with a camping guide in one hand and an “antiques across America” guide in the other. Love garages, backyards, and basements at sales. When you collect, buy what you love.Then use it, have it out to view, enjoy it. Every season, I rotate displays/vignettes at my own home. For me, it justifies the collection, and makes the investment worthwhile. If it ends up in storage and never sees the light of day, it’s time to gift it to someone else.

What is your favorite place to eat in Portland?
We stay pretty close to home, Ohana Hawaiian Cafe and Du’s Grill both on Sandy Blvd. Love Alameda Brew Pub and Peter’s Bar and Grill both on NE Fremont/Beaumont Hill.

What non-vintage shops do you frequent?
Rebuilding Center, Hippo Hardware, and Salvage Works are my home away from home. My magazines and books are my alternative to “shopping” and where I often find further inspiration. You are making me realize I don’t do much generic retail!

What do you like to do when you aren’t working?
Garden, snorkel in Hawaii in crystal blue water, sit on the porch swing out front and listen to the wind through the tree leaves

How do you unwind?
There is a well known surfer, Rabbit Kekai who is quoted as saying “…once you feel the sand between your toes, you can never leave the beach”. I have so much fun doing what I love, it is a manner of unwinding and I know how blessed I am. I feel like I’m in my sandbox all day long. I LOVE evening walks with my mom through the neighborhood, she continues to teach me the beauty of simplicity, and the importance of seeing everything fresh each day, as though it were the first time.

Do you find inspiration in any movies, TV shows, music, theater, arts, sports, recreation etc?
My all-time favorite film is Orlando, I LOVE everything about this film, from the costumes and set design, to the music and actors. The details are amazing, every time I watch I still see something new. Runner-up would have to be Koyaanisqatsi (Life out of balance).

I think it’s more about Nature for me, seeing the intrinsic beauty of everything around us and how interrelated everything in life is. That’s inspiring. Going home to the unconditional love of three rescue dogs-that’s magic. Realizing as I age I have the potential to continue getting better-that’s exciting. This is what makes my heart sing.

Do you have a partner or partners that work with you?
Well, I have to credit my mom, Vera, for always encouraging us to be creative. She has always been very inspirational-even in her 80’s. She also brought us up with the same words her mom brought her up with “…busy hands are happy hands..” I joke with her that she never taught me the importance of resting as I’m busy all day long.

My husband Charles, God bless him, taught me to use of all the shop machinery and since then, I’ve kind of kicked him out of the shop entirely. He has to ask now when he can take the compressor, Senco, and DeWalt, etc which is laughable since he is a licensed contractor. He has been incredibly patient as our small home fills up in the winter with furniture (actually, who am I kidding-it’s year round) and there is a narrow path to walk from one room to the next.

He also works with me on the stone slab pieces, cutting and fabricating the slabs that often “marry” metal and wood bases. A very gifted woodworker and local shaper(surfboards); he has a great eye, but we definitely see things very differently. We constantly learn from one another, exchanging alternative approaches to solve technical problems, collaborating on the large floor to ceiling built-ins I have done for clients (he does the final installation at their homes), and he is quick to encourage me on a tough day.

What would you say your specialty is?
Building furniture with salvaged materials (1870-1930’s lumber and mouldings), keeping original hardware to the era and lead base is always removed.

In 1998, I started with garden theme, ie potting benches, garden benches, trellises all from salvage, cedar fence panels, and found objects. Somehow that progressed to fireplace surrounds/mantels all built from salvage; some were functional meeting Fire Marshall codes; others decorative. A client’s home was featured in Romantic Country where a mantel I had built site specific was featured.

Then in 2007, I started building cupboards and they just took off. With the number of older homes in the Pacific NW and the limited closet/storage space I found my niche. We all need to store our stuff and “hide” our clutter.

In 2009, I started building site-specific for many Stars shoppers who were looking for, but couldn’t find the “right” piece to fit their space and/or needs. I have over a dozen clients who have returned for several additional pieces for their homes and cabins and have referred me to others in the process. The collaborations have been wonderful. Brent has been great about letting me continue to place the custom work on my Stars website where they serve as a portfolio of work completed.

It is very meditative in my shell studio as I assemble one-of-a-kind shell mantels, mirrors, frames, and boxes with hand-picked shells from Hawaii, Florida, Costa Rica and Philippines. My husband is a surfer and Hawaii used to be one of my cities when I was corporate, so we traveled there several times a year. Although I love the ocean, as a Midwest farmer’s daughter, I like my feet on the ground, so while he surfs, I pick shells. LOTS of shells.

Thanks, Janice! Read more interviews with our vintage dealers–> HERE.