WINTHROP—During the pandemic when an unprecedented number of shops around Maine closed, Nicki Stanford and her husband Jesse, opened a quirky shop in 2019 called Freckle Salvage Company in the heart of Winthrop, a tiny town surrounded by lakes.
Here’s how Stefon from Saturday Night Live would describe it: “If you’re tired of ‘Live. Laugh. Love’ decor, I have just the place for you. Winthrop’s hottest club is called Freckles. It’s a former church that’s got everything: antiques and architectural salvage, recycled fashion, weird stuff, vintage doo-dads, and original Maine-made home goods and gifts. It’s like Elmer’s Barn and a Maker’s Space had a baby and it was dressed as Sarah Jessica Parker.”
Walking inside feels like walking into the Willy Wonka Factory, only instead of unending rooms of candy, the rooms are filled with vintage finds, everything from curated clothes to antiques. Turn the corner and there are other undiscovered nooks filled with furniture, home decor, art, books, crafts, and gifts made by artists all over Maine.
“The large vendor room used to be the sanctuary and the side rooms used to be the classrooms,” said Stanford.
Standford, who had spent 25 years of her career in retail management, decided to go for it and convert the former church into her ideal store with an emphasis on “maximalism” movement.
“If minimalism is the spare, neutral color look, maximalism is lots of color and texture, beautiful art and books. There’s nothing sparse about it, especially if you’re into the vintage look, maximalism embraces that aesthetic very well. The idea behind the shop was to do a mix of the old and new.”
She searches estate sales and other venues to find her inventory but Freckles keeps its offerings fresh by additionally hosting several dozen vendors.
“It’s very Maine-centric,” she said. “Where Maine is mostly known for its rocky coast and lobster lighthouses, we like the aesthetic that’s more interior Maine, the lake homes, camps, and cabins.”
Stanford, who runs the shop with her husband, named the shop after a freckle on her son Colton’s ear.
“I would look down at this freckle on his ear as a baby, and would tell him that it was his lucky, magic freckle,” she explained.
The Vault Vintage Market
The Vault’s Pop-Up Market
May 21 & 21, 2022
149 Main St. Winthrop
8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The shop took on an even bigger role when the Stanfords learned from their landlord that the former textile mill next door was available and could be used as a monthly pop-up shop for an even bigger venue with more vendors.
“We’ve never been the kind of people to stand still, and having the shop just wasn’t enough for us,” said Stanford on their Facebook page. “We like doing these themed pop-up events once a month it adds to the excitement knowing that it will only be open to the public for two days each month.”
The monthly-themed market is hosted in a 6,000 square-foot space with 24 different vintage dealers. At the market, people will find a curated selection of vintage goods including; furniture, home decor, art, books, accessories, clothing, and more.
Freckle Salvage Co. is located at 129 Main St. and is open seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more by visiting their Facebook page.
Kay Stephens can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org