There’s a game of chance involved with shopping and selling vintage. Most of the time, you’re just relying on seeing the right thing but it’s more than just luck. It’s about the persistence to keep looking, having an eagle eye for a quality purchase, and then knowing what to do with it.
Julie Octaviano knows this well. After getting married and buying a home, she began browsing vintage furniture shops on Instagram. Around the same time, her father-in-law stumbled across a warehouse that had been abandoned by one of his tenants during the height of the pandemic. It ended up being sort of a treasure trove.
“We discovered some of the tenant's old furniture pieces that he willingly left behind. We found the coolest pebbled formica dining table, two 1980's baby pink leather Chromcraft chairs, a Maitland Smith tessellated stone trunk, and more,” Julie explained.
She knew what these things were worth from her time spent on Instagram shops and listed the items she found on Facebook Marketplace at market value. “They all sold within days! The rest was history.”
Julie now runs Evocative Goods out of a warehouse in New Jersey as well as a new showroom in Greenpoint. She sources objects herself and while initially she focused on selling post-modern pieces, she’s since expanded.
“Today, we sell everything from 1950's blonde Heywood Wakefield vanities, 1980's Jaymar spiral chairs, to classic 1970's Lane Brutalist pieces. I've grown to be a lot more selective of our collection and exclusively source pieces that I genuinely find beautiful,” Julie said
Centering kindness and respect, Julie has hopes that the vintage community will grow with platforms that accommodate small businesses and users. She also sees a future where vintage shops maintain exclusive collaborations with big box furniture stores. For now, Julie can’t live without her rosewood vanity and Cesca dining chairs and is constantly on the lookout for her favorite, burl wood. While she has her own favorites, Evocative Goods offers exactly what it’s name suggests.
“It's just a genuine appeal I have when looking at a piece,” Julie said. “There were many times in the past where I almost passed up on a piece, because I didn't think my attraction to it would apply to my audience, but each time that happened I was proven wrong! So now I know that if I'm into it, others most likely will be as well.”