Capucine promotes sustainability through vintage goods

While many businesses were forced to close during the COVID-19 pandemic, Capucine opened up as a vintage store.

Video Transcript

- Business has really been a challenge, and so many of them have closed during the pandemic. But Capucine, it actually opened. It's a collection of vintage and sustainable goods, and it helps support different non-profits every season too. So the owner, Kate Reavy, joins us this morning. Kate, good morning.

KATE REAVY: Good morning. Thanks for having me.

- Yeah, so nice to have you. First of all, I just want to talk about your personal story, because you have a wedding business, and obviously, that was deeply impacted. But you also saw it as an opportunity for your other business.

KATE REAVY: Exactly. I decided to take the vintage rentals that we already have in our wedding collection, and open a vintage store, and expand that collection and offer it to the public.

- And how did it go? You're doing this during a pandemic, you open a store, have people been coming? How's the vibe? How's it going?

KATE REAVY: There have been different challenges, but overall, it's been fun. We've had a lot of support, we've met lots of great customers, and already have regulars. So no complaints.

- All right. I could see the fabulous dinnerware right behind you. So you're going to give us a few pointers on how to actually incorporate vintage items, but yet keeping a cool vibe as far as decor goes. So how do you do this? Because sometimes it seems like antiques, vintage, and you have a different era, if you will. But you're saying you could incorporate it into different looks.

KATE REAVY: You can. And I think the trick, if you haven't shopped vintage before, is to start small. So you don't need to get everything all at once. Get a few pieces that you like. Don't look for value when you're new to this. Just look for things that are pretty, that you enjoy, that are going to make you happy in your home.

And I think you don't need to follow too many rules. You can embrace mix and match, like I've done with some of the plates behind me, you can have mix and match candlesticks, like you see here. You can have vintage barware, but you don't need to get everything. Mix it with what you already have, and figure out what works for you, and what you like.

- It's almost like, go to the store, fall in love with a piece that kind of talks to you, if you will, and then see how you can put that into what you already have.

KATE REAVY: Exactly. Just go to the store, go to a store that isn't too cluttered, that has already done a lot of the curating for you, and maybe bring a friend, if you aren't sure what to look for or what your style is, and they can provide you with some insight. Make it more fun.

- So you say vintage also translates into sustainability. What do you mean by that?

KATE REAVY: So when you're buying vintage items, you're keeping things out of a landfill, and you're also keeping things from needing to be created new. So it really is very sustainable. You're also getting high quality stuff, you're supporting a small local business, it's a win-win all around.

- And you also help local charities by doing this.

KATE REAVY: We do. Right now, we're supporting One Tail at a Time Dog Rescue for our winter charity, and then for spring, we're going to have a new charity.

- All right. So does your store-- we're showing some jewelry right now. So we've had a tour already. We have jewelry, we have dinner ware, you're talking about different items, what do you mostly feature at your store? Just a little bit of everything?

KATE REAVY: We have a mix of different things. And aside from vintage, we also stock new items from ethical and sustainable makers. So some of the jewelry you see here is from those collections, including a local Chicago jewelry maker who uses recycled electronics metals in her pieces.

- All right, Kate. Thank you so much. Appreciate all the information this morning.

KATE REAVY: Thank you. Thanks for having me.

- Yeah, absolutely.