The wonderful thing about setting out on an adventure is never knowing what you’re going to find. A few years ago, all I knew was that I loved taking pictures of people. After awhile, I knew I wanted my hobby to slowly evolve into a business. But what I didn’t expect was the wonderful relationships I would gain along the way. Whether they be good friends, clients I have connected with, or local vendors that have helped me in my photography adventure, I am thrilled to spotlight some of the incredible women I am blessed to have in my life by showcasing their creativity here on the blog. Their talent for juggling home, family, and business is inspiring and I wish to share their stories with you all.
It has been said that to select well among old things is almost equal to inventing new things. And it just might surpass inventing new things when you have a knack for re-purposing those old things.
I don’t think I know of anyone that takes this to heart more than my friend Julianna.
She and I were only vaguely acquainted through mutual friends and a few photo sessions she hired me to do of her lovely family, until one day we discovered we both had a deep abiding love for old things. She has been a successful Ebay seller for awhile now, but has decided to bring her talents and some of her favorite pieces to her new business, Weidman’s Vintage Mercantile. Her specialty is providing unique vintage pieces and re-purposed salvage for her customers’ favorite places and spaces at an affordable price. This busy wife and mother of two (soon to be three) cleared her schedule to go treasure hunting with me and her lovely mother. We stopped in and browsed through some of our favorite places in downtown Bay City. While exploring, I found myself thinking about how we live in a culture that’s obsessed with the new and now, yet somehow we never loose ourselves completely from the pull of the past.
Each piece she offers to customers has been selected with care and consideration for her clients. She does not buy with abandonment – there’s a purpose behind each item she purchases. She uses the same process with items for her own home. Like her reclaimed wooden mantle that everyone is dying to get their hands on. (Sorry, it’s still not for sale) It isn’t just a lovely centerpiece for Julianna’s home. It has special meaning to her and her family.
“The fireplace mantle is probably my most popular piece.It came from a great store in New Orleans, Greg’s Antiques. It has a lot of southern history to it, but our family’s story is wrapped into it as well.My daughter was born in Louisiana, our friends helped us restore it back to it’s original beauty, our children’s stockings hang from it at Christmas. It recently has become the centerpiece of my new business.”
There must be more than a little southern charm ingrained into the old wood of that mantle. Hardly anything stays on it for long before someone finds themselves the owner of a vintage treasure. I don’t know if it’s a result of the gorgeous staging, the accommodating service, or the great prices but Julianna’s inventory is constantly in jeopardy of being depleted. Items are sold within minutes of hitting her shop’s online page. Her style is effortless and she picks items that could go with practically any decor.
This innate sense of design and decorating is a rich inheritance passed down from her mother, Celine. I enjoyed listening to her tell about how she taught her children to appreciate the beauty of all things vintage. I could honestly sit with her the entire day and not get bored once.Celine is a former photojournalist from Canada, and has done extensive work preserving the history of her Indigenous First Nations heritage. She is part of the Tlicho Nation of the Northwest Territories. Julianna has inherited her mother’s keen eye for a good vintage find.
And her home is happy. Her littles create the background noise to her home-based business. “It’s wonderful meeting people and getting to know their stories and seeing my favorite pieces bring beauty and meaning to their lives. But I love spending time at home, surrounded by my kids, their beautiful mess (and mine), while bringing beauty to others.”
This is the defining element to Weidman’s Vintage Mercantile – you’re not just purchasing pretty things. These are hand picked, carefully restored memories, and Julianna respects that. You may not ever know the full story behind what you buy, yet somehow you feel the responsibility of caring for an object that once had value in someone’s life. And what’s wonderful is Julianna loves the hunt as much as the sell. Many have come to her with a specific item in mind and if she doesn’t have it in her shop, she will explore until she finds it. It’s like having your own personal antique shopper. You know you’re getting your money’s worth because you have an experienced vintage connoisseur doing the selecting for you. That kind of personal touch is what makes Julianna and Weidman’s Vintage Mercantile incredibly unique.
julianna | An Interview
LK – Where do you find inspiration?
J – The Lettered Cottage was the first website that I really started following on a regular basis. Layla Palmer mixes vintage with Southern cottage charm and is bold about her faith. Her site led me to Miss Mustard Seed, and Ana White.As a Canadian, I love supporting northern designers like Sarah Richardson, who mixes vintage with high end pieces alongside roadside finds, and Michael Penney, a favorite of my mother’s.
LK – What was the first antique you ever sold?
J – At one point, I decided to get into raising chickens. That did not pan out. However, I did decide to start an antique chicken egg scale collection. I saw my garage sale find featured in Country Living Magazine and promptly sold my collection of one egg scale. I probably used that money to buy fried chicken.
LK – In one sentence, describe your favorite style of home furnishings.
J – Useful vintage mixed in with modern elements that is affordable,beautiful, and easily cleaned.
LK – What are three things that make your heart sing?
J- My children giggling. Music (old hymns, Scottish love songs,and Dene drum dances to be specific). And the sound of my husband coming home.
For more information on Weidman’s Vintage Mercantile, say hello to Julianna at email@example.com or view her wonderful wares at her busy Facebook shop HERE.Stop by today and give her a shout-out; I wouldn’t be surprised in the least if you didn’t come away with a lovely treasure or two.
Take time to do what makes your soul happy.