Verdigris: Exquisite Antiquity
In the dictionary, verdigris is defined in part as that greenish-blue patina that forms on copper, brass or bronze when it ages. On the corner of Classen and 10th in Oklahoma City, however, Verdigris describes a place to find a plethora of beautiful vintage pieces for your home.
Shoppers searching for that perfect something to accessorize a room, a vintage furniture piece or a repurposed globe-cum-lamp will find all of that and more at Verdigris. Sisters and proprietors Melissa Graham and Kimberly Spicer say that’s exactly what people expect from the store—something that can’t be found just anywhere.
A year and a half ago, Kim rented booths at consignment shops around the metro, but none of them were exactly what she was looking for. “I never felt like I personally fit in at the spaces I was selling at,” said Kim. The sisters decided to open Verdigris to create an environment that more closely met their vision of a space featuring an eclectic mix of vintage pieces, antiquities and repurposed works of art.
The women combined their love of vintage pieces, individual creativity and business sense to create a new kind of space. Currently, there are over 30 separate dealers housed at Verdigris, offering a variety of items both vintage and repurposed. “We’re not a consignment shop,” says Kim. “Our vendors are like buyers for Verdigris, not just people who bring their stuff here to sell.”
Melissa agrees. “We try to bring together all of our buyers to make it one store. We really like the look of the store when it has a good, open flow,” so customers can move between the booths without even realizing that they are seeing items from a different buyer.
A Little Bit of Everything
Verdigris offers a wide range of items because they have a wide range of buyers. “Our buyers travel all over the country,” said Melissa. “We have at-home moms with a love for antiques and vintage items and people who do this full-time, traveling all over to find items. We have a good variety of dealers.”
“The best thing that our customers tell us is that they find things here that they can’t find anywhere else,” says Melissa. “And that’s the most rewarding part.” Often, visitors will come in several times a week because the unique stock found in the store changes so often, with new items arriving daily.
“Our dealers can log on at the end of the day to see exactly what sold,” says Melissa. “They’ll bring in items the next day to replace what’s sold.”
“Some of our customers feel that if they don’t come in often, they might miss something,” says Kim. “And a lot of times, people won’t buy that piece that they really want, and when they come back, it’s gone.”
Many of the buyers at Verdigris have booths at other stores, but there are also quite a few who have never sold any of their items in a store before. “Some of our dealers are lifetime pickers, but they’ve never sold their items in a storefront,” says Melissa.
Looking to Sell?
For those looking to sell items at Verdigris, there is a moderated waiting list, meaning that dealers are added to the store according to the type of items they will bring to the store, not based on how long they have been on the waiting list. “Current dealers are given priority to grow their space when new space opens,” says Kim.
A Family Business
The best thing about working together is that the women compliment one another’s skills. Melissa works on the administrative side of things while Kim works on the creative—but it all overlaps. The sisters stay flexible to make sure that all the needs of the company are met.
“It’s a lot of work,” says Melissa. But it’s clear that it’s a labor of love.
1001 NW 10th Street, OKC
Open Monday-Saturday, 10:00am–5:00pm
Verdigris Flea events held each month, featuring expanded vendors in the courtyard, food and more. Details available online.
Mari Farthing is the Editor of MetroFamily Magazine.