A new antique shop in Monroe is continuing a family’s passion for finding and reusing items.
Vickie Lambert opened her Vick’s Picks, also known as Farm to Charm, shop at 117 St. Main Street in Monroe this past March. She has rusty, primitive, vintage, industrial and repurposed products.
No newcomer to antiques, she began buying antiques to furnish her first home at age 19,and still has some of those items or has passed them on to her daughter, Leslie Schwing.
Schwing, who graduated from Monroe High School, has her own antique interest in vintage vinyl albums, complete with a record player.
“I have always dabbled in buying and selling but became more involved as I got older,” Lambert said. “I had a used furniture store in Monroe 16 years ago and closed it to be a full-time grandma. I’ve set up at antique shows for the last 12 years.
“An opportunity to open a shop two miles from my house was presented to me and I was made an offer I couldn’t refuse. Plus. it’s just hard work setting up at shows.”
Lambert’s love of antiques grew from living in a frugal home.
“Waste was something I learned to be conscious of at an early age,” she said. “My mother and my three sisters are and were all very creative in our own way, mine just happened to be having a vision for items that were broken, falling apart and ready for the trash or burn pile.
“It doesn’t take me long to have a vision as to what I want to do to repurpose, upcycle, or restore a found treasure.
“My mother was the one that taught me about thinking outside the box. One of her favorite sayings was ‘necessity is the mother of invention,’ therefore when something needed fixed, use what you had to get the job done. My mother and father liked to go to auctions, and it was always fun for me to tag along.”
Lambert’s father taught her differently.
“He taught me how to drill, saw, hammer, take something apart and glue or nail it back together, often using tools that were manual, not battery, and in some cases not electric. He had all his tools in his green workbench in the garage which is now an island in my dining room.”
Her husband, Bill, has an antique interest in cars.
“He has restored or modified eight Corvettes in our 30 years of marriage, ranging in years from 1953-1964. He currently is working on a 1971 Karmann Ghia,” she said.
Though Monroe residents since 1989, they grew up in Middletown, and both graduated from Middletown High School.
“My favorite antique is a 1930s Hoosier cabinet,” Lambert said. “I have owned it since 1975, and I purchased it at an auction I attended with my mom and dad, and it was the first time I had the nerve to bid without their help. It was painted green, and I stripped it to reveal beautiful honey oak. I still own it.”
Lambert is always ready to give information or some tips on antiquing or repurposing.
“I have lots of people that do that now,” she said. “When they come into my shop, they want to pick my brain and ask me questions, and I’m happy to help them.”
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