Antique Row is one of my favorite places in Tacoma. Back in the late 1990s, I used to live just a few blocks from Antique Row. I’d spend my Saturday mornings going through the various antique and curio shops. It was a good time even when I didn’t buy anything.
Millesime Designs is one of the newest additions to Antique Row. I stopped by a couple of weeks ago. It’s a small shop packed with things you won’t find anywhere else. I also met Summer Briggs who was nice enough to participate in this week’s 5 Question Friday.
1. What is Millesime Designs?
Millesime designs is a home boutique located in downtown Tacoma. We specialize in a mix of vintage furnishings and accessories alongside upcycled creations and handcrafted paper items.
2. What makes Millesime Designs unique?
One of the things that makes Millesime designs unique is our Collections. About every 8 weeks we completely transform the store. We change the paint colors and bring in all new furniture and accessories. This allows us to introduce new styles and themes 6 times a year. It also helps us keep the space fresh and allows us to keep the space intentionally designed instead of just packed. I love providing a space where people can visualize how they will live with the items. Our core aesthetic is consistent but we delve into new colors and periods. We love it and our customers seem to have as much fun with it as we do.
3. How did you get started selling these unique items?
Opening the store has been a journey. I’ve had a love for all things vintage since I was a child. My Mom would take us to rummage sales and flea markets regularly. I’ve never lost that love of the hunt and love the sharing and selling of my finds. When I was living in San Francisco I started making one of our core products, our Notebooks. I quickly learned there was a market for them and began selling them at a boutique on Sacramento street. When we moved back to Washington the job market was tough and I wasn’t finding a position that excited me. So I wandered into Sanford & Son Antiques, saw their incredible deal on retail space. Met the owners, believed in their business model and plunged into our first location head first. Bringing my two passions together, vintage items and handcrafted items, into one store that has evolved to what we are today.
4. What’s your favorite item you’ve come across and why?
I’ve had so many favorite finds over the years. One of my top favorites ever was the Booze Hound Bar. We found a dog grooming station that was built from the base of an antique barber chair. We upcycled it into a bar. A bar that lifted and lowered on hydraulics, that spun around, that had a cabinet to house liquor and glasses. That we topped off with vintage dictionary pages all featuring dog images and finished with a dog chain that dropped down the door to the cabinet to make a shelf. It was amazing. It found a home with one of our favorite retailers up on 6th Ave. A personal favorite find was stopping at an Antique store on my honeymoon and finding a Fisher Price tick tock clock that was exactly like the one I played with at my Grandparents house. Turning it on instantly transports me back to afternoons with my sisters and cousins at family gatherings. That’s one that won’t be making it into the store inventory.
5. What are your future plans for Millesime Designs?
Our future plans for Millesime designs include expanding our custom lines and expanding our retail presence with more wholesale opportunities. Very soon we’ll introduce an offshoot brand focused on vintage baby items we are really excited to launch. Short term we’ll keep settling into our new space (which we love!) with our next Collection premiering in May. Long term we plan on staying in this space for 1-2 more years and then relocate to a larger space where we can continue to grow, change, and with our loyal customers support, thrive.
Thanks to Summer Briggs for joining me for 5 Question Friday. You can find her shop down on Antique Row at 745 Broadway in Downtown Tacoma.
If you or anyone you know would like to participate in 5 Question Friday, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org