NEW BEDFORD — A new shop is on a mission to preserve, upcycle and minimize waste by training people today the price in refurbishing vintage home furnishings and décor.
“These are pieces that men and women carry with them, ideally all over life due to the fact they’re just beautiful quality parts and they’re distinctive,” claimed Esabel S De Sousa, proprietor of Koke Isha Residence in Kilburn Mill.
“Persons are looking at preservation, recycling and cutting down squander, and thinking about buying locally, procuring little.”
On Dec. 4, the collective shop opened on the 1st floor of the mill featuring items this sort of as vintage home furniture, mid-century funky glassware and consignment jewelry.
“All people appears to be to locate one thing that they like,” Sousa explained.
The shop not only sells Sousa’s refurbished things but offers other artisans an option to sell in a retail shop environment rather of only relying on the world-wide-web.
Supplemental merchandise consist of a mid-century suitcase attached to wooden legs to generate a funky console table, upcycled driftwood tea gentle holders and a mandala design and style foot stool.
A person merchandise for sale, that Sousa restored, is a dresser she found in awful issue, in the basement of a seashore residence. She refurbished the piece, painting it purple and hand-portray cherry blossoms on the front.
“If there is a piece that can be restored back again to its initial elegance, I am going to do that,” she mentioned. “But some of the items are beyond just refurbishing, so they are provided new life and kept out of the landfill.”
Sousa claims folks can pay back equivalent costs for home furniture at major box merchants, but the excellent will never be as eternal. “It is all particleboard and will fall apart, whilst these are items that have stood the take a look at of time,” Sousa extra.
The New Bedford native hopes that her shop will excite a younger generation to appreciate what can be accomplished with vintage furniture from their grandparents or mothers and fathers.
“In its place of possessing a garden sale and obtaining rid of it, it might make them consider twice and say you will find worth and top quality right here,” Sousa claimed.
How it all commenced
Born in New Bedford, following significant faculty, Sousa joined the U.S. Air Drive. “I was lucky to journey and live in unique areas,” she said.
Sousa constantly beloved history, architecture and artifacts. She watched practically every episode of PBS’ “This Aged Property.”
“I was hooked,” she reported.
In her 40s, she moved to California to attend school and study interior design. She then worked for The Household Consignment Middle — the biggest furniture and décor consignment organization on the West Coast.
“I learned the market of consigning and bringing in other individuals to offer their items,” Sousa said. “Then, I required to get it one stage even more with throwing conservation into that.”
In 2018, Sousa moved again to New Bedford.
“I experienced been going to the Kilburn Mill, and the antique store downstairs. I was starting to watch the evolution of what was happening to the mill,” she mentioned.
Sousa intended to open up an area in the antique middle, but then COVID-19 delayed her ideas. In August 2021, Sousa signed a lease to open up a shop inside of the mill.
She named the retail outlet Koke Isha Home after her grandchildren, Koa (“Ko”) and Keanu (“Ke”), Halo (“Ha”) and her late grandson, Isaac (“Is”).
Sousa said her daughter aids her with the company by searching for items to refurbish. “She does the investment, I do the function,” Sousa reported.
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“I remember a single of the pieces that I had picked up just one day was on the curb. She was super expecting with her second boy or girl and right here we are loading this into the back again of her van,” Sousa recalled laughing.
Doing work with local artists
Sousa performs with 10 suppliers this sort of as artisan Cecile Callahan, Appreciate Me Knot crotchet artist, vintage jewelry artist In a snap and “For The Really like of Portuguese Food” cookbook writer Milena Rodriguez.
A different vendor is paintings and pottery artist Heather Cronin, an arts instructor at Dartmouth Significant University. She’s a cancer survivor, like Sousa, who was diagnosed with thyroid cancer.
They’re each in remission.
Most just lately, Sousa has been marketing purses that ended up originally crocheted runners produced by her 80-yr-old mom — who is nicknamed “Vava” by the relatives.
Sousa calls them “Vava’s Baggage.”
“It is so fun to be imaginative and start off with a thing that looks like trash and conclude up turning it into a treasure.”
Normal-Times staff writer Seth Chitwood can be achieved at [email protected]. Abide by him on twitter: @ChitwoodReports. Assistance nearby journalism by buying a electronic or print membership to The Normal-Periods today.