Before opening the doors at Vintage Soul 1020, Debbie Mangual began selling her particular brand of vintage chic at flea markets and local boutiques. Her own shop first came to life 5 years ago in a tiny space on a quiet side street in downtown Saint Cloud, Florida. Paying $100 a week in rent, she barely had enough room to turn around, much less offer any of the larger furniture pieces she offers today.
I remember walking past her shop the first time and it was clear through the small front window this wasn't a big store, but it was obvious whoever was running this little establishment knew how to dramatize a small space. Since then, she has named her shop Vintage Soul 1020 and moved to it’s current and more spacious home on New York Avenue.
Now with much more room and traffic, she has been able to expand her selections of vintage decor, casual textiles and reclaimed furniture which she loosely describes as, “Urban Shabby.”
On a typical day, Vintage Soul 1020 is filled with 20’s-30’s era furniture, white-washed and sometimes distressed in a classic shabby chic style. Handmade pillows and linens that Debbie finds and sometimes design herself fill the time-worn cupboards and rustic wardrobes.
“I love finding something that someone else didn’t see,” says Mangual. She describes finding the right item to work her magic on at a flea market by looking past it’s current state and “seeing it already done.” Admittedly, she doesn’t offer anything “she doesn’t love”, accepting the fact that she may be missing business by not selling items just to “sell”.
Growing up in Jersey City, NJ, her childhood visits in the mid 80’s to Soho and Greenwich Village shaped her design aesthetics. Romanced by the old buildings and architecture, she found her love of all things worn and rustic, with a self described passion for the old, “peely stuff.”
It’s worth noting Debbie has managed to grow her business over the years while raising her young son. Asked what advice she would offer anyone thinking of opening their own shop, she says, “If you have the passion and are willing to work - work harder than you ever have in your whole life - if you really love what you do, than you can do it.”
For more information, please visit facebook.com/vintagesoul1020
Alan Pepin / Creative Director
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