Sisters ‘redeux’ town with vintage shop
Vintage Redeux owners already expanding to two Virginia locations, planning a La Plata outlet
They consider themselves certified dumpster divers, and what they’re looking for is someone else’s trash that can be turned into treasure.
“We have gone, like when we’re on vacation in North Carolina at the beach, and looked at everyone’s trash,” said Whitney Muenze of Marbury, one half of the new Vintage Redeux in Indian Head. “We drove around on trash day. People had all kinds of furniture and extra scraps of wood. We frequent the stores right here and pick stuff out of the dumpsters.”
“We were driving down the road and there were chairs alongside the road and we stopped,” said her sister, Ashely Rankin, the other half of the retail business. “A lady says, ‘Wait, wait, wait, don’t leave. Do you want more stuff?’”
“She had to be [moved] out that night, so she said load up what you can,” Muenze added. “We got China cabinets, desks, everything.”
The Marbury sisters — they live next to each other and grew up in the area — opened the vintage furniture and refurbished goods boutique on Nov. 4 in the vacant “CACI” building at 4555 Indian Head Highway.
The two build tables and benches and finish them in a distressed style for custom orders. Vintage chairs are refinished to complete the dining room sets. They also make and refinish coffee and end tables.
“We have a lot of projects that we’ve done ourselves. The tables, we make these, and the benches,” Rankin said. “We repurpose old chairs that people have abandoned a long time ago. The stuff we build, we make them to order. You can pretty much tell us what you want and we can build it.”
Rankin holds down a day job as office manager at the SolarCity in White Plains, and does most of her work in the evenings and on the weekends — when she isn’t chasing after her three children. Muenze is a stay-at-home mom and fits in refinishing work, as well as picking up good furniture finds, in between projects at home with her three children.
“I do a lot of the refinishing of furniture and stuff,” Muenze said. “When I’m not doing anything, I pull a piece of furniture into my house.”
“We literally do it in our living rooms,” Rankin added. “We do it all the time. In the evenings while my kids are doing homework, I’ll have chairs sitting out getting painted.” The two also have a four-car garage as a shop situated between their houses.
Muenze makes a line of rustic signs from reclaimed lumber, including large clock faces from round wooden spool endcaps.
“All the signs are made from repurposed wooden spools, electrical spools and pallet boards,” Muenze said. “And the clocks are made from the spools.”
“Furniture and signs, that’s what we do,” Rankin said.
The two knew they’d do well before opening the Indian Head location. While struggling with all the permits and permissions — eventually ironed out with the help of the town’s mayor, Brandon Paulin — they brought a load of furni- ture and signs to a home and garden show in Timonium.
“We did really, really well. We sold three tables,” Rankin said. “We sold everything we took with us, and we even got [custom] orders from the show.”
Since opening in Indian Head, they’ve added a line of boutique clothing — in all sizes, “including plus sizes” — as well as “stamped jewelry” and a line of soaps made by a couple of women in La Plata under the Southern Maryland Soap Company label. They also sell a line of refinishing paint called Fusion Mineral Paint.
The two are already in expansion mode even though the existing shop has been open less than two months. Starting Jan. 1, they’ll be selling their goods at Maggie Jane’s, a vintage boutique on King Street in Old Town Alexandria, Va. They are also getting a spot at Unique Antiques in King George, Va. And that’s not the end of it.
“We’re looking to expand in the La Plata area, as soon as we can find a space,” Muenze said.
“We’ll still be open here, but then we’ll have the one in La Plata,” Rankin added. “We have enough stuff to do it. We’ll be expanding in all directions, which was the ultimate goal: get our name out there and get our stuff out there.”
Muenze said they have “three barns worth of stuff” currently and are always finding more.
Their mother, Cindy DeVane, is where they got their penchant for furniture and antique hunting. She helps out with the business, too.
“Mom’s been involved,” Rankin said. “We initially got our instincts from her. When we were growing up, she would always go antique shopping and take us with her — going to estate sales. We were always there and we saw everything.” She also always seemed to have painting projects in the works.
“We have basically done this for the longest time,” Muenze said. “We’ve had a passion for it.”
Vintage Redeux is open 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturdays. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/ vintagerx/.
Sisters Whitney Muenze, left, and Ashley Rankin, both of Marbury, opened Vintage Redeux in Indian Head on Nov. 4. The two make and refinish furniture and signs in the distressed style.
Above, Whitney Muenze makes distressed signs and clock faces from wooden cable spools and other reclaimed wood. Below, a table at Vintage Redeux is made from new wood but distressed to look old. The chairs are refinished old ones.