Sunday Soul Vintage Co. came to fruition during the pandemic. Mackenzie Kemmer was a Community Social Worker who found herself out of a job, so she needed to find another source of income, and fast. Mackenzie now sells curated pieces that are either vintage or secondhand and, if needed, refurbished by her. The style of her pieces consist of a lot of rattan (think The Golden Girls), and a boho vibe with Turkish rugs and colored glassware.
Speaking of style, I asked Mackenzie where this developed or what inspired it. “I really enjoy any kind of look from the 70s. And I think when I started to develop my personal style, my home decor and the furniture that I really liked came from that era too.” Mackenzie’s personal style has also made her highly knowledgeable about what pieces are cohesive. She loves using her business to help people achieve a vintage style when they know where to begin. She went on to tell me that as she tracked which type of pieces sold, she figured out what niche market she was selling to, which helped her buy the right pieces for her business.
Being a business that only sells secondhand and vintage pieces, I was curious where she bought her inventory. “I get them from all over the place,” she said. At the time we were speaking, Mackenzie was in a hotel in Little Rock, where she has a connection with an estate sale company to buy furniture. When Mackenzie sources from Memphis, she thrifts from local second hand shops, estate sales, or from her own collection at home. She told me she gets very bored with her decor at home, so she switches them out with other pieces she finds on hunting trips and sells the items she doesn’t want anymore. “I think this business has been very good for me to not be bored at home because I can continually change up the way that my space looks. I only source and bring things to my shop that I am absolutely in love with.”
Something that Mackenzie has learned to do through her business is restore damaged pieces. In the beginning, she would only choose the ones that were in perfect condition or hire someone to restore a piece for her that needed some repairing. But now, she almost solely focuses on buying damaged pieces to restore and resell. “I like the idea of not only bringing these really sought-after goods into people’s homes, I like the idea of giving these pieces a second life. And otherwise, they would have ended up in a landfill.” One of the main types of materials that she has to repair is wicker. A lot of pieces that she buys are from the early 70’s, so they might be unraveling, broken, or faded from years of use. “It’s a relatively easy process [fixing the wicker], it’s just super, super time consuming. So the process of it is really figuring out how to stain certain wicker and then how to rewrap it.”
Mackenzie has recently expanded into design service and rentals for weddings, which she has really enjoyed, but she hopes to expand even further by opening up her own storefront. She has a booth set up in Southern Vintage Co. in Bartlett as well as selling online and in pop-ups around town, but she wants to be able to have a place to call her own. I asked her if her inventory took up a lot of space in her life and she said, “I have it everywhere.” She owns a couple of storage units and two offices in her house, but she hopes with a store front, it will allow her to keep all her inventory under one roof.
For my last question, I asked Mackenzie what she loves about having a small business in Memphis. “I really love the community that is around small businesses in Memphis. I would not be where I am, I wouldn’t have had any of the success that I’ve seen had I been anywhere but Memphis.” She went on to tell me that she credits the vintage community of Memphis for being so helpful, which allowed her to build the connections she needed to be successful. She is so happy to have her roots in Memphis and only hopes to grow even more here.
I want to thank Mackezie for taking time out of thrifting to sit down and chat with me. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram. Her handle is @sundaysoulvintage. And you can find her website here: www.sundaysoulvintage.com. If you want your small business to be featured on our blog, contact us a firstname.lastname@example.org! Here are the links to all of our social media: Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.