New booth at Brown Street Emporium

Hi friends! I am blowing the dust off my long-dormant blog to share some news: I recently became a vendor at Brown Street Emporium in Oconomowoc.

I have a 5′ x 7′ booth, which I’m hoping is going to be the perfect size: small enough that I can easily keep it stocked with fun, interesting pieces, but big enough that it grabs shoppers by the eyeballs and draws them in.

I’m leaning into a dark academia decor theme, at least for now. I might regret that if I have a lot of moody, Hogwarts-esque pieces left after Halloween, but that’s a problem for another day.

For now, my inventory is a mix of spooky, science-y pieces, upcycled items and vintage decor that looks like it belongs in a dusty old college library or a Potions classroom.

How it started

This isn’t my first go-round with vintage resale. Last year, my high school BFF and I opened a cute little store in a building she owned in downtown Princeton. We had a great time operating the business, which we named “JL Imagine” (J for Julie, L for Lisa), but it wasn’t destined to last. Shortly after Christmas, the building sold, and we closed up the shop.

I wasn’t ready to give up the glamorous lifestyle of a vintage reseller, though: picking broken furniture off the curb, stalking thrift stores for weird finds, getting up at the crack of dawn to be the first person at the flea market. I know it’s not for everyone, but I love that stuff.

Over the summer, I started scouting around, looking for a new place where I could set up shop. Of all the vintage/antique/artisan malls I visited, Brown Street Emporium was hands-down my favorite and the place that seemed like it’d be the best fit for me and the mix of upcycled pieces and vintage decor that I wanted to sell.

How it’s going

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I moved in September 2nd. It’s been a fun first month, pulling everything together, setting up displays, getting to know what sells and what doesn’t.

All of the signs in my booth are upcycled, by which I mean they are all painted on some type of reclaimed material: a thrifted tray, a piece of plywood I scavenged from the trash, one side of a broken crate, etc.

A lot of my other Halloween decor is also secondhand pieces that I repainted or updated to give them a new look.

I took the photos in this post over the course of the last month, so some of what you’re seeing here has already sold. I’m trying to restock my inventory regularly, though, so hopefully there will always be something new to see (and buy).

If you want to see booth updates and what’s going on behind the scenes before I bring things into the store, follow me on social media. I’m going to try to start posting again on my (also long dormant) Instagram and Facebook accounts.

And if you’re in the Oconomowoc area, stop by Brown Street Emporium and take a look around. There are about a hundred booths in the mall, and each one is its own little world. Some are full of vintage decor or clothing, while others feature handcrafted items like jewelry, paintings, greeting cards, woodworking pieces, soaps and lotions, candles, painted furniture or unique upcycled decor.

Brown Street Emporium is open Tuesday through Sunday. Check out their Facebook page for more information about other vendors and upcoming events — including the big Vintage Shop Hop coming up October 7-8.


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