Anna, co-owner and roadside treasure hunter

photo courtesy of Clayton Austin

 

Maybe I could blame it on my parents love for antiques. My childhood being filled with memories of eating every meal off of their prized collection of Fiestaware. Appreciating the Gustav Stickley furniture pieces my dad would bring home. Being inspired by my dad’s enthusiasm when he brought home, yet another rare first edition book to add to his accumulating floor to ceiling collection.

Maybe I could blame it on the “Brimberry Eye”: A term coined to describe our obsession with spotting treasures on the side of road while driving. I still have fond memories of tires screeching as we would come to halt on the side of a busy highway, and then watching my dad run 15 yards back to hold his shiny treasure above his head like he had just won the world cup.

Maybe I could blame it on my family’s history of entrepreneurship. Hearing the stories of my great grandparents’ strong-will to start a farm at the turn of the century in West Texas.  I can only imagine their unyielding strength and perseverance as they cultivated acres of land with their hands.  Learning about the risk my grandparents took when they decided to open up a children’s store after World War 2. And finally, growing up with the memories of ink constantly embedded in my mom’s nailbeds. A true sign of hard work and determination…a slave to her printshop and gallery for 20 years, but a successful, inspiring, and devoted mother of three

.The seed was planted. I guess I was born to ohh and ahh over some fabulous vintage piece that offers some sort of inspiration. Maybe I was even born to start a business, called Loot Vintage Rentals. The seed was planted by my parents, but didn’t start to grow until I moved away to New York to attend school at the Fashion Institute of Technology. Being on my own allowed me to realize my own sense of style and personality. I saw so much of my dad in me as I would stop during a brisk walk to pick up a little piece of treasure on the sidewalk. Sometimes it was a big piece of treasure like a desk, a chair, and even a bed. I suppose you could say the “Brimberry Eye” allowed me to furnish my little apartment. I found myself waking up early to go to the flea market and making friends with the vendors. It became something I looked forward to every weekend. The longer I lived in New York, my eye for design became keener. I enjoyed piecing rooms together- mixing the old with the new.  I started noticing the little things, like how a table was put together and researching what time period an item was from. I could stare at a window display for hours, marveling at all the little details.

After graduating from FIT in 2008, the store I was working for at the time, OAK, wanted me to start working full time in the office. They must have noticed my enthusiasm for creating an eye-catching window display and made me the Web Stylist. There, my attention to detail was taken to a new level. Everything had to be perfect for the web. I learned the ins and outs of running a small business and how to create a brand. But most of all, I learned how to succeed in portraying another’s vision, which is exactly what Loot Vintage Rentals stands to do.

However, the idea for Loot didn’t bloom until after my boyfriend and I decided to move back to Austin to settle down and get married. The idea was born a couple weeks before our wedding when Rhoda and I were dreaming up creative ways to use all of the vintage items we’d collected over the months to give the wedding a warm and personal feeling.  It was like a light just went off in both of our heads at the same time…vintage rentals! “Loot” came to Rhoda later in a dream I’m pretty sure.

All in all, I think there is a seed planted in everyone. Mine was planted by my parents and ancestors and then nurtured by my sister-in-law and me. This is how we connect to one another, and how we look forward to connecting with you too.

 

xx,

a

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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