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New store caters to retro crowd

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Cathy Dobson

The front door at the new Joie de Vintage shop opens frequently with curious shoppers coming in to see the funky clothes, retro housewares and chic, mid-century furniture.

Invariably, they stop to tell owners David and Isabel Weber what a great place it is.

“It’s so clean in here, everything is in really good condition,” said one.

“My daughter and her friends are in their 20s and they love this kind of stuff. It really appeals to them,” said another.

David Weber is a long-time collector who has amassed a lot of original pin up posters and household items from the 1950s, 60s, and 70s.

“I’m attracted to the things I grew up with,” he said.

Weber, who is in the publishing business, has always liked to surround himself at the office with his collectables. But when the collection began to take over he and his wife had to make a choice.

“We either had to find storage or take the plunge to open this store,” he said.

The couple toyed with opening in a larger market like Toronto but decided on Sarnia where they’ve lived for the past 11 years.

“We want to stay here. There’s a better quality of life,” said Weber.

A month after Joie de Vintage opened at 140 Front St. North, foot traffic is high and sales are strong, he said.

An entire wall is filled with vintage clothing, men and women’s coats, furs, dresses and tops.

There are accessories like hats, gloves, purses and jewelry. Unique lamps, tables, chairs and a sleigh bed etched with Egyptian erotica fill the floor.

A full-length raccoon coat is priced at $1,000 but most furs sell for $150 to $300.

Depending on label and condition, dresses are priced anywhere from $25 to $200.

A point of pride for David Weber is the collection of vintage posters on the south wall. “All original, no reprints,” he said.

A classic Marilyn Monroe nude sells for $295. A 1970s Heineken ad featuring Spock from Star Trek has a $35 price tag. Clockwork Orange movie posters are $75 each.

The couple buys a lot of their inventory on travels in Ontario and Michigan. They also buy items brought to them at the store, including estate jewelry, clothing and furniture.

“If we decide to buy, we buy outright,” he said. “We look for mid-century modern items and try to be very discerning.”

Joie de Vintage is open six days a week and by appointment on Mondays.  Call 519-344-6464.

 

HURRICANE HAZEL STORM SARNIA

 

Sarnia Lambton Business Week events wrapped up with a luncheon featuring longtime Mississauga mayor Hazel McCallion at the Dante Club.

McCallion, 93, who is promoting her new book, Hurricane Hazel – A Life With Purpose, received a standing ovation from 250 local professionals, politicians and reporters.

McCallion chose not to run in the recent municipal election after serving a whopping 12 terms.  Prior to political life, she was a professional hockey player and office manager with Canadian Kellogg, the engineering and contracting firm that built the Polymer rubber plant in Sarnia.

McCallion recalled those days in 1942. “It was a wonderful experience,” she said. “We also built the lube plant here.

“I really love construction because you’re building something. That’s what life is all about.”

The luncheon was presented by Libro Credit Union, sponsored by The Book Keeper, and co-ordinated by the Sarnia Lambton Business Development Corporation.

Got an interesting business story? Contact Cathy Dobson at [email protected] or call 226-932-0985.

 

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