There's a new kid on the block, and the Melrose District's most recent addition to its well-known arsenal of vintage, refurbished and antique shops goes by the name Twigs and Twine Custom Restoration and Design.
Mark and Jill Roberts are the creative husband-and-wife duo behind the venture, which was operated out of the Roberts' home and eventually vendor spaces along Melrose's Seventh Avenue before becoming a full-fledged brick-and-mortar shop. Twigs and Twine opened its doors less than a month ago to much fanfare, and to celebrate its grand opening, the Roberts are hosting an open house Friday, January 24, from to 8:30 p.m. and will be serving up hors d'oeuvres and wine.
One man's trash is another man's treasure, and although Macklemore may have revived the old adage in hip-hop circles, Twigs and Twine is doing a pretty bang-up job in finding a seemingly endless supply of treasure amongst the inevitable trash.
Though the shop's located just off of the famed Seventh Avenue at 626 West Indian School, we're willing to bet that the Melrose District will accept Twigs and Twine as one of its own.
The Roberts share their space with another vendor, Another Man's Junk, which turned out to be their saving grace in making the leap to open their own brick-and-mortar store.
After originally coming to look at the building with intentions of opening up with a friend who did similar stuff, that idea fell through and the Roberts just didn't think they could make it work financially on their own, mainly due to the man hours of working at the store.
After calling the landlord to say they couldn't make it work, he told the Roberts that a couple had called him and said the same exact thing. The landlord asked if the Roberts would want to talk to them.
"I was like yeah, all right, thinking there's no way we're going to actually connect with another person and it work out," says Jill. "We had breakfast, and just instantly hit it off. They've been so wonderful. It really is a companionship. We wouldn't be here if it wasn't for sharing the space."
The idea behind Twigs and Twine first came about when Jill painted her son's bedroom set about four years ago. She wondered if she could expand on that idea and sell the furniture to earn some extra money.
At the time Jill was busy being a mom to the couple's three kids, and Mark was working as an academic counselor at the University of Phoenix and going to school to get his master's in business.
"I would pick up a piece here and there and paint it and put it on Craigslist, and they'd sell pretty quickly," says Jill. "It just started snowballing from there. I'd find other pieces, and we opened up a vendor space and sold from there in the very beginning, [a] really small [space], like 50 square feet."
Looking back, making the jump to renting a vendor space was a risky move for the couple, Mark says.
"It was stressful, because I think she told me it was like $100 a month or something like that," he says. "I was like, 'Are you sure you could sell enough to break even?'"
Although Jill had no official training or experience in refurbishing furniture and all that entailed, she had always had an interest in it and an inherent knack for finding the diamonds in the rough that others might dismiss.
"I've always just kind of been able to see things and see past its flaw and the potential it can have," says Jill.
Jill says there was definitely a learning curve along the way, which allowed them to hone their craft and be able to create pieces of distinct quality that will last.
Once business really began to take off, Mark and Jill made the decision to work as a team full-time, which included Mark quitting his office job and joining Jill in finding and refurbishing furniture and other pieces.
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After Mark quit his job the couple had a goal of trying to open their own store in about a year. That was in June of 2013, and roughly six months later they were opening Twigs and Twine's first brick-and-mortar shop.
So far the support and welcome they've received at the store has been great, they say, and they couldn't have asked for a better start.