TAMPA — To celebrate her 12th birthday, all Emily DePury asked was that her mother take her antiquing in Sarasota.
She purchased her first antique piece right after college: a pair of 1940s boudoir chairs, which she could barely afford.
Though the Tampa native never lost her passion for vintage décor, a career in the corporate world began to take precedence.
Now, 16 years after moving to New York and Connecticut to work in human resources at an investment banking firm, she has returned home to open Bamboo Bungalow, an interior design shop.
"Last year I had a year that wasn't my favorite and decided that wasn't the right company for me," DePury said. "I started interviewing at other companies but then on a trip to Bali with my family I had an epiphany."
So, she rented a 17-foot U-haul and drove from Connecticut to Tampa, antiquing along the way.
"By the time I hit Maryland, I had a full truck," DePury said.
Those items now occupy a 1,300 square-foot 1920s bungalow she completely refurbished in SoHo, next to Cask Social.
"I took a place that was in shambles and breathed new life into it," DePury said. "It was a huge headache but it's ultimately more what I want. I wanted to preserve the history of SoHo. Now, it's all white with black trim and window boxes on the outside."
Inside, DePury carries a candle line, three baby lines, wallpaper and a mix of vintage and new items.
"I have high end pieces, some custom things," DePury said. "I also signed on with a high end fabric company. People can't order directly from them, you have to order through a designer. So, they can come in and I can help them order it and help with any design services they need."
DePury also included a "man room" which she decorated in plaids, dark wood and black velvet wallpaper. Customers can find items like old cigar ash trays from Italy.
Behind the bungalow is an 800-square-foot cottage, set-up as more of a showroom to give customers specific ideas for designs.
"The bungalow shelves are full of goodies, but the cottage is set up with a dining room area. Later on, maybe once a month I'll have an event where the cottage will be open and people can shop there as well," DePury said.
She also plans to host a monthly wine and design night where people can discuss any issues in their design projects.
"Although there are expensive things, I have lived that life of not having any money and finding cool ways to renovate things," DePury said. "So I want this to be a place for inspiration. I am going to carry really unique things. If they have it in town, I don't want it."
Bamboo Bungalow officially opened Tuesday (Sept. 5) at 204 S Howard Ave.
For more information, call (813) 250-9125 or visit facebook.com/bamboobungalowinteriors.
Contact Arielle Waldman at [email protected]