for the love of vintage

Wisdom House began in 2018 as vintage home decor shop. I have a love for detail and am a sucker for a good story. I was already tasked with finding the odd and unusual for my other line of work, so this was a welcomed creative break. Each week I would curate a collection of vintage wares I found through estate sales, thrift shops, or a misguided adventure directed by Facebook Marketplace to the backroads of Tennessee. I cleaned and photographed everything, but more importantly I staged each piece. I knew that using a little imagination and helping my friends and customers visualize how an object could make sense in their space was vital to feeling a connection. This is something I still hold with me today. Perhaps most importantly I did my best to attach a story to every item I offered. Every Wednesday at noon, like clock work, you could expect Wisdom House to post the vintage collection for the week. And every Wednesday by 1pm, like clock work, I would be sold out.

Keeping a secret

As Wisdom House grew, I also began to expand the collection each week. I was able to source some vintage rugs and even began to dabble in design work. Wisdom House for me represents the first time I’ve really allowed any creative side of me to take hold. Week after week, I would curate, photograph, post, and sell out. I loved it, but things were about to shift for us. I had been keeping a secret, partly because I was in disbelief myself -we were adding a fourth Wilson to the crew.

A birth and a Death

Keeping Wisdom House at our home was a priority for me. With a baby on the way, the room where I would store truckloads of vintage would need to be cleared out to make room for one more Wilson. I was working with a deadline and just shy of 1 year into my Wisdom House project, we welcomed our 4th baby. He was what we needed when I didn’t even know it -a break from the daily grind- but more than that he provided comfort and forced stillness when my dad passed away unexpectedly just 3 weeks later.

Making a decision to return

Wisdom House was on indefinite hiatus as I dealt with grief amidst a flood of post partum emotions. I didn’t get a chance to say bye to my dad. I would dream about telling him that I was going to start a business just like he did. And because I am just like him, I would fantasize about the conversations that could have been.

In those next few months of healing and stillness, I made the decision to bring Wisdom House back, but in a new form. I wanted it to be something that came entirely from me. I wanted to be involved in product design. I wanted to make something with my hands, tell a story, and control every part of it. While I love selling vintage I think it also provided a mask for me to hide behind. After my dad’s death, I wanted to explore the creative parts of me that are so often repressed -perhaps in hopes that I would find more of him in me than I knew was there.

That was New Years Eve 2019

This shift coincided with our professional life too. We sold every location of our primary business but one. We were both ready to do something new. We closed on the deal on New Year’s Eve of 2019 not knowing what kind of year was ahead for us.

As the pandemic hit, our lives were impacted just like everyone else’s. The textile line I had been working to manufacture locally would have to be put on indefinite pause as the facility I was going to use began to sew masks full time. This meant I now had time to focus on developing one product -candles.

Slow, Methodical intention

From making my own molds to formulating fragrances, I took my time. In a year of chaos, I was determined to find peace in the methodical testing and quiet sound of an ember burning.  I spent 18 months, testing and refining the details. Nothing about this candle line has been an afterthought. This is the first product of Wisdom House that is entirely mine. From testing, to design, to production - it all came from a deep creative place inside.

So I want to say thank you. If this season has taught me anything, it’s that we need each other. The practice of self exploration means nothing to me if what I’ve creatively endeavored to produce sits idly on a shelf collecting dust. I want it to be enjoyed -to bring peace in a still moment or be lit for the first time to christen a new home. Your enjoyment is the completion of this creative process for me.

My hope as I continue to expand what Wisdom House offers is that you will feel a connection to the story as much as you will appreciate the attention to detail. I always design with you in mind.