Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Meet Justin and Pat of VivaEstelle

I met Justin, hmmm, trying to remember how many years back.  About 7 or so I think.  His mother and him are consummate antique dealers.  I admire the number of people they're able to get to an estate sale in the south Alabama area.  They are just honest, down to earth, friendly antique dealers who really seem to have a passion for what they do.  Not to mention, they have amazing taste in their pickings and then putting them together in their shop in a manner that makes you want everything in it! Please meet them.

Tell us a bit about yourselves:

I am Justin, and I am 37 years old. I have been in the antiques and collectibles business full time for about 12 years. Prior to that, I was in the business on a part time basis. I grew up with a vintage-loving mother, Pat, who is now my business partner. We make a great team, I am the brains and she is the brawn! We compliment each other well, I am sloppy and she is organized, I can dream up something off-the-wall and she can make it come to life!

Justin and Pat in their office.

Apart from your antiques business, what do you do?

I live, eat, sleep and breath junking! It is my career, as well as my hobby and my therapy. I love my three dogs, BooBoo, Randy and Caddie, and I am a huge Alabama Crimson Tide football fan and an avid golfer. Mom spends her off time with her grandchildren, gardening,and reading.

Some beautiful mid century modern in their shop. 
What mostly motivated you to go in to the antiques business?

My grandfather (moms father) was a major recycler when recycling wasnt cool. He never threw anything away! When I needed a piece or a part or some gadget, he had it. He could build anything from scratch, and had the materials to do it. So, we always had a plethera of vintage "upcycled" items. I began peddling collectible soda bottles as a teenager, and then built a career out of it. Mom loved antiquing from a young age, and after a career as in the textile industry, she decided to come on board with me!

A gorgeous niche in greens.

I'll take the table and everything on it!

The same mid century china that's on the table.  I fell in love with design on each piece.  So whimsical!

What is your favorite type of item to collect?

Do you have any pictures of it?: I am currently obsessed with Cathrineholm cookware, vintage jewelry in the form of bugs, EAPG goblets, art from the 20th century, post-Modern avant garde clothing, and anything odd and unque (OOAK). Mom loves Tonala Mexican pottery, owls, Nativity sets, and natural specimens.

Catherineholm cookware

I know that you like art. Who is your favorite artist?

Tough question! I am initially drawn to American impressionistic landscapes from the 1920s to 1940s , but I have grown fond of portraits in the last couple of years. I do not like formal portraits, but more of a naive, primitive style, 20th century. I like them in groups, that makes a bold impression! As far as a favorite artist, it would be Donald Roller Wilson. I am fascinated with his super-surreal depictions of chimpanzees and other animals. I wish I could afford one of his pieces, oh well, maybe one day!

Groupings *do* make a stronger impact,  A collection they recently picked up and is now for sale in their shop.

Your favorite era?

It depends on what we are talking about! Furniture: 1950s-1960s. Clothing: 1960-1970s. Music: 1980s-1990s. I am well-rounded! Mom likes the 1940s through 1960s.

Mid Century Mod all the way.

Where would like to be in 10 years?

We woild love to have a free-standing shop again. Our dream is a two-story downtown building with an industrial vibe. I would sell midCentury furnishings downstairs and vintage clothing and accessories upstairs. It would have its own runway for impromptu shows.

Have anything else you'd like to add, (please do)?

Just thanks to you for this interview! We love finding like-minded people in this area. Not many people around here understand why I sell "used" stuff, and question my motives as I purchase vintage clothing at estate sales. How dare I ask $200 for a "used" dress when you can go the mall and buy a new one for $50!! My website is www.wiregrassestatesales.com, and my online store is www.etsy.com/people/VivaEstelle, come check it out!!


  1. Great interview! I love everything Justin does and I really don't think I have ever met a more knowledgeable person! Well Done Kim!!!!

  2. Awesome interview and photos!

  3. Fantastic interview!
    I love the photos!!!
    Found your blog through your Etsy shop! It's great!

  4. Thanks for the follow Eline!