The Beginning...

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I’ll admit, I’ve done a little tossing and turning about the content of my first official blog post. Should it be about the name? A lot of people ask…what does your name mean? So, to get that out of the way, here’s the definition of AMPERSAND:

 

[am-per-sand, am-per-sand]

noun: ampersand; plural noun: ampersands

the sign (&) standing for and, or the Latin for et

1820–30; contraction of and per seand literally, 

the symbol (&) by itself stands for “and.”

 

We wanted something that was fun and unexpected and also, sort of encompassed “everything.” And we added “Old & New” both to use an actual ampersand in action and to scream to the world “we won’t be pigeonholed!” Enter another potential topic: why do we sell such a variety of things?

As a relatively young girl, I inherited antiques. My Grannie collected antiques and rearranged her giant farmhouse on a regular basis because, as she said in her high-pitched fast-paced non-accent-accent, “Change is GOOD.” I’ve lived by that credo my whole life and while I can sometimes take it too far (we’ve moved around at least 20 times in the last 20 years), mixing things up is the way of the Gemini because after all…we’re (at least) two people in one!

But I digress… 

I believe the most interesting interiors – and those that make you feel the most at home – are those with a blend of old and new. Not that there’s anything wrong with shopping Pottery Barn online for your entire household but that’s exactly what it’ll look like. A store. And, while no one on Earth loves retail more than this girl, I want my home to look like an expression of the things I love, including my Grannie’s round oak table, my down-filled linen sofa, and my industrial-style shelving from Target. 

Back to my briefly mentioned love of retail. 

I grew up in a small town in southern New Mexico where my parents owned a Hallmark store in the historic downtown. Throughout my formative years, that store was the love of my life. Yes, it was my parents’ love of course but for me, it held a special magic. If you had asked me when I was 10 what I wanted to be when I grew up I’d have said, “a Mom and a writer for Hallmark cards.” Well, I accomplished the first but tweaked the second. Once I did “grow up,” I realized it wasn’t the product I loved so much (I mean there are A LOT of better card lines out there, now) but the world of retail:   shopping for and displaying products for lovely people to buy. 

While I was in design school in the early 2000’s, I started filling our spare room with things I wanted to sell. Some of them required “refurbishing” which my talented husband easily accomplished but most were just classic. Not only in design but in quality and function. And that’s what we’re all about. If the treasures we find need a little love then by all means, we give it love and restore them as best we can to their former glory. But moreover, we look for things that are perfect in their imperfections because they were built to last

Our first store, Rejuvenation, was *gulp* 18 years ago. We completely fell in love with so many facets of the resale/retail business but mostly we learned A LOT. What not to do (sell coffee) and what to do better than anyone else (customer service).

What I most want you to glean from this maiden blog is how utterly, IMMENSELY grateful we are to be doing what we love, once again. “Do what you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.”  I heard that quote during a high school party (from the parent of a friend who was yes, cool enough to be at a high school party) and it stuck. I’ve spent the better part of my adulthood chasing that rainbow and am finally here. So, THANK YOU for coming along, cheering us on, and just generally being awesome. We couldn’t do any of it without YOU!

Cara Evans