I've always thought of my family as a one of strong, fearless women, and I've drawn from that whenever I felt scared or nervous to take a risk. Drawing from their grit and with their unconditional support, I've been earnest in seeking out success in every aspect of my life. Not the least of which is this next adventure I will take on with my mom and sister, in tribute to the wonderful women who have and continue to inspire us...
Kathy ‘Nana’ Penn Chenault
Kathy had an ‘eye’ for emerging trends in all things – fashion, technology, social trends, and home décor. We consistently talk about this mystery ‘intuition’ we all have, that I am convinced was passed onto us from Kathy. Countless times she would fixate on a new design that we would initially question, and inevitably that same design would reach ultimate popularity and be a full-blown trend. A few things come to mind: wallpaper borders (lots of wallpaper in general), florals, and interesting patterns - one of our favorites was a 70's glam brown, orange and silver number she had in her home for years.
Crafting was a trend Kathy definitely helped pioneer in our family and community. We were always onto a new craft – mostly at Kathy’s direction, but it was usually my mom who had to execute on the vision. Now, my mom and sister never balk at a craft challenge – they’ll take on anything from spray painting, to macramé, to candle pouring, to sewing, etc. I’m so proud that we’ll showcase some of their handmade items in the store.
Most importantly, Kathy taught all of us to pursue our dreams and to use our anxieties and stress as fuel and not to let self-doubt smother our ambition.
Marion ‘Mom-Mom’ Patterson
Coming from humble beginnings, Marion put most of her stock into her family and into keeping a good home. A good home meant there would always be food - endless food, and that things were always neat, tidy and welcoming.
At the Vintage Family, we put utmost importance on creating a comfortable home, a place that is warm and welcoming – the perfect space to gather with friends and family. That’s the type of space Marion had waiting for whoever came to the door.
Helen ‘Nana Nellie’ Penn
My love of mid-century mod pieces started with this feisty red-headed lady from Southwest Philadelphia. My mom still has many of her pieces in her own home today. She also taught us to keep décor fresh and seasonal. Simply changing up her throw pillows and couch covers throughout the year kept things feeling new and interesting. I try to make small changes throughout the year so that I never get bored – quick and inexpensive changes like switching up linens in my living room and bedroom, updating my mantle and table décor, and keeping fresh, seasonal flowers in the house.
Billie Jean ‘Momaw’ Lee
A true southern belle, more is more and all things glamorous and opulent are at the core of Billie’s personal style. Oversized, intricately carved mirrors, toile fabrics, and perfectly curated vignettes inspire me each time I visit. The rooms in Billie’s house have names, that’s how perfectly coiffed they are – the Blue room… the Southern room… like her own personal bed and breakfast.
When I was a little girl, Billie lived in a different house, one that my grandfather built at the bottom of a large hill, but the house suffered a terrible flood and my grandparents had no other choice but to move to a – GASP – new construction house. What turns this sad story around is that without knowing it, Billie became my first salvage hero. She ripped every inch of that house apart and saved EVERYTHING. From the mantles, to the kitchen cabinets, to the staircase – nothing was left behind. Her new home feels every bit as much of her as the original house.
Someday, fingers crossed, she’ll let me go shopping in her basement where I am sure hidden treasures await.
Judi ‘Grandy’ Shannahan
Martha has nothing on Judi – she is one of the most creative, thoughtful and classy women I know. Judi is the ultimate hostess, (even if she is visiting YOU). A few years ago, she gave me a book, Food, Gift, Love, that completely embodies all things that remind me of Judi and inspire me as I think about our new store. The book centers on the idea of creating simple, thoughtful and beautiful gifts for friends and loved ones using a few ingredients and a lot of heart. I hope that our customers can find simple, thoughtful and beautiful items in our store to gift to their own friends and loved ones (or to themselves).
Judi is timeless - her style, her grace and her geniuine love of all things beautiful is what I love most about her.