Repaired luggage items make way for antiques, collectibles
Ashley Fox, founder of The Vintage Fox, has lived in Santa Barbara for more than 30 years. She began selling used home furnishings and antiques from her house in 2012.
Her dream of owning an antiques and collectibles store eventually became a reality when she opened Fox & Goss on upper De la Vina Street with her friend and business partner in 2014 and then took on sole ownership of the business in 2017.
Now she has an exciting new location at 609 Chapala St. in downtown Santa Barbara.
“I can’t believe I’m going into my seventh year as a small business owner doing what I love most — working with my friends and customers to furnish their homes with upcycled finds. I’m just thrilled to be part of Santa Barbara’s downtown revival,” Mrs. Fox told the News-Press.
The new location is a historic Victorian house from 1904, which previously operated as a luggage repair store for almost 30 years.
“Before that, it was a cornerstone of the renowned Brinkerhoff antique community, so it makes sense to be an antique store again,” said Mrs. Fox, who lives in a home nearby that was built in 1906. “It’s fun to be able to walk to work unless I’m schlepping furniture.”
She hadn’t planned to move from her location until one day in May when she was walking her dogs, Beatrice and Otis, past the blue house and saw a “For Lease” sign in the window.
“I went in and talked to Alinda Soria, who owned the luggage repair business with her husband Steve. She and I just clicked,” Mrs. Fox said.
The Vintage Fox opened its new doors on Aug. 2. The interior is filled with antiques, vintage treasures, home decor and gift items, most of which have been selected by Mrs. Fox herself.
“I also work with local residents who bring in specialty pieces and collectibles for consignment. I pride myself on helping people beautify their homes by upcycling vintage pieces that bring history and character to any space and support sustainability,” she said.
The native of Memphis said her love for having a beautiful home came from her mother, Nina Venegas, who helps out in the shop.
“She’s the best of Southern hospitality and a great shopkeeper,” said Mrs. Fox, adding that the business is a family affair. “My two daughters are also involved. Savannah does the marketing, and Olivia does display and online sales.”
Mrs. Fox is also partnering with local artist and designer Lloyd Dallett, who features her art and home design pieces as well as art from other local artists, in her new gallery space called The Shed at The Vintage Fox.
Ms. Dallett’s first show, which is still on view, is titled “Home Aid.”
“Lloyd — yes, that’s her name — hopes to raise awareness of the need to help Santa Barbara County’s growing unhoused population through this show. The money raised from the exhibit will benefit the new mobile shelter program designed by Dignity Moves, which is being built to house 30 residents, as well as New Beginnings Counseling Center, a counseling and housing organization based in Santa Barbara,” said Mrs. Fox. “This works out great because I’ve always wanted to be involved in the local arts and nonprofit communities.”