We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Johnson and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, how does your business help the community?
I think that one of the great benefits of a store that specializes in antiques and vintage items is that in showcasing and re-homing these found treasures our little ecosystem helps reduce the amount of waste that often comes with buying (and eventually disposing of) new items. In discovering and preserving these special finds we extend their life cycle to a new home, which is one less new item that needs to be manufactured and one less used item that might end up being wasted. The wonderful thing is that there is no sacrifice to the customer in that they get to daydream and curate their spaces in a fresh, creative and expressive way, but with truly one-of-a-kind items that add a human, storied touch, giving the lived environment a welcoming sense of soul. At Relic & Vine we try to help people reduce, reuse, and enjoy all the more!
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Relic & Vine specializes in well-preserved treasures which have been meticulously curated and collected so that my customers can have confidence that every item they come across is a high quality, high character find. Everything I sell is something that I’d be proud to display in my own home, and to be honest, sometimes I can’t resist the temptation of keeping one or two things for myself! I think one of the things that sets me apart from other antique stores is that I have a strongly cohesive style and rotating collection that is displayed with the intention of helping you imagine it in your own space. If someone wants to add character to their environment but doesn’t have time to find that perfect final-touch item, I want Relic & Vine to be a stylistically accessible place where they know they’ll find something amazing because I’ve already done the intensive searching and hard work for them.
Sometimes the search itself can be strenuous, but when I find something that I know my customers are going to love it makes all the hours on picking trips worth it. At the end of the day we’re hoping to help you curate your lived environment – a place where life, community, stories and rest happen – and helping to bring that life-touched character into those spaces gives me so much satisfaction.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well if this friend is anything like me I’d start with some thrifting and antiquing! You’ve got to stop by A&J Antiques (where the Relic & Vine booth is located), as well as Flamingo Boutique and Brand Spanking Used.
To fuel our search for all things vintage I’d bring us to Ginger & Baker for lunch (with the cherry pie and ice cream for dessert). Our days would probably start out by getting our caffeine fix at Lima Coffee Roasters near Old Town, and on a sunny day there’s nothing like a cycling break on the Spring Creek Trail.
I also love taking a picnic to City Park whenever there’s a long afternoon.
Don’t forget to enjoy all the incredible murals in Old Town, and if the weather is warm paddle boarding in the Horsetooth Reservoir is a must!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
A few years before I moved to Fort Collins and started Relic & Vine I worked at an architectural salvage store in Mississippi called Old House Depot. It was there in my early 20s that I had the transformative experience of exploring my unique style and learning about the art, character and potential of reused goods. I found a wonderfully supportive community there that gave me a really solid foundation of knowledge in the details of this kind of business. The work could be challenging at times but it sparked a joyful creativity in me that continues to grow in Relic & Vine. Starting this business in Fort Collins, it’s been so amazing to find kindred spirits of that creativity in Relic’s home community as well as the overwhelming encouragement of my customers.
Other: TikTok – https://vm.tiktok.com/TTPdYVXToN/
Timia Rose Photography (the photos with yellow couch)