Ever since falling in love with vintage furnishings while living in DC in my late 20's, something began to sprout in me – a fantasy of owning a fabulously curated, vintage furnishings boutique, stocked with unique and provocative finds from near and far, with a strong influence of midcentury design. My very close friend and amazing interior designer, Seth van den Bergh, would be my "partner in crime" as we scoured for amazing vintage pieces. With the boutique, I would share with the world my love for how vintage pieces can transform your space from generic and unmemorable to conversation-worthy and full of richness and soul.
Of course, this was a pipe dream – how would I ever be able to afford inventory, travel to find them, pay for a brick and mortar location, and most importantly pay my bills as a meager vintage shop curator and owner?! I had moved back to Atlanta, and I knew the market would be tough to break through with the high saturation of vintage resellers in the area. So I tucked the idea away for another day, and only talked about it over wine with Seth (or whenever someone asked what my dream job would be).
Last February my fiance, Shaw, and I were driving back from Asheville from one of the many trips we had taken there to feed our soul, and it suddenly dawned on me. "What if we moved to Asheville?" (I should note, Shaw almost drove off the road in excitement at this suggestion.) I continued to brainstorm as we drove back towards Atlanta about the life we could create living there and the possibility of lighting a flame to the dream of launching my own vintage collection. Could I really make this dream a reality? Little did I know the photo above, taken during that very trip in February at the River Arts District, would foreshadow our future...
Since I was currently working at a branding agency at that time, I got to work right away on the brand, and fairly quickly the name came to me. I've been obsessed with the color indigo for quite some time (long before it became trendy in the most recent years) – wearing it, using it in my own home, constantly drawn towards anything of that color. I also knew I wanted my brand to evoke a level of hand-curation, not just a pile of vintage junk I found in my grandmother's attic, but rather pieces that were gathered and collected with intention. Thus was born "Indigo Collection!"
With the name and identity of the brand squared away, I pulled together an initial mood board and concept for the style and types of pieces I would curate.
Original Indigo Collection concept and mood board
(I've since evolved the brand vision and unique selling proposition. More on that in another post.)
Initially, I had planned to start larger, with beautiful pieces of furniture, geometric rugs, abstract art, and cool accessories, all featuring clean, MCM lines, warm neutrals, and bright pops of color (especially indigo). But as I began to shape and frame the logistics of starting out, I decided rather than to spend huge costs up front with large pieces of inventory and a brick and mortar location, I could start small with an online store, using Shopify, featuring smaller tabletop accessories, lighting, and art that I could ship directly to my customers' doors.
The next step was how and what to curate for my vintage collection.
I came up with a simple formula I still use today:
Before I spent any money on inventory, again trying to keep costs down, I looked around my own home to see what I could include from my personal collection, easily answering #1 and #2 from my formula. I then added a few more pieces from my favorite vintage sources around town. Before I knew it, I had a collection (meager but strong) of 50+ pieces!
With the help of Shaw, who is a web developer (turned coffee entrepreneur), and the user-friendly Shopify platform, I designed my online store. I should mention, I had some expert design and copywriting help from my friends and former co-workers. Kendra Lively, the Senior Creative Director at my previous company, designed my logo mark and icon, and Stephanie Proft, head copywriter, assisted with some sassy pros. And, after living in Asheville for only two months, on November 28, 2016, I launched Indigo Collection's online store!!
People ask Shaw and me all the time about why we moved to Asheville. There are so many answers to that question that we find it hard to put into words.
We thirsted for a more intimate, creative community; the open, beautiful, and accessible outdoors; craft beer and coffee that makes you feel honored to enjoy it so frequently and abundantly. But most importantly, we desired to design a lifestyle of our choosing. One where we could express our creativity and explore our passions.
For me, my passion is all things vintage that help tell an authentic story that showcases your personality in your home. To feed that passion, I yearned for an outlet to create something that I would not only be proud to call mine, but fulfilled by. With this passion, a background in interior design, and the belief that your home should be a reflection of you, not a catalog, Indigo Collection was born.
Here I hand curate a thoughtful collection of vintage home goods that have lived previous lives and are ready to infuse energy into your home. Express your perspective in your home with a collection that's uniquely you – sleek and understated, bold and colorful, weird and kooky, or a mix of it all.
Hi, I'm Megan, owner & curator of Indigo Collection.
P.S. I'm still waiting for Seth to join me on this adventure... Meanwhile, you can hire his amazing services at Musso.
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