Working in the City: Furnish Me Vintage

A Vintage Vision

By Gray Bennett

With humble beginnings in a Floridian garage, Furnish Me Vintage now collects, restores, and sells fine vintage furniture to collectors around the world. We spoke with owner Jackie Williams to learn more about her business and the exciting work she does to share her passion for design.

Jackie Williams

When Jackie Williams and her husband Todd Wilson started to hunt for antique furniture for their first home in Florida back in 2009, they had no idea a new business venture would find them along the way. “Shopping at the usual big-box stores left us disappointed,” Williams explains. “Todd and I grew up going to estate sales, antique shops, and thrift stores, so we decided to explore antiques as an option. Todd would find furniture and décor for our home and ended up selling our ‘extras.’”

What started as a collecting project in their garage soon became a full-time job for the entrepreneurial couple. Williams and Wilson opened Furnish Me Vintage in a 30,000-square-foot store in downtown St. Petersburg only a year later. In 2020, while operating online during the pandemic, they made the move to Chattanooga. Now fully based in the Scenic City, Furnish Me Vintage continues to collect, restore, and ship furniture around the world.

sea green vintage furniture

Bold colors, rare and high-quality materials, and interesting shapes and textures inspire awe on the showroom floor at Furnish Me Vintage. The store specializes in mid-century modern, Danish, and Hollywood regency furniture, and over 7,000 of these unique pieces have been sold over the course of 13 years. “Our store is a bit of a wonderland,” Williams expresses. “We’ve once had original artwork by Salvador Dali. Seats from the Paris subway dating from the 1920s. We had a cog wheel from a sugar cane press from a plantation in Brazil. You never know what you might stumble upon.”

Finding these incredible pieces is no small feat, so for Williams, work and adventure go hand in hand. “I’ve had the pleasure of meeting people who’ve worked with legendary furniture designers. I’ve taken meetings on yachts and abandoned homes that look like ancient ruins,” she says. “This job is part Indiana Jones, part HGTV.”

vintage clock on glass table with green lamp behind

“When you have a piece that was curated and collected, you look at it and remember where you bought it and who you were with. It becomes a caracter in your story rather than a background prop.” – Jackie Williams

vintage furniture store

Visitors to the store – in person or online – can experience the wonder of collected furniture for themselves. “When you have a piece that was curated and collected, you look at it and remember where you bought it and who you were with,” Williams explains, “It becomes a character in your story rather than a background prop.” A collected piece has a story. It has history and memory ingrained, and Furnish Me Vintage creates opportunities for people to continue those stories.

“The difference between shopping and collecting is that you’re procuring something worth more than its simple function. Collected pieces become talking points and treasured heirlooms,” Williams says. This perspective has not only made Furnish Me Vintage a magnet for furniture collectors of all kinds, but it has also made the business a leader in online vintage furniture sales as well as a valuable asset to set designers for movies, commercials, TV shows, plays, and magazines.

You Also Might Like

[related_post post_id=""]
CityScope Celebrating 30 Years Logo

Get access to the next issue before it hits the stands!