ROCKTON—Vintage Etcetera, 203 W. Main St., is the culmination of a lifetime of talents and interests.
Kelly Washburn, the former program director, facilities and office manager at Beloit Historical Society, opened a new business this summer where she can take her people skills, artistic abilities and craft classes to the next level.
Vintage Etcetera celebrated its grand opening on July 4, offering a wide variety of vendor booths. Each space is uniquely decorated and outfitted with the vendor’s unique flair. From bib overalls adorned with roosters to rustic chandeliers and milk paint, a vintage treat is on stock for every type of shopper.
“Our tagline is ‘a needful things market,” Washburn said. “It’s an eclectic environment to nurture local artisans.”
Many will be surprised with the light and bright atmosphere in the building after Washburn cleaned, painted and completely renovated the space.
Linda Brandenburg of 2 Impress’m Custom Apparel opened her vendor booth to sell items adorned with scenes of Rockton. She has pillows, sun catchers, mugs and luminaries with Rockton’s scenic sites. Brandenburg said Vintage Etcetera was the right place for a retail venture.
“I’ve always loved this store. When Kelly opened up, I called right away,” she said.
Now that she’s moved in, Brandenburg said she loves the environment and the camaraderie with fellow vendors.
“People give advice, and it’s friendly. I just love it. It’s a friendly place, and it’s exciting,” she said.
Charles Dorn and Kathy Santucci sell items from Hardwood Hollow via their space. They transform local logs into live-edge furniture such as benches and tables.
“It’s a unique selection of accent pieces” Kathy Santucci said.
Jeff Gustin of 608 Vintage/Phoenix Customworks builds one-of-a-kind creations such as custom lighting, tables and other unique treasures. He sells items such as serving trays made out of wine barrel staves to homemade checkerboards and other antiques at his new spot at Vintage Etcetera.
Other vendors sell soaps, pillows, paint, candles and garden items to rustic signs and jewelry.
Not only is Vintage Etcetera home to vendor booths, but is offering craft classes taught by Washburn.
Washburn, who started running vendor booths with her parents in her birthplace of Richland Center, Wisconsin, has a long history in the artistic world. Her father made furniture and her mother taught her daughter to sew and paint. As a child, Washburn would travel and do shows with her family who eventually moved to the Beloit area.
After Washburn graduated from Turner High School, she obtained a degree in food science at Blackhawk Technical College.
However, her true love was teaching craft classes. One of her specialties has been tea-stained vintage dolls and making repurposed furniture. She taught at the Welty Environmental Center and the Beloit Historical Society and had vendor booths in other stores.
Opening Vintage Etcetera has been a special experience for Washburn, who is enjoying promoting other artisans and teaching while being warmly welcomed into the Rockton community. The other shop owners in Rockton, she said, are very supportive of each other and eager to work together. Washburn is already planning some “pop up” events outside her shop.