NEWBERRY — A new business has made its way into downtown Newberry, with a wide variety of items. Southern Renaissance, located at 1216 Main Street, offers customers a selection of glassware, collectibles, decorative items and books to help channel your inner designer or bookworm.
Owners Vicki Wiseman and Jane Robertson decided to open their own store after seeing the need for more modern furniture that is currently trending.
“We saw a need for not just antiques, but the mid-century, modern furniture and hand-painted furniture that is so popular among the millennials,” Robertson said.
For Wiseman, who recently retired, she saw the business as an opportunity to do something fun and put her decorating skills to use.
“I had just retired from teaching in June so my schedule was more flexible and I just enjoy decorating and putting things together,” she said.
Although Wiseman and Robertson are both store owners, each of them have their own specialties.
“Vicki is our designated decorator of the store, the store looks like this because of her,” Robertson said.
“Jane is the go-to for information when it comes to what do you think of this piece, is this a good buy or a good investment because of her experience. It’s fun, but it’s my second career. I’m fortunate that I found something I can enjoy doing,” Wiseman said.
She added that taking on this business venture is almost like treasure hunting.
“That’s the fun part to me, it’s almost like treasure hunting when you go to look for things and you can visualize it. You take it from where you find it, clean it up, repair it and put it in a totally different setting and it’s almost like I’m rescuing things,” she said.
Wiseman and Robertson are always looking for new pieces to add to their store, but stressed they do not do consignment and will only buy from people.
“I’ve done some online auctions, cleaned out my attic, etc. It’s just fun to hunt and look, treasure hunting is what my husband calls it. You have to think outside the box about pieces and other ways to use them. Getting people to look at a piece and all the possibilities of what you can do with it is another thing that we try to do,” Wiseman said.
Robertson said any time she travels she is always looking for pieces and doesn’t want to discourage anyone from showing them their pieces.
“Any time someone calls me they usually say ‘you may not care about this,’ but we always like to look and I’ll tell you if it’s something I think I could use, like Vicki said you have to imagine it in a variety of roles,” she said.
At Southern Renaissance, Wiseman and Robertson want to make sure they not only buy reasonably, but sell reasonably as well.
“You can always look at book value, but a book value is defined as the highest price that was ever recorded as sold at an auction or anywhere on a piece. You don’t price your pieces book value and expect them to sell for that unless it were an extremely rare piece. I try to buy reasonably and then sell reasonably for customers,” Robertson said.
Although they have only been opened a short time, the owners have been amazed at the response they have received from the community.
“I think we’ve had a good response, it’s amazed me how not many local people stop by, but it’s a lot of Lexington, Chapin, Greenwood and then people from the United Kingdom, all over,” Wiseman said. “The more retail you have on Main Street, the more traffic you get, so I get very excited when I hear a new retail space is coming on Main Street because that’s what brings the traffic in.”
Southern Renaissance is open Tuesday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. The community can also connect with Southern Renaissance on Instagram at southerrenaissancevtg, Facebook at Southern Renaissance – Eclectic Vintage Decor or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you or someone you know have pieces they would like to show, contact Wiseman at 803-924-1193, Robertson at 803-537-9728 or call the store at 803-537-9673.
Reach Kelly Duncan at 803-768-3123 ext. 1868 or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.