Good news, Mesa, and anyone looking for an East Valley alternative to Phoenix's Melrose District: You're getting a new addition to the downtown scene. That's thanks to Old Brick House Vintage Market, which opens this week at 37 West Main Street.
Kalli Gleave, one of the main creators of the new shop, has been in the vintage business for about two years. She started by holding little markets in her front yard until they became too big and she had to start looking into commercial spaces to rent for her shows.
"It got to the point where people would ask, 'How do we find out about you?' cause it was just kind of sporadic," Gleave says. "So I got some of my friends who did it with me and we decided we would just find a permanent spot."
There are six women who make up Old Brick House Vintage Market, and their styles are all very different, which is one reason they all work well together, she says.
"I have one friend who's very industrial, a lot of her stuff is almost like the Restoration Hardware style, and then another one of us is really primitive," she says. "And we have another friend who's very French, and everything's white and bright, and I'm more shabby chic. We kind of have our specialties and we know what we're looking for when we're shopping."
Gleave says that she and her partners all try to look for pieces that are already finished or ready to go in their present state because restoration projects can become overwhelming.
"Occasionally we do find a super-awesome antique piece, and we'll paint it," she says. "Or if we find something that kind of needs a new life but we like the style of it, we'll just wax it or sass it up a bit if we can."
Gleave says that getting into this market has been great for her family, which includes her husband and two kids younger than 5.
"It's nice 'cause it was something I could do with my kids," she says. "I can take them shopping with me and on trips, and my husband actually enjoys it, too. When we take our family trips we take our truck and we always come home with a truck-full."
Gleave says that they do most of their shopping outside of Arizona, with Texas, California, Washington, and Oregon often serving as their hunting grounds.
"We're trying to get over to the Kansas and Ohio area, but we haven't made it that far yet," she says. "There're a lot of historic homes where you can really find those original pieces that people like."
The market will operate similarly to Melrose district's Sweet Salvage -- a store Gleave says she and her friends all love -- in that the store will open just only the second weekend of each month, allowing Old Brick House's owners to have time to shop and be with their families, without the stress of maintaining a shop day-to-day, Gleave says.
Gleave says they did consider opening up shop on Phoenix's famed Seventh Avenue, but ultimately they decided that the area had enough great things already and they wanted to contribute to bringing more of a vibrant, fun culture to downtown Mesa.
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"Mesa needs fun stores," she says. "It needs something to come and enjoy down here."
Gleave's aunt owns a bakery, Sweet Cakes Cafe, two doors down from Old Brick House, and for their grand opening weekend they'll be serving up some Valentine's Day-themed cookies, playing music, and Waffle Crush's food truck will be parked in front of the warehouse building.
Old Brick House Vintage Market will be open Thursday, February 13, through Saturday, February 15. Thursday's hours are 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday's and Saturday's are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. For more information, visit Old Brick's Facebook page.