Member Spotlight — Shane and Katelyn of Quinn Vintage

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Shane, Katelyn and Kraig (the cockatiel model)

Shane, Katelyn and Kraig (the cockatiel model)

Just by taking a look at Shane and Katelyn’s Krrb corner you’ll be amazed by the selection of mid-century gems that they have for sale. While Shane is originally from Western New York and Katelyn from Northwest New Jersy, they’re now living in Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn along with their cockatiel model Kraig. From East Coast road trips to Brooklyn shopping, these two certainly know how to find a great vintage piece. Check out what they had to say below-we bet you end up tempted to buy something amazing from them after reading!

Where do you go locally to discover great treasures?

Shane: We do a lot of driving up and down the East Coast. My parents currently live in Charleston, SC, Kate’s parents live in Northern NJ, and my sister lives in New Haven, CT so we are always visiting somebody and on the way there and back, stopping at garage sales, country auctions, estate clean-outs, all of the above.

Katelyn: When we’re not shopping on buying trips, we always try to shop at small, local businesses in Brooklyn. For clothes, su’juk is a boutique in Clinton Hill that I love to visit-I never leave without finding something special, also Horizons vintage in Williamsburg is fantastic for well curated vintage clothing also.

What is the most awesome thing in or about the neighborhood you live in?

S: When I picture the quintessential “Brooklyn” neighborhood, it looks a lot like Bed-Stuy; amazing brownstone architecture, tree-lined streets, busy stoops, people from all over the world living and working together. It’s a very lively and fun place to be.

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Have you ever taken home an object you found in the street or dumpster? If so, what was it? And where is it now?

K: We lived in Ft. Greene for a summer, and I found a white framed standing mirror on the street that I still have and use every day. I bring it with me when I sell vintage clothing at the Brooklyn Flea and folks are always trying to buy it!

What is your most cherished thrifted, secondhand, vintage, upcycled object you possess? What’s the story behind it?

S: My favorite piece is an Art Deco, cobalt blue mirror. It is my favorite school of design, and one so reflective of the times, that every time I look at it or into it, I kind of get transported back to the machine age. I think about what it was like to live then, standing at the crossroads of the future and the past and see what the artists and designers of that time were thinking and feeling at the foot of the modern age. It’s pieces like this that are the reason that I love doing this. I want to surround myself with objects that evoke wonder and appreciation, true examples of art and design, and I want to share those feelings with other like-minded people. My goal is to build a home where I open the door and I instantly forget about whatever is behind me and walk into an oasis of good energy and comfort. Once you have a space full of items like my mirror, it’s impossible not to be happy. Not only is this a lot of fun for me, but it allows me to help people get to that place and not have to surround themselves with wasteful, factory-line furniture.

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What’s your favorite piece you have for sale right now?

S: The atomic starburst chandelier for the same reasons as the Art Deco mirror being my favorite. Atomic design is such a powerful reminder of the new frontiers of the 1950’s which are still quite relevant today.

K: The rust colored mid-century sectional sofa that is currently hanging out in our living room.

Do you ever get attached to a certain piece and don’t end up selling it?

K: See above! I want to keep it-it fits perfectly in our living room. I’m working on him.

S: It’s very common for us to get attached to items for months at a time before we come to our senses and realize that it is a slippery slope to becoming hoarders.

Where do you sell out of? Your home? Storage?

S: At the moment we have a large storage unit and use our apartment for viewings. We are currently looking into options for permanent showrooms, which is exciting.

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How did you get into selling vintage furniture?

S: Garage sale-ing is in my blood. My grandfather and mom have been going to garage sales since I can remember. The excitement of treasure hunting is something I’ve always loved doing and something that I still love doing together with my family-you never know what you will come across. I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and it is very important to me to enjoy what I’m doing with my time, so being able to do this for a living has been very rewarding so far.

K: It’s something that we have always loved independently and the business kind of happened in an organic way. I moved in with Shane immediately after returning from living in Kenya for nearly two years where I worked for an environmental organization.

We spent time over the next year going to garage sales and antique stores, searching for special pieces that we wanted to live with and really shaping the vibe of our home. My dad is a carpenter, and I grew up in a house full of antiques, garage sale finds and handmade furniture, so that’s just what I know.

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What items do you find are the easiest to sell? Which are the most difficult?

S: Coffee tables! Who doesn’t need a great coffee table? Larger objects like sofa’s and dressers usually take longer to sell.

What’s your personal style of your home?

S: It’s a bit eclectic, full of items with personality. We have mid-century pieces mixed with Deco mixed with seafaring treasures and with a rather bohemian vibe.

K: We have so many plants that we’ve collected or adopted over the last year, I’m turning our apartment into a jungle!

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What blogs or websites do you visit regularly?

K: There are a lot–with all of the visually driven social media these days, it’s hard to keep track, but some of my favorites are Wallpaper, The Artful Desperado blog, Kinfolk Magazine and of course, Apartment Therapy. I dream of self-sufficient living in the woods someday, so I’m always looking at homesteading and backwoods home blogs, and also love to cook, so some of my favorite food websites are 101cookbooks, My New Roots and Sprouted Kitchen.

Anything else you’d like readers to know about?

S: A major aspect of what we do is the recycling and reuse of great art and design from another time. If you don’t have the budget for contemporary design, you shouldn’t have to compromise with a home full of poorly manufactured materials. There are beautiful vintage alternatives if you are willing to do some searching. I want to connect people with the past and our history of design, while helping to bring awareness around over-consumption and manufacturing materials that are made not to last. I don’t think anyone is going to be buying early 2000’s particle board and plastic furniture 50 years from now, instead we will be trying to figure out how to get it out of our oceans and landfills.

Thanks Shane and Katelyn!

 

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