Read our interview with Cindy of Silver Lake Studio. Her and her family are packed full of talent, and will be bringing inspiring and unique antiques to the show this April!
Please describe your business for us.
Silver Lake Studio is family owned and operated Art Studio and Pickers Barn located in Port Dover, Ontario. The business is operated by Cindy and her Family, and features re-purposed and recycled art work as well as a picker’s barn which features many rare and nostalgic finds.
How did the idea for your business come about?
Our family has always enjoyed the thrill of the hunt at garage sales and auctions. We also like to create art in many forms, so opening a multiplatform property seemed like a natural step for us. Each family member contributes different elements to the concept. We are basically the spice girls of the Art Studio/Pickers Barn world. LOL. Harley my husband makes re-claimed art work from things he finds on the beach and at yard sales. My daughter Dee re-imagines vintage hats. My other daughter Sheena makes vintage inspired fridge magnets, and I create stained glass art. One thing we all have in common, is that we collect unique vintage antiques, which we are very excited to show at VMP this year.
Do you have any advice for aspiring business owners?
We try not to think about our business too much, some of our most successful ventures have come organically. For example our Art studio floor; each family member mosaic tiled their own portion of the floor, making a giant tiled quilt if you will. I think less stress, means more creativity, more creativity, means more money, more money, means we are billionaires. That seems to work well for us, well maybe not the billionaire part – LOL. It is definitely more passion than profit, but it is very satisfying to share your passion with others and get paid for it.
Why do you love vintage?
Our Family loves reminiscing about nostalgia. Vintage things often remind me of happy memories like raising our children or my own old-time upbringing. We all collect different things in our family and its fun to treasure hunt for ourselves and each other. I collect vintage linens; my husband Harley collects ugly jugs and fishing lures; my oldest daughter Dee collects Lefton Bluebirds and Bob Marley records; my youngest daughter collects records and lunch pails. So as you can tell we all have very different personalities.
What was the first vintage item that you bought?
The first vintage item I ever bought was linen. It reminded me of my grandmother. Women used to make their own aprons, sheets and clothes. The construction of these items took a lot of thought and care. I just enjoy the craftsmanship, especially compared the mass produced items of today. Silver lake Studio will have some of these vintage linens for sale at the VMP.
Does your love for items from the past expand to music from the past?
Absolutely! Collecting, and researching vinyl is a favorite past time of our family, especially for Harley and my daughter Sheena. Sometimes they speak a record language that I do not understand, but I am sure lots of vinyl lovers at the show will enjoy stopping over at our booth for a music chat. We will also have some excellent vinyl up for grabs at our booth this year.
Where do you find all of your pieces or materials used to make them?
A favourite pastime of our family is going to auction sales, estate sales, and yard sales. Most of the items in our picker’s barn are purchased there. Yard sale season seems to be one of the only times of the year that I can get my children out of bed before 10:00am.
What is your favourite vintage piece that you own?
My favorite vintage piece is actually a re-claimed piano table with a glass top, and music note legs. My husband rescued the piano from the dump, the woodwork was beyond repair but the guts were in perfect condition. This piece will not be at the show but is indeed for sale. That is a small yellow flower arrangement on the table in the picture. We also had a vintage Shelby Bike in our picker’s barn, but it sold very quickly, it was pretty spectacular.
What is your favorite vintage piece for sale?
I have several pieces up for grabs at VMP that I am super excited about. One being a triple set of vintage green lamps. I just don’t have room for them in my personal collection any longer and I know someone at the show will just die for them. The lamps and shades are in great condition and super retro! We are so excited to show them off. One of the other items is a set of orange and black retro chairs, which I re-upholstered. When I found them they were in pretty rough shape, no one loved them. They were ripped and broken. I gave them some Cindy TLC, and presto, vintage royalty appeared. Also we will be featuring several Formica tables which will be displaying all of our goodies and they will be for sale as well.
Which vintage icon’s collection would you love to raid?
I brought this question up at the dinner table and it sparked quite the conversation. My husband seems to think raiding Jay Leno’s car collection would be outrageous. My daughters thought Liberace & Pamela Morrison’s house in its hay day would be fantastic. I personally love The Fonz from Happy days, (if he was a real person). I would like to raid his house and pants. LOL
What piece(s) are you most excited to show at The Vintage Marketplace?
The things I am most excited about (Besides seeing everyone else’s booths), would have to be my husband’s reclaimed Art Fish and Dee’s fancy hats. Being a linen lover I am excited to be bringing a collection of chrysanthemum pillows to the show. I can’t wait for the VMP show, it’s just the thing to get me motivated for yard sale season.