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Vintage furnishings and accessories are the “new” wares for sale at a Midtown business opening next week, but despite their antique nature, co-owner Stefan Bloom said it won’t look like grandma’s attic.
The Scout Living collective will open June 1 at 1215 18th St. in what Bloom called the hub of Midtown.
Visitors who remember the Beyond Gotham jewelry store – which closed last September – might not recognize the building, which has been rearranged and now holds 11 separate areas ranging from 100 to 200 square feet full of vintage furniture and home décor.
“It’s not an antique store – it’s more of a store for home furnishings that are antiques,” said co-owner Erin Boyle, Bloom’s wife.
The name “Scout Living” harkens back to the ’50s, Bloom said, evoking nostalgic ideas of Boy Scout as well as representing the fact that they “scout” for their items. They added “living” to make it more of a lifestyle brand.
The 31-year-old Boyle and 34-year-old Bloom have been selling antique furniture since 2006 in San Francisco at a similar venue on Union Street, called Pat Perfect, which they still own. They moved to Sacramento three years ago and found the building on 18th Street between L Street and Capitol in early April and knew it would be the perfect space.
“I think it was an auto shop in the ’30s,” Bloom said, adding that the 2,700-square-foot space has held numerous businesses since. “We really like the old building and the area. It’s perfect.”
Bloom and Boyle rent out 10 of the 11 vendor stalls to other Sacramentans, keeping the final one for themselves. They said they chose the vendors they most wanted to work with and were happy when they agreed to rent spaces.
All sales go through the central cash register, where Bloom and Boyle work and take care of the books and sales tax and other business aspects. Once a month, the vendors are paid for items they sell, less a 10 percent commission.
Terry Sjotvedt, 38, was setting up her area Monday afternoon.
In addition to wall décor, she has items like a mid-century wood tabletop on a set of industrial-style legs.
“I’m looking forward to meeting a lot of new customers,” she said, adding that the area sees a lot of foot traffic that she hopes will bring in business.
“There’s nowhere else like Scout Living in Sacramento,” she added.
Each of the vendors inside has his or her own business, and Sjotvedt’s is called The Vintage Bricoleur.
“I sell a mix of primitive industrial shabby (items),” she said. “We pull it all together and make it work.”
Boyle said that is the essence of the Scout Living business as a whole – pulling in 11 different vendors to give customers a space where they can choose from a multitude of styles and designs.
“We learned from the recession that we don’t want a throwaway culture,” she said. “This is an alternative to Pottery Barn, Restoration Hardware or Ikea. These items have been around 50, 100, 200 years, and they’ll be around that much longer.”
In addition to the main vendors, shelving spaces are also available for rent in 3-foot sections of five shelves for people who want to sell items like pillows made with vintage fabric or other items that fit the store’s image.
“There won’t be any Coke bottles, Beanie Babies or VHS tapes,” Bloom said. Also, all the goods must be clean and complete.
“Nothing here is a project,” he said. “It’s all ready to go into your home.”
Shelves are still available for rent, and the 3-foot-wide sections are available for $100 per month.
The shelves themselves, like the light fixtures, were designed and built by Bloom and Boyle, who said they prefer to do things themselves.
Bloom’s background is in graphic design, and he left graduate school in psychology at Sacramento State to pursue the Scout Living business.
Boyle grew up around antiques, and she said dealing in mid-century Danish furnishings has been her interest since she was 15.
“It’s a clean, streamlined look that mixes well with just about anything,” she said. “The new look is the idea of mixing furniture and accessories of every point and time period.”
Another business, Blockhouse Modern, has never had a physical storefront before renting space at the front of Scout Living.
“We’re excited to be here in this location and working with this caliber of people,” said co-owner Alan La Guardia, 30.
Co-owner Serene Lusano, 26, said that until they found Scout Living, their business had been relegated to buying items on Craigslist, refurbishing them and selling them.
“There’s absolutely no way we could be doing this without (Bloom and Boyle),” she said. “This is our first time selling antiques full-time. We both found ourselves without full-time jobs, and now we’re here.”
Boyle said nearby businesses have been very helpful in getting Scout Living off the ground, and Zócalo offered to donate appetizers for the grand opening ceremony during the June Second Saturday Art Walk, June 11.
Zócalo Manager Gabriel Rodriguez said he is happy to see another business in the area.
“We want people to know this is a place they can come and find good food and good shopping,” he said. “Lots of districts in San Francisco have their own identities, and we want to build on this one.”
Rodriguez added that foot traffic from Scout Living will be beneficial to Zócalo and vice-versa, and said Zócalo often donates food to community events.
For more information on Scout Living, visit the business’ website.
Brandon Darnell is a staff reporter for The Sacramento Press. Follow him on Twitter @Brandon_Darnell.