Drive into downtown DeRidder and you’re greeted with small town shops and a few small restaurants. It’s easy to drive along on your way out of town and miss all there is to offer. However, as I drove down the road one day I saw a lovely store sitting across from Cecil’s and beside the now Mama Nena’s Bakery. I noticed it because it stood out, it was different than the other shops around the area. The door was framed with beautiful vintage pieces and I quickly glanced in the windows as I was forced to drive past promising myself to stop in soon.
I contacted Claudia, one of the owners, to ask if I could come in and photograph her store. I was inspired by the plethora of goodies that surrounded me. Beautiful pieces are literally everywhere when you walk in and they left me feeling awed. Seriously, why didn’t I think to do that to an old window? Or, perhaps I should begin collecting old doors. The store is stunning.
I’m thankful that Claudia welcomed me into Vintage Girl and gave me a bit of her time to answer my questions. I’m sharing this with all of you, because you must see the place and pay her a visit! Claudia is one of the sweetest people I’ve met here and she will help you find the perfect cottage chic pieces to add to your home or the perfect accents to add to your wedding day. Vintage Girl not only provides items for sale, they also provide a rental option. Read on to find out more about the Vintage Girl shop and it’s owners.
How long have you been in business? How many people make up your company?
Vintage Girl is made of 4….3 lifelong friends, Beth, Nanette, and Claudia and Claudia’s mom, Mary. We have been selling to the lover of vintage for close to 20 years. When we began, we were either raising our young children or working full time, so we sold from co-ops and weekend shows.
Is this what you’ve always wanted to do? If not, what was your original plan?
Up until January of 2013, we only dreamed and talked about the “day we might have our own shop”. February of 2013, God blessed us with the opportunity to see our dream become a reality in the old Irvine’s drugstore downtown DeRidder. With the opening of our own shop, Vintage Girl, we have also been able to offer vintage rentals for weddings and events as well as sell antiques and vintage items.
What do you like best about your job?
I personally (Claudia) enjoy every aspect of running and owning our own shop….decorating and re-decorating; seeing what customers enjoy most about the shop and what they are searching for; and being a part of other’s special event or day with our rentals….all very rewarding.
If you weren’t a co-owner of Vintage Girl, what would you be doing?
With 4 co-owners, the answer would vary I am sure….Beth sold a well-loved café before we opened up, Claudia took time off from teaching school, Mary is a retired office administrator, and Nanette continues to work full time for Representative James Armes.
What sets your shop apart from the others in town?
Our sister shops in antiques have been very welcoming and encouraging to us. I think what makes us “specialized” would be our vintage wedding or event rentals. We have rented wedding items like peely-paint columns, old doors, arches, signs, and chandeliers for weddings in Lafayette, Alexandria, Lake Charles, Toledo Bend, Leesville, Many, and at many of our local venues as well. It is a blessing to meet these new friends and be a part of their special day!
Do you have any strange or funny stories in your years of experience?
In the antique business, you don’t always know all the stories and history connected to your items you find, clean up, and learn to love before they go on to their new home and many times you don’t know where they even end up or what purpose or re-purpose they play in someone’s home. But a few times we have sold with other dealers to movie sets like the Brad Pitt movie in New Orleans and another time Hillary Swank shopped at a show we were selling from when she was making a movie nearby.
What services do you offer?
Vintage Girl sells to the lover of “cottage chic”…. peely, chippy painted architecture, soft, well-loved paints and colors….garden flavored and cottage styled. We are pleased to also offer vintage rentals for weddings and events.
What has been the scariest/most difficult thing for you as a small business owner?
With 4 of us, I am sure we have and had different fears about our venture and commitment to running our own business but I would think we all had the anxiety of being able to be successful enough to stay in business.
On a personal note: guilty pleasures?
Guilty pleasures, hmmmmm……probably eating out would describe a weakness in all 4 of us!
Overall, Claudia and the other fabulous ladies of Vintage Girl wish to share their Mission, which states:
We believe God loves you and your home. He as our Creator gives us a creative spirit and a nest to make our own. Thank you, Lord, for this opportunity and making us each so special that you sent your beloved son, Jesus, to die and live for each of us.
I’m so thankful that Vintage Girl caught my eye while driving and that I had the chance to chat with one of the four owners. Each of the ladies has their own special touch that makes the whole business run beautifully. Be sure to check out their Facebook page to keep up with the latest goodies they have in the store or better yet, swing by and peruse everything in person. They are open every Thursday and Friday from 10-5 and Saturdays from 10-4.