1/18/13

Urban Dwellers Pop-Up Shop

One of David's Favorite Finds
Blue Elephant is hosting a pop-up shop for Urban Dwellers! Stephen and David are as much in love with vintage finds as we are. We thought y'all would like to learn a little more about these two gentlemen, so read on for a small Q&A with them. 

Q: Would you please tell us a little about yourselves?

A:  We’re a married couple who moved to Richmond last year in the hopes of escaping the rat race lifestyle of DC.  We were both tired of working for large companies and decided to combine our interest in antiques, history and restoration to create Urban Dwellers. 

Q: How did you become interested in vintage items?

A: We purchased a historic home in the Church Hill neighborhood of Richmond.  While hunting for furniture for the house, we realized Richmond was a terrific location for finding unique vintage furnishings.  We both love restoring/transforming pieces and realized it would be great to do it as a full-time business. 

One of Stephen's Favorite Finds
Q: How do you acquire your items, and what sorts of things are you particularly on the lookout for?

A:  Over the past year, we have established a network of people and places between Richmond and DC from which we find our stock; the rest is a Dweller secret.  Our philosophy is simple:  we buy what we like.  If it’s unique, vintage and has potential, it’s coming home with us. 

Q: What has been each of your favorite finds so far? 

A: That’s like asking me to pick my favorite child.  One of Stephen’s favorite items was an antique Victorian leather and oak swivel chair (which we sold to one of our neighbors, Dweller Phil.  We love him!).  One of my favorite finds was an antique Victorian golden velvet settee.  When we found it, the settee was covered in a truly heinous bicentennial-print slipcover (I’m still having nightmares).  It wasn’t until we took it off that we realized it was such a special find. 

Q: How long has Urban Dwellers been in business?

A: We began restoring furniture and selling it on Craigslist in July of 2012.  We officially founded Urban Dwellers in September of 2012. 

Q: What has been your favorite experience with an Urban Dweller customer?

A: Our favorite experience has been meeting so many different people.  We’ve met everyone from people who live on our same street to people visiting from different countries.  It’s fantastic to have the ability to connect with such a diverse range of customers who share our love of vintage.  As we’ve grown over the past few months, we’ve started to get a steady stream of repeat customers.  It’s wonderful to be seeing so many familiar faces!

Q: You two are the owners of Urban Dwellers. Can you tell us what each of your roles are, and what it’s like working together? 

A:  First, there are a few things we do jointly.  When we look for inventory, we both must approve of the item.  If one of us doesn’t like it, we don’t buy it.  We also discuss and agree on the pricing for each item.  From there, Stephen handles all of the restoration work.  We only offer pieces in excellent, move-in-ready condition.  When a Dweller takes one of our items home, we don’t want them to have to do a thing except enjoy it.  Once an item is ready, I photograph it, list it on Craigslist and then post it to our Facebook page. 

Q: Do you have plans to open a brick and mortar store in Richmond soon? If so, can you tell us what your target area is?

A: Yes, it is our goal to open a brick and mortar store in Richmond within the next calendar year.  Most of our customers hail from the Fan or Church Hill, so we would like the store to be in one of those neighborhoods. 

Q: Anything else we should know?

A: We are very excited about our Pop Up Shop at Blue Elephant and would like to thank our friends Patsy and Jessica for being such gracious hostesses.  We feel Richmonders deserves a store that offers hip furniture, antiques and artifacts at affordable prices, and that is why we founded Urban Dwellers.  We would like nothing more than to permanently leave our corporate jobs, open up a brick and mortar store and do this full-time.  We are very grateful to every one of our customers and sincerely appreciate your support over the past few months.  As always, keep checking back for new goodies, and Dwell on!

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