I’ve often wondered what draws me to old items. Most of the vintage items that come to me are past their prime, orphaned by their original owners, and many in need of mending. My husband calls me an old soul. Maybe it’s the excitement of the hunt, or the idea of participating in the history of an item. I love the originality, the details of construction and the one-of-a-kindness of truly old things but also have a love of nostalgia that prompts me to fill the remainder of the store and website with inspired items that are the representation of a bygone era.
There is a certain charm to the old-time ways of living and shopping vintage is a great way to explore individuality and originality. When I was younger and traveling the world, my father would meet me in baggage claim with abundant fear and trepidation. He would tell people that anything making its way down the conveyor belt that was ancient, offbeat, oversized, unconventional and likely to fall apart would more than likely be mine- to be carted home - with usually no advance warning as to size, nature or form.
Every year in the United States, nearly 12 million plus pieces of furniture and accessories are discarded into landfills. The world is full of family heirlooms and flea market finds that deserve a second chance. Most older pieces weren’t rolled off an assembly line or didn’t come in boxes with DIY instructions. Many of these items were handmade using high quality materials and craftsmanship. We hand pick old furniture pieces and accessories as we find them. We also search high and low and buy in limited quantities many on-trend vintage inspired items from quality merchants that you won’t see in big box stores.
I left the fast pace of corporate life, moved to Apalachicola and was inspired to open Random Catch for all of these reasons; sustainability, originality, treasure hunting, and just plain love of nostalgia. We opened the store in February of 2020, ahead of the pandemic and I am happy to say the psychology of vintage and the mystique of the antique and many enthusiastic customers have kept us going.
Bubbles, our 13 year old English Bulldog is the ideal shop dog. She greets every customer with a bit of slobber, sheds hair on every inch of the floor, woofs during every important customer phone call, and if we accidentally leave the front door ajar, she quietly sneaks out to the bar around the corner where she knows the dog biscuit jar overflows.
She welcomes pats and attention, but typically, she can be found—well, sound asleep and snoring next to the sales counter. It’s not unusual for new shoppers to be surprised that Bubbles is a ‘real’ dog when they wander in. Repeat customers know Bubbles and occasionally come in just to see her.