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Dawn Contreras

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I hope to one day have my own vintage shop selling timeworn treasures and dried flowers out of a rustic old building. I’d love to find some property with an old house on it in the country and open my Early Dawn vintage shop (or an old gas station in a small town would be perfect!). Right now, I am enjoying selling at The Coast Vintage Market in Southern California. I have met so many wonderful people. Putting myself out there scares me, as I am a person who thinks outside of the box.

 

I have always loved the unique, different, and unusual. I am enjoying my creative time in my cottage that my husband designed and built for me. I live with my wonderful husband, son, and our two dogs. I never take a day for granted; I thank God every day. I feel blessed. I am learning as I get older not to sweat the small stuff so much and overthink situations—it is a work in progress.

I worked at a retail store for twenty-five years as a merchandiser. I left the company about six years ago and started selling vintage at vintage markets, as I am very passionate about decorating with vintage. I have always been a creative. I love spending my time going to the flea markets, thrift shops and road trips through small charming little towns sourcing my timeworn treasures. I started out selling on eBay after I left the big-box retail industry. It was at the height of eBay’s popularity, and I was hooked! I loved the thrill of the hunt and passing on my finds to new forever homes just warmed my heart.

After selling on eBay for a few years, I did a vintage market and was hooked. I loved meeting the people in person that loved my wares and talking to them about vintage and decorating with vintage, giving them some tips and ideas how they could repurpose the vintage goods. I am no longer selling on eBay and just doing the vintage markets. It is such a good feeling to be able to source timeworn vintage treasures and find their forever homes. I am honored and blessed to be able to do what I do, being my own boss after so many years working for someone else.

My favorite quote is a whimsical one, “Would you like your adventure now or shall we have our tea first?” (Lewis Carroll) I love this quote because I think life is one big happy adventure!

Every day is a new experience, whether you’re in your hometown or out on the open road discovering new towns, finding new places, meeting new people. I always want the adventure first!

Styled Studio Sanctuary

My cottage was built using reclaimed materials like windows, doors, and stained glass. It is a wonderful sanctuary to escape to where I create whimsical vignettes, which I take photos of for my Instagram hoping they will inspire other people to create as well. It’s a cozy, little cottage filled with flea market finds and salvaged goods. I can get lost in there for hours creating in my own little world. I have my dried flowers hanging on the ceiling using a salvaged mattress spring. In the golden hour, I get the most beautiful natural lighting shining through the stained glass, which makes for lovely photos. I use old timeworn, patchwork quilts and vintage lace tablecloths for the chair covers and curtains. I have industrial pieces from old garages such as drawers and trunks for storage as well as tables and benches. It is a magical and whimsical world of eclectic timeworn pieces. It is the perfect studio to create vignettes for my vintage business! 

The ideas that I have and the displays that I create with vintage finds are meant to be an inspiration to other collectors and artists to display their favorite and their own works of art. We all have so many pieces that we have made or collected, and we are always searching for ways to display them so that we don’t have to put them in boxess where we often forget about them. 

I gather my new vintage finds from the weekends’ adventures and bring them to my cottage and use them to create fun vignettes and videos to share with my Instagram followers, many of whom are customers. They get to see firsthand what I am bringing to the next vintage market. I used to stage my new finds in my home before I had my cottage/studio, and it would take more time as I would have to remove our regular “daily” life around. It is so nice to go in my studio and be able to start creating as soon as inspiration hits. This has saved me so much time and has given me more opportunities to share my finds. 

My studio is my comfort and soothing place that I can escape to. I do not know what I did before I had my studio, as it has been a saving grace in the last year-and-a-half with our challenges during these times. I can transform my studio easily with the movement of my vintage pieces and art; it is constantly evolving and helps give me a blank canvas to create anytime I want. 

I hope to one day have my own vintage shop selling timeworn treasures and dried flowers out of a rustic old building. I’d love to find some property with an old house on it in the country and open my Early Dawn vintage shop (or an old gas station in a small town would be perfect!). Right now, I am enjoying selling at The Coast Vintage Market in Southern California. I have met so many wonderful people. Putting myself out there scares me, as I am a person who thinks outside of the box.

 

I have always loved the unique, different, and unusual. I am enjoying my creative time in my cottage that my husband designed and built for me. I live with my wonderful husband, son, and our two dogs. I never take a day for granted; I thank God every day. I feel blessed. I am learning as I get older not to sweat the small stuff so much and overthink situations—it is a work in progress.

I worked at a retail store for twenty-five years as a merchandiser. I left the company about six years ago and started selling vintage at vintage markets, as I am very passionate about decorating with vintage. I have always been a creative. I love spending my time going to the flea markets, thrift shops and road trips through small charming little towns sourcing my timeworn treasures. I started out selling on eBay after I left the big-box retail industry. It was at the height of eBay’s popularity, and I was hooked! I loved the thrill of the hunt and passing on my finds to new forever homes just warmed my heart.

After selling on eBay for a few years, I did a vintage market and was hooked. I loved meeting the people in person that loved my wares and talking to them about vintage and decorating with vintage, giving them some tips and ideas how they could repurpose the vintage goods. I am no longer selling on eBay and just doing the vintage markets. It is such a good feeling to be able to source timeworn vintage treasures and find their forever homes. I am honored and blessed to be able to do what I do, being my own boss after so many years working for someone else.

My favorite quote is a whimsical one, “Would you like your adventure now or shall we have our tea first?” (Lewis Carroll) I love this quote because I think life is one big happy adventure!

Every day is a new experience, whether you’re in your hometown or out on the open road discovering new towns, finding new places, meeting new people. I always want the adventure first!

Styled Studio Sanctuary

My cottage was built using reclaimed materials like windows, doors, and stained glass. It is a wonderful sanctuary to escape to where I create whimsical vignettes, which I take photos of for my Instagram hoping they will inspire other people to create as well. It’s a cozy, little cottage filled with flea market finds and salvaged goods. I can get lost in there for hours creating in my own little world. I have my dried flowers hanging on the ceiling using a salvaged mattress spring. In the golden hour, I get the most beautiful natural lighting shining through the stained glass, which makes for lovely photos. I use old timeworn, patchwork quilts and vintage lace tablecloths for the chair covers and curtains. I have industrial pieces from old garages such as drawers and trunks for storage as well as tables and benches. It is a magical and whimsical world of eclectic timeworn pieces. It is the perfect studio to create vignettes for my vintage business! 

The ideas that I have and the displays that I create with vintage finds are meant to be an inspiration to other collectors and artists to display their favorite and their own works of art. We all have so many pieces that we have made or collected, and we are always searching for ways to display them so that we don’t have to put them in boxess where we often forget about them. 

I gather my new vintage finds from the weekends’ adventures and bring them to my cottage and use them to create fun vignettes and videos to share with my Instagram followers, many of whom are customers. They get to see firsthand what I am bringing to the next vintage market. I used to stage my new finds in my home before I had my cottage/studio, and it would take more time as I would have to remove our regular “daily” life around. It is so nice to go in my studio and be able to start creating as soon as inspiration hits. This has saved me so much time and has given me more opportunities to share my finds. 

My studio is my comfort and soothing place that I can escape to. I do not know what I did before I had my studio, as it has been a saving grace in the last year-and-a-half with our challenges during these times. I can transform my studio easily with the movement of my vintage pieces and art; it is constantly evolving and helps give me a blank canvas to create anytime I want.