Thank You Denver & What’s Next

September Vintage Sale, Denver, CO

I want to send a huge thank you to those of you who visited our final VINTAGE EXTRAVAGANZA sale at Plank & Pearl last weekend! It was wonderful to see some familiar faces, and I truly appreciate those of you who have been attending our sales since last spring! Hopefully, you found some unique treasures at bargain prices!

The three-day sale was busy and fun, and many of our shelves are empty. Most of the vintage sofas and chairs are gone, though we have quite a few of wicker pieces still available. I think the most popular item we sold was vintage glassware, and most of it went home with customers who are planning a wedding, thinking ahead to holiday tables, or just want a set for everyday use at home. They are lovely, indeed!

DENVER POP-UPS COMING SOON

Although we won’t have another giant Plank & Pearl sale again this year (since our inventory is largely sold) we will be offering some pop-up shopping opportunities in November and December that will include other vendors with their own unique vintage and antique merchandise.

ONLINE SHOP + STYLING OPPORTUNITIES

We’ll send an announcement later this month, as well as an introduction to our online shop of curated vintage pieces. And we’d like to remind you that we offer home styling services, party design, and sourcing help for those seeking special vintage furniture, rugs, artwork, and decor for home or office.

GETTING SPOOKY!

Halloween is just around the corner, and we do love spooky vintage decor! Look for our upcoming blog about decorating for the holiday with thrift store finds and DIY projects!

Thanks,

Coleen

 

I CHANGED, AND SO DID MY BUSINESS

 

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!

Colorful Eclectic Wedding Shoot at Blanc Denver

View More: http://kaylafeldmanphotography.pass.us/blancdenvercolorado

At Plank & Pearl we love a good design challenge, so when the opportunity arose to join an exceptionally creative team for an eclectic styled shoot at Blanc (Denver), we jumped in feet first. Our building blocks were a rustic plank table, the gorgeous exposed brick walls of our industrial venue, and a stunning, real-life couple whose inner and outer beauty is powerfully magnetic. Continue reading “Colorful Eclectic Wedding Shoot at Blanc Denver”

Inspiration for a Whimsical Mountain Wedding

“You’ll love this bride,” Sarah (the wedding planner) told me. “She’s so fun to work with and she’s fallen in love with your retro gold typewriter!” I was immediately excited to meet Evie, who is planning an autumn wedding in the Colorado mountains, complete with gondola rides to the top of the peak where the ceremony will take place. When I asked Sarah about the theme she told me to visualize a whimsical mountain affair with white and touches of gold. She also mentioned that Evie had been drawn to my collection of brass candlesticks in various sizes and shapes.

Because I work from home as I explore future space possibilities, meeting clients means I set up inspiration vignettes on my long dining room table, the coffee table in the family room, the kitchen counter, and just about anywhere else that can accommodate my vintage inventory.
Continue reading “Inspiration for a Whimsical Mountain Wedding”

Peach Season in Colorado

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If you’re not from Colorado but you’ve followed the media frenzy on our legal marijuana market, you might guess that our favorite local crop is pot. For many, this is absolutely true—and it’s the reason Denver can’t throw apartments up fast enough to house the constant influx of new residents to our formerly quiet city.

But for many of us, the incredibly delicious Palisade peaches grown on the Western Slope are the hands-down favorite! We have to wait until late July for the overflowing crates to show up in grocery stores and farmers markets—but by then we’re ready to grab them up and head home to make pies and jam. Or simply eat them fresh with the sweet juice running down our necks. So here are a few photos inspired by Palisade peaches. And now I have to go bake a pie for my husband.

Continue reading “Peach Season in Colorado”

A Very Vintage 4th

Here are some photos from our Fourth of July styled shoot! We gave ourselves a challenge: to create a patriotic vintage vignette using select items from our inventory enhanced by household objects easily found in the average garage, attic, or basement. No plastic windsocks or tempting merchandise from the Target dollar bins! You’ll see in the photos that we started with a rusty red wagon from the garage as our focal point, added some blue-covered history books from our shelf, a stray brass eagle bookend, some blue-and-white plates, white goblets, and a red cake stand from the pantry and (last but not least) our adorable mutt Otis! Taking a shortcut, we picked up some festive desserts, but otherwise spent nothing on this easy-to-recreate backyard celebration.

Continue reading “A Very Vintage 4th”