By Lisa Capobianco
Keeping history alive is something Amy Kline has accomplished through her store, Vintage from the Heart, located in downtown Plantsville.
Specializing in exquisite vintage jewelry, hand-carved cameos and shells, Vera Bradley retired and vintage handbags, fine collectables and handmade linens, Vintage from the Heart offers a variety of items made in the U.S. and European countries like Italy, Germany, France, England and Austria.
“I’m an old soul—everything is a piece of art to me,” said Kline, adding that her mother-in-law provided her many items passed down from her family. “It was always a dream as a little girl to open up a shop.”
Vintage offers five rooms filled with different items for customers of all ages. The jewelry room features vintage jewelry and sets, hand-carved cameos ranging from glass to shell to coral to marble, as well as Vera Bradley retired, patterned and vintage bags.
Kline also has a bridal room, which features pearls, rhinestones, earrings, gloves and accessories, and necklaces for that special day. The same room is also used for other special occasions, like proms.
Kline said the rhinestones serve as the most popular item among future brides, who where them in their hair or on their dresses. They can choose from a variety of rhinestones, including Eisenberg and Kramer rhinestones.
“The Eisenbergs were the most highly sought after,” said Kline, adding that she would like to expand the bridal aspect of her business by offering parties for brides-to-be. “They can actually be passed off sometimes as real diamonds because of the way they cut them.”
Besides jewelry, Vintage also offers hand-painted furniture Italian collectables like an Italian expresso set in its original box, glass collectables, framed art, lamps and pottery from Germany.
There is also a “kids corner” with stuffed animals, new and gently used baby bottles, educational toys, growth charts, headbands and some baby clothing.
Kline said she also has plans to start selling items for pets.
“We have everything—there’s something for…all ages,” said Kline. “We are pet-friendly.”
Located at 53 West Main Street in Plantsville, Vintage from the Heart opened up in the same property where a tinsmith shop called Peck, Stow & Wilcox Company once stood.
The company dates back to the 1800s when Seth Peck, the son of Captain David Peck, wanted to make tinners’ machines, as stated the “History of Southington,” provided by the Southington Historical Society. Although an exact date was not determined, it is reported that Peck took up the industry between 1810 and 1819. Tinware became an important piece of manufacture in Southington as early as 1795, according to the “History of Southington.”
When Kline saw the building and its location, she knew it would make a perfect fit for her business.
“It’s making this building shine again,” said Kline, adding that her husband Eric serves as her “right hand man” for running the business. “Now I can tell [the customers] the history of the building.”
Vintage from the Heart is open Wednesday-Thursday from 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Friday-Saturday from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., and Sunday 12 p.m. to 4 p.m.
Walk-ins are accepted for customers looking to sell any vintage items (Vintage offers a straight-out buy—no consignment).
Vintage also offers customers the option to put their purchase on layaway.
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By Lisa Capobianco