It’s interesting how often I hear the word “solid” when small business owners talk about their companies, and how things are going.  Here are a few examples:

  • I have a pretty SOLID business plan.
  • We had a SOLID first quarter.
  • Our work has been really SOLID this month.

It’s such a strong and confident word—one that creates images of firm pillars set in concrete or ancient mountain peaks rising out of a stormy sea. And, oh, how I wish I could tell you that in the ten years that I’ve owned Plank & Pearl, I’ve had SOLID reasons to sprinkle the word masterfully into every conversation.

A Fluid Business

But that would be a lie. The truth is that my small, niche business has always been FLUID and subject to change. It’s been built on my single, unchanging passion—but has morphed and shape-shifted significantly several times. I’m much more likely to say:

  • The financial health of my business is, well—FLUID at the moment!
  • My ideas are FLUID and sometimes they spill over and make a mess!
  • My favorite FLUID is coffee!


History of Plank & Pearl

But jokes aside, I actually believe that feeling/being fluid can be a strength when changes happen in the market, in your niche, and in your personal life. I started my business selling vintage treasures online through an Etsy shop and on eBay, while I still had children at home. It worked perfectly because I could photograph, list, and ship from home, while cooking dinner and having weird conversations with teenagers. When the college years came along, I had more time to hunt for inventory and create collections. When the collections took over our basement and garage like fast-growing mold, I moved on to vintage markets and pop-up shops—which required me to rent several storage units on a scary, busy road (because it was cheaper). Each time I tried to leave the parking lot and make a left turn toward home, I was taking a gamble the size of a Las Vegas card shark.

And then came the fateful moment when I had enough cool things in dangerous storage units that my oldest daughter decided to incorporate a few into her small, intimate wedding. The second fateful moment occurred at the wedding itself, when a guest in a very tiny dress (I think it was a dress) asked if I rented out my cool things for other weddings. Hmmmm. Other weddings? Is that even a thing?

Turns out it is, indeed, a thing. And I did that thing quite happily for nearly four years, part of those with the help of my gifted friend and business partner, Julie Gordon. We delivered velvet settees to mountain meadows, and chandeliers hanging from antique birdcage stands to remote and rustic barns near the Wyoming border. We polished brass candle holders and hand-washed hundreds of vintage china plates. We had the pleasure of being part of happy, giddy, loving celebrations with wonderful clients, working alongside vendors and colleagues with more creativity and work ethic than any group of professionals I’ve ever known.

Plank and Pearl Vintage Business-Denver Colorado


Sounds pretty perfect, right? The slow progression and then sudden growth of a business that began in my kitchen. Pretty solid, right? A nice “here’s how I started my business” story to share over frozen rosé cocktails? Well, yes, I guess. Except for the FLUID principal—or pattern, or whatever it is that made me suddenly aware of some little voices in my head whispering, “Change is coming again, so you better get ready!”

And the changes have arrived, no surprise—for both Julie and for me. We’re both in the very specific chapter of our lives when we take care of elderly parents, are close with our adult children, and have begun to experience small dings to our health like messed up backs from lifting those velvet settees, crabby knee joints, and maybe even the odd kidney stone (yes, it happened to me and it’s a SOLID truth that it hurts more than childbirth!).  And on the sunny side of the street, I have a daughter getting married this summer and another pregnant with our very first grandchild!

Julie and her husband are planning more travel and beginning to explore the volunteer work they want to accomplish when retirement gets closer.

Vintage Sales in Denver Colorado


Plank & Pearl Business Changes

Time and energy are truly the hottest commodities around and so Plank & Pearl is evolving one more time. In March, I closed the rental side of the business to return to the foundation of it all, which is retail. I have our wonderful building in Lakewood for one more year, so we’re taking advantage of the large space to hold monthly pop-up shopping events, creative workshops, and new collaborations. It’s still about vintage: finding it, appreciating it, decorating with it, taking care of it, and being part of the necessary movement to reuse, recycle, upcycle, and repair. You’ll still find us at 8800 W. 14th Street, on social media, and through our website (which is currently undergoing changes to reflect our most current business model). We’d love to have you visit, attend an event, or meet us for your favorite FLUID!

Lighter & Brighter for 2018


In the life of any small company, so many changes in a year. It’s said that dogs live seven years to every year of ours, and I’m beginning to think that a twelve-month cycle for a wedding rental business can have the same feeling of acceleration!


Velvet Sofa Collection

2017 brought a vast array of change, challenges, and successes to Plank & Pearl. Just a year ago we were finishing the remodel of our building and stepping around ladders, paint cans, and sawdust. We hadn’t yet booked summer weddings and didn’t anticipate how busy we’d be August through December. We couldn’t’ imagine we’d buy the extensive vintage inventory of a local rental company that was closing shop. And most surprising of all was how our clients reacted to our fresh supply of beautifully upholstered vintage settees and chairs. The whimsy of tufted velvet in gorgeous gem-tones is in high demand. One bride described her choices as “straight out of a fairytale wedding.”


Plank and Pearl Webiste Intro

Our theme for 2018 is “lighter and brighter.” We’re excited to launch our redesigned website, with a brighter design and greater usability for our clients. We’ll be refreshing our inventory with new pieces and parting with older collections that don’t fit our more focused approach to event rentals. And, as always, it’s a brighter day when we get to work with some of Denver’s most talented wedding professionals in treasured Colorado venues.

As the days lengthen little by little, the skies are brighter and spring feels like a true possibility. At Plank & Pearl, our mood is lighter as we anticipate a sweet and festive wedding season—and hope that you are, too!

Interested in incorporating vintage into your wedding or event?
Browse our treasures and create a wishlist
to secure the items for your celebration.

Create A Wishlist

Setting the Table for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is the one holiday where a majority of Americans prepare and eat the very same meal on the very same day. Sure, there are endless variations on the stuffing, gravy, vegetables, and sides, but 88% of us will have a turkey, a pumpkin pie, and other traditional foods.

To add to that “sameness,” the media tends to use images of Thanksgiving tables dressed with plates, glassware, and napkins in orange, brown, and other harvest colors. You can almost smell the pumpkin spice latte candle burning in the center, surrounded by faux autumn leaves. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that at all. This brand of décor is appealing, comfortable, and seasonal.

But from a styling point of view, there are so many other options to consider—ones that reflect your personality and design vibe, and a willingness to mix tradition with some bolder choices. Here, we use our blue and white vintage plates with a very proud (and very alive!) turkey in the center. But we add the surprise of pale pink goblets, because there isn’t a rulebook that banishes pastels from a Thanksgiving table.

Personalize Your Thanksgiving Table Decor

If your style is more clean and modern, you might like the retro look of vintage stoneware, retro wine goblets, wood-handled flatware, and a few wooden accent pieces. The great thing about this design is that you can shop your local thrift store for great bargains on these 1970’s pieces and use them throughout the year. And because we’re a boutique rental company, we can’t resist mentioning that renting from collections like ours can be an easy and affordable way to try new styles for your holiday, without having to own, clean, or store all the “stuff!”

Finally, we wanted to showcase a favorite style of ours—mixing formal place settings with an unexpected rustic element. We started with elegant vintage china, silver flatware, and fancy gold-rimmed glassware. To take the predictable style to another level, we placed a porcelain bird on a rusty old food scale and draped it with a metallic gold garland. The result is unexpected and (in our opinion!) quite beautiful.

This year, don’t be shy about setting your table. If you have tableware, linens, or personal objects that are sentimental, quirky, and brimming with your unique personality, bring them to the table for everyone to see!

Want to customize your Thanksgiving table this year? Contact us today or select from our collection to complete your unique holiday tabletop design.

Museum of Mystery Open House

Museum of Mystery Fall Open House

Last week, Plank & Pearl had the honor of hosting a group of Denver wedding and event planners for an Open House to celebrate the end of a busy Colorado wedding season. We wanted to treat these hardworking professionals to an evening of appetizers, drinks, some mingling, and the opportunity to see our newest vintage rental collections.

We held the event in our intimate main-floor venue, which we rent for showers, cocktail parties, seated dinners, and celebrations of all kinds. The space is decorated and furnished completely from our vintage collections, and guests often remark that exploring our venue like visiting a museum.

Speaking of museums, the theme of our party was “Museum of Mystery,” or what is often called a “Cabinet of Curiosity.” What the heck is that you may wonder? Well, before there were any Museums of Natural History full of animal bones, taxidermy, insects, fossils, gems, botanical specimens, weird medical implements and scientific oddities, people who were interested in these things would curate their own collections and display them in special rooms called “cabinets. Historians date the concept all the way back to the 1500’s, and millions of people today take huge pride in showing off their treasured collections from the natural world. It was (and is) a way to try to understand the vast mysteries of the world around us.

Since owner Coleen Hubbard has an ongoing passion for collecting these kinds of objects, the theme was a chance to display many of her favorite finds. (You can see more of her collection in this Cabinet of Curiosities shoot.) It also ties in well with Halloween, which is always a time to celebrate mysteries of all kinds. Throughout the venue, we styled our vignettes with antique photos, vintage books, bones, rocks, apothecary bottles with dried foliage, and a tray of old dental and medical implements. Coleen loves theme parties because they provide endless ways to meld decor, food, and drink into a cohesive experience for guests. When you include the theme in an invitation, it creates a sense of anticipation for guests and gives them an idea of what to wear for the occasion.

Sometimes a bit of “creepy,” especially near Halloween, is just “what the doctor ordered!”

The “Museum” is closed until next year, but we think you’ll like our vintage Christmas style coming soon.

If you missed the party, we invite you to schedule a time to visit us and see what our venue and rental collections have to offer.

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