Combine a flair for primitive farmhouse interiors and an appreciation for antique picking, and you have a sense of what awaits you at Vintage Hive, the new St. Francisville shop on Commerce Street. The longtime dream of Jeremy and Heather Olinde, Vintage Hive is part retailer, part DIY haven. It’s also quickly becoming a hub for creativity and inspiration in St. Francisville.
“For a long time, we’ve wanted to do this, but we let fear hold us back,” said Jeremy. “We really prayed about it and decided now was the right time.”
Opening earlier this year in March, the store features found and new cozy cottage and farmhouse décor, architectural salvage, lighting, unusual vintage and handmade items, bath and body products, candles, gifts and Fusion Mineral Paint—an easy-to-use, high coverage paint line that is free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Jeremy and Heather also give workshops on how to give everyday objects or pieces of furniture new life.
The store’s name, Vintage Hive, fuses Jeremy’s side hobby as a bee keeper and the couple’s shared love for all things vintage.
“We both love vintage furniture and different things that were used a long time ago,” said Heather, a local registered nurse who hopes to retire soon and focus exclusively on the store. “We even had a 1920s-themed wedding and joke that we were born in the wrong era.”
The Olindes love traveling all over, picking and junking their way through garage sales and flea markets for forgotten treasures waiting to be transformed.
With help from local realtor Glenda Daniel of Daniel and Daniel Properties, the Olindes found the perfect spot for their operation in an available space on Commerce Street just off Highway 61. They moved into a 900-square-foot suite, retooling the interior to fit their signature distressed wood and soothing color style. And all of it was made possible by Bank of St. Francisville—who helped the couple get their venture off the ground with a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC).
“Bank of St. Francisville’s HELOC program enables qualifying customers to borrow against 100% of the value of their homes,” said Vice President of Commercial and Mortgage Lending Aimee Cook. “It’s a great way to free up the capital needed to start a business. Borrowers pay interest only for up to 10 years, and can pay the HELOC down or off at any point in time.”
Vintage Hive’s sales quickly exceeded expectations, and recently, the Olindes decided to expand into an adjacent space next door. Patrons come into the store not only eager to purchase new and vintage decorative items, but also hungry for guidance on how to transform pieces themselves. Soon, the additional 1,400 square feet will allow more room for DIY workshops like sprucing up cabinets, creating stamped books, distressing furniture, and using Fusion Mineral Paint. Holiday workshops allow children to create homemade items for their friends and family members, and a “BYOP” session allows participants to bring their own small piece of dated furniture from home and spruce it up under the practiced guidance of the Olindes. Patrons also have the option to simply drop off furniture and have the Olindes update it for them.
The couple and their three boys moved to West Feliciana three years ago from Pointe Coupee Parish, and have fallen in love with St. Francisville’s storybook charm and sense of community. “We were drawn by the great school system, of course, and we also just adore the people, the history and the small town life,” said Heather.
When they launched the business, the Olindes say they were eager to work with as many local businesses as they could. “One of our goals and passions is to support other small businesses, so we used a local design company to do our logo and we wanted to work with Bank of St. Francisville for our loan,” Heather said. “It’s really important to us to be part of, and to support, the community here in St. Francisville.”
Interested in knowing how a HELOC can help you achieve your goals, personal or business? Call (225) 635-6397 or click HERE to make an appointment.