VintageLancaster is owned and operated by BUiLDiNG CHARACTER general manager Holly Lessey and husband, Micah. VintageLancaster features a wide range collection of handmade, upcycled, and vintage items. Holly and Micah have a great eye for rustic/industrial beauty, which is very evident in most of their pieces. You can also find specialty items featuring Holly’s photography, which includes greeting cards and pillows.
How long have you been with BUiLDiNG CHARACTER?
I have been with BC since February 2012.
Your favorite thing about being a vendor/seller at BUiLDiNG CHARACTER?
Just the fact that I can have a physical presence as a micro business in the community, in this community specifically, is amazing. Without the kind of business model behind BC, people like me would only dream about having a local business.
What type of items do you sell at your booth? (How would you describe your items?)
Primarily vintage and some handmade or upcycled. I see it as urban industrial meets shabby chic.
What made you want to start your craft/hobby/collection?
I grew up with vintage things all around, except we didn’t call it that. Mostly because of my dad and his mom, we used things around the house that were old, but they weren’t broken. In fact they lasted forever, so we kept using them. My grandmother grew up through the Great Depression, so she was very frugal & took care of what she had. In retrospect, I realize that she rarely bought anything new, but I don’t think she ever felt deprived. Mommom always said, even if it was time for giving gifts, “I don’t need anything” which is completely opposite of our consumer-minded culture. Fast forward to me being a young married adult. My husband and I were looking for a way to start a small home business. We realized maybe there was something to my affinity for vintage things that could generate a little extra income. In 2010, VintageLancaster was launched initially as an ecommerce business only, through Etsy.com. Business was good, so we started looking locally for a place to put down roots. That’s when we found BC. The rest, as they say, is history.
What other hobbies do you have? (Family, Friends, Reading, Swimming…)
They say if you have a job that you love, you’ll never work a day in your life. Our small business is my job and my hobby. I enjoy the whole process from finding our vintage objects, photographing them, creating marketing materials, upcycling shabby objects and even creating new art with the photographs we take. Most evenings are spent packaging orders, pricing new items, making magnets and cards and more. It appeals to every aspect of my personality, from the insanely practical and utilitarian to the beautiful and artsy.
Three interesting facts about you?
I would prefer to wear flip-flops all the time and I HATE to wear coats. I prefer cold sweets and like to keep my cookies and chocolate in the freezer.
If you could transport yourself to back to any time era, what year would it be? (or what is your favorite era of items to collect?)
Probably early 1900s-1920/30s — Art Deco & Art Nouveau periods of design are my favorite and seeing designs in transition between eras, where they’re changing slowly from Victorian to Art Deco to Art Nouveau.
—-Visit VintageLancaster 7 days a week inside BUiLDiNG CHARACTER, rear warehouses at 342 N. Queen St., Downtown Lancaster.—-
—You can find VintageLancaster on etsy by clicking the “VintageLancaster” picture above.—-