Wakefield Vintage Boutique and Handmade Goods has opened in Castlegar across from Tim Hortons. Owner Tammy Hickling

New vintage shop a labour of love

Wakefield Vintage Boutique and Handmade Goods is now open in Castlegar

Wakefield Vintage Boutique and Handmade Goods has come together far smoother than owner Tammy Hickling and her fiancé Ken Laluk ever anticipated.

Two of the hardest-working people you’re likely to meet, Hickling said it was amazing how often things have just worked out, starting with the purchase itself.

“There was a bidding war and we got the house by $500,” she laughed.

From there, new flooring almost fell into place, a “vintage jewelry” sign Hickling had fit into a window frame without any modification and cabinets Hickling had from her 15 years of working in the construction business fit exactly where they were needed.

Perhaps eeriest of all, is the story of the air conditioner which was not included in the sale and taken by the previous owners.

Laluk was doing a renovation at his other job and came across a set of old windows that he snapped a photo of and sent to Hickling. She thought they looked great and would work well as the main display case and counter for the new shop.

“Later in the day he called me and said, ‘You’re never going to believe this,'” said Hickling. “The lady asked him to install this air conditioner and he recognized the note that was on it.”

Lo and behold, it was the air conditioning unit that used to be in the shop; it turns out the new display case windows are from the home of the granddaughter of the previous owner.

These types of fortuitous happenings have both believing that moving ahead with the new shop was meant to be.

Featuring vintage glass, china, pottery, art, jewelry and other handmade goods, the shop is located in a beautifully renovated 1950s era home at 1486 Columbia Avenue in Castlegar (right across from Tim Horton’s).

“I fell in love with vintage a long time ago,” said Hickling. “It was probably 30 years ago that I started collecting. We bought the house in March; I’ve always said I wanted to own my own shop.”

With massive corner windows, the store is bright and cheery. Crown mouldings, fresh paint, new floors and the removal of a few walls have transformed the former home into a pleasant shopping experience.

“I have a huge collection of Carnival Glass,” said Hickling. “That’s kind of my specialty. It was produced from the late 1800s to the early 1940s. It’s still being produced now but not by the same manufacturing process because they were using silver nitrate to get the colour.”

Every corner of the shop has an interesting piece to peruse and the yard, too, reflects the attention to detail Hickling has in whatever she takes on.

Hickling owns a home in Robson and is an avid gardener. Twice she’s had her gardens in the Castlegar Garden Tour. Fresh flowers were available in the shop and the whole property has  been brought up to an almost park-like setting.

At one point she toyed with the idea of making her Robson home a bed and breakfast but decided she prefers her privacy and off-hours more.

But that work ethic just won’t be satiated.

“We’ve probably had four or five days off since April,” said Laluk. “It’s been a lot of work but it’s amazing how well things came together.”

The new store is open 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. from Wednesday to Saturday and there is ample parking at the back of the store.

A website is in the works but for now you can find photos and more information about what’s available by visiting the store’s Facebook page; just search “Wakefield Vintage Boutique and handmade Goods” or call 250-304-9503.

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