Are you feeling lucky? The owners of this Toronto-based vintage furniture shop sure are! Larisa Mancini & Trevon Pfeiffer own and operate the Instagram startup business, Shoppe Clover. Their affinity for vintage home goods trails back to the early months of the pandemic. Launching in 2021, they both saw an opportunity to blend their mutual love of home decor and vintage curation to create Shoppe Clover.
“We were moving into our first apartment together and began thrifting second-hand and vintage furniture for our new place,” mentions Larisa. “We continued to find more beautiful vintage pieces and wanted to share them with our friends!” Larisa has worked in the home decor business for many years and was well-equipped to navigate the ins and outs of opening up a small business of this kind. The timing was quite opportune, as the pandemic presented its own unique list of challenges and opportunities.
Navigating the Surge in Preloved Home Goods
It’s a time we would like to fade into distant memory, but who can forget all the hours we spent at home during the pandemic? This period gave rise and purchasing power to people looking to invest in their homes versus indulging in the usual spending areas like restaurants etc. “Vintage furniture definitely gained popularity over the course of the pandemic,” says Larisa. “Many people resorted to second-hand furniture as retail stores weren’t operating at full capacity.” With shipping times from online retailers ranging from 1-6 months, and second-hand shipping being almost immediate – buying preloved was a no-brainer.
Larisa and Trevon both go on to mention that through this process of developing their business, they focused on how they could portray themselves authentically amongst the masses. “We would like to say these items are an extension of our home and personal style,” says Larisa. “We let our unique and carefully curated items speak for themselves, which has led to the returning customer base.”
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Tips and Tricks When Sourcing Vintage Pieces
With vintage shopping becoming a content powerhouse on TikTok, we have to ask – how do we find beautiful pieces like these? Although it’s no easy task, the Shoppe Clover duo has shared some tips on how to find the perfect piece. “Be open with what you’re looking for and don’t pigeonhole yourself,” says Larisa. “When you see something you like, you’ll be able to know it’s the one.” Larisa goes on the mention that vintage shopping is even more challenging since you’ll never know what you’re going to find.
Here are a few tips to follow:
- Check out Facebook Marketplace.
- When searching online, use keywords like: retro, mid-century modern, art deco etc.
- Visit local antique markets frequently. A few favourites include: Aberfoyle (just outside of Guelph, ON), and The Toronto Vintage Show.
- Don’t be shy in checking out markets in smaller towns, usually those yield some surprises.
@shoppe.clover POV: We can’t believe it’s finally happening 👀 Shoppe Clover grand opening Sunday, April 30th 💚🍀 #torontopopup #torontosmallbusiness #vintagefurniture ♬ original sound – chloe 🏴
What’s Next for Shoppe Clover?
Since its inception in 2021, Shoppe Clover has seen immense growth and recognition from fans on social media. “This started out as an Instagram page run only by myself, and now has become a two-person team with both of us working full-time.” Larisa reminisces on how Shoppe Clover was able to host a bunch of pop-ups at local markets and events, and how enriching the experience was for the business.
By luck, the pair came across a vacant studio in Toronto that would be the perfect haven for their business. “We will finally be opening our storefront on April 30,” says Larisa. The store space will include custom stone and marble pieces, rental vignettes, brand shoots and exhibits. The store will operate on an appointment basis with monthly shopping events. So if you’re in the mood to spruce up your space with quality vintage home goods, Shoppe Clover is the place to be.
Images Courtesy of Shoppe Clover