Caley Coleff first began collecting vintage furniture from flea markets with her grandfather when she was a little girl. Once the furniture was home, she'd watch her grandfather refinish it, absorbing his techniques even when he thought she wasn't paying attention.
This month, Coleff unveiled a vintage store that pays tribute to those early experiences while adding her own unique twist. Located at 11102 Detroit Avenue in Cudell, Heck's Revival
is named after her grandfather, whose last name was Heck.
"I started doing stuff from my home because you can't afford nice, well-made furniture anymore," she explains. "If you buy something it's the cheapo [stuff] that falls apart. I had a lot, so I started doing custom orders and selling to friends. I never realized I was actually good at it, I was just making stuff that I liked."
Then Coleff met her business partner, Jill Krznaric ("It's Croatian, even though I'm not"), and a business idea was born. Krznaric is into retro items like old barstools, while Coleff likes to take French Provincial furniture and paint it with cool designs. Together, they found a space with hardwood floors that they liked and signed a lease.
"A lot of our stuff comes out of the trash," says Coleff, who is 26 years old and also tends bar. "It's beat up and broken and people think it's out of style. We stain it, prime it and put it back together. Then I paint it with cool colors and designs."
The most expensive item in Heck's Revival is a $400 dresser that Coleff painted with a white background and a black outline of Marilyn Monroe's face. The least expensive items are old retro kitchen stuff that sell for a buck apiece.
"As new as we are, I thought it would have taken a lot longer to pick up. We've been doing really, really well," effuses Coleff, who aims to create a younger, more accessible kind of vintage retailer. "People like it enough to tell their friends."
Heck's Revival, which opened in mid-November, has regular hours on Mondays from 12-7 p.m., Wednesdays-Fridays from 12-5 p.m. and Saturdays from 12-4 p.m.
Source: Caley Coleff
Writer: Lee Chilcote