Meet the Vendors: Q&A with Ryan Dennis of Grey Street Market

Ryan Dennis of Grey Street Market is joining us today to share how she got started in vintage and some tips for using bold colors and vintage pieces in your own home.

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KB: Can you tell us a little bit about yourself? How did you get started finding and selling vintage goods?

RD: For as long as I can remember I've loved hunting for treasure, from garage sales with my grandmother and shells at the beach to clothes at Marshall's and now all over the place! Hunting vintage gets my creative juices flowing because I have to think outside the box and figure out a way to transform old and dirty into cool. I can't recall a time when I wasn't drawn to vintage style, but my first serious obsession was buying vintage Levi's from Time Warp and Uptown Downtown when I was in high school.

KB: How did you get connected with Susan and Cottage Grove Vintage?

RD: I had decided to take my vintage hunting to the next level by selling some of my stuff because I was looking for a way to make some money while juggling everything that goes along with being a mother of two. It checked all of the boxes for me. I started out with my Etsy shop and then Julie, from Found, told me about the Flippin' Flea. I set up a little shop outside and I think I had a space in Cottage Grove the next month

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KB: What’s your favorite part about running Grey Street Market? Has the business evolved at all from when you started?

RD: As I said before, I just love the digging and shopping and using all of the creative parts of me. My mother and I had Invitations on Main for ten years so I'm no stranger to retail. Not gonna lie, the "putting yourself out there" and all of the papers and receipts are not my fave!

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KB: How would you describe your style?

RD: Hmm. Such a boring term, but 100% eclectic. My house was built in 1950 and is true mid century modern so that got me going on MCM style, but I've got a little bit of everything mixed in. Thankfully my husband loves it too, so he doesn't mind coming home to find I've hammered a few more things to our walls or rearranged the furniture.

KB: Your space at the shop is always full of color--any tips for the color-timid on adding bold pieces to your home?

RD: This is my tip: my house has an open floor plan, so all of my walls are painted a very light neutral, which anchors the house. Colorful pillows and art are an easy way to jazz up a room without committing too much. I've got a wall filled with black and white art, but then have one orange block print thrown in for some color. I have a few colors that I’ve focused on and carried throughout the house so it looks a little more pulled together. Big stuff neutral, small stuff colorful is how I do it.

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KB: Do you have any favorite pieces you’ve sold at the shop?

RD: I can't help it, I love the bamboo and rattan and I just sold this really cool bamboo bar cabinet. I would have loved to have kept it if I had the room. It was in great shape and well worth the long haul down the mountain.

KB: How do you incorporate vintage into your own home? Any tips for mixing older pieces with new ones?

RD: I like new, fresh upholstery so most of my furniture is vintage but updated with a modern fabric or a funky vintage lamp base with a new clean lampshade.

Thanks so much, Ryan!

You can see Ryan's latest finds at Cottage Grove Vintage Market, Wednesday through Friday 10am-5pm and Saturday 10am-3pm, or follow Grey Street Market on Instagram and Facebook.