A new store selling reused home goods recently opened in Seminole Heights.
Lot Twenty9 along N Florida Avenue is filled with vintage trinkets and furniture that were either donated, found at estate sales or on Facebook Marketplace. Many items got a new look or were repainted in a process called upcycling.
“Everything we carry in the store is recycled ... We’re all about recycling so that people aren’t constantly going out and buying new things,” said Lot Twenty9 co-owner Tracey Sutphin, 55.
Sutphin upcycles the furniture she gets for the store by stripping layers of paint off the original furniture down to the wood to give it a new modern design. Then she likes to name them.
One cabinet in the shop is called Oliver, “because he looks like a distinguished gentleman,” Sutphin said.
It originally was all white and had 10 layers of paint when she first found it. After sanding down to the wood, she said she made the sides a darker shade to complement the natural material then added gold knobs to the shelves.
A lot of vintage furniture items have better structure than many furniture items made in mass-production today, Sutphin said. And consumers are starting to notice too — fueling a trend of upcycling.
“When you realize how much is actually going to the dump, and how many things could be saved and not manufactured, we can just reuse things. The whole mentality of most of the world has gotten to the point where they don’t want to just constantly make things,” Sutphin said.
“Just because something is newer doesn’t mean that it’s better.”
At Lot Twenty9, Sutphin will begin to host craft classes to teach people who are interested in upcycling their own goods. The first class they offer will instruct how to use stamps, moulds and transfers using products from Iron Orchid Designs, a do-it-yourself decor brand that only sells products through brick and mortar retailers.
“We really want to build community and bring people into something new that they never thought they could do before,” Sutphin said.
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She added that in the future, the store will offer linen classes, tote bag decorating session and a course where people can bring their own furniture to paint.
Lot Twenty9, which opened May 6 at 4630 N Florida Ave., got its name because it has a “lot of everything” and 29 is Sutphin’s favorite number. Sutphin, who is the creative one, opened the store with her best friend Laura Agostino, who describes herself as the business half.
Nearly every item in the shop is reused, even the tables where smaller home decor items rest on.
There’s also a “man cave” with various vintage action figures and toys from superhero and space opera franchises in the back of the store.
While upcycling technically means raising a product’s value, Sutphin said she aims to keep prices reasonable. The Oliver cabinet was selling for $275, while a bedside table went for $40 and the smaller porcelain home decor items started at around $10 to $15.
“For me, it’s all about just giving something a new life,” Sutphin said. “Making it affordable means that somebody’s going to give it a new chance, so that’s what’s important to me.”