Sis­ters ‘re­deux’ town with vin­tage shop

Vin­tage Re­deux own­ers al­ready ex­pand­ing to two Vir­ginia lo­ca­tions, plan­ning a La Plata out­let

Maryland Independent - - Front Page - By DAR­WIN WEIGEL dweigel@somd­ Twit­ter: @somd_bized­i­tor

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.face­ 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.

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