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updated: 6/2/2014 4:58 AM

Haute Vintage in Roselle comes alive as winter breaks

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  • Carol Arechiga, owns Haute Vintage in Roselle with her husband, Carlos Arechiga. Carlos does all the woodworking and Carol is about design.

      Carol Arechiga, owns Haute Vintage in Roselle with her husband, Carlos Arechiga. Carlos does all the woodworking and Carol is about design.

 

An interview with Carol Arechiga, who owns Haute Vintage in Roselle with her husband, Carlos Arechiga.

Q: Describe your business. What do you do?

A: We are a shabby chic furniture and home decor boutique specializing in custom pieces. We find vintage furniture (usually in need of lots of love) and refinish it and customize to make them one-of-a-kind pieces. Carlos is the carpenter on hand who takes my visions and makes them come to life. With our workshop here in the back of the shop, he's always busy back there doing something or another from repainting to building his own piece of furniture from reclaimed lumber. We also make all the extra little things ourselves.

Q: What made you start your business?

A: My passion has always been in decor design and I started by helping family and friends and then we started selling a little on line. The combination of Carlos' muscle and my vision, this little boutique is a dream come true.

Q: What has been the most difficult obstacle in running or starting a small business?

A: We opened at the beginning of winter. That was a bold choice! Polar Vortex after Polar Vortex made our shop hard to get noticed. Everyone was in hibernation. Finally, the sun is shining and people are out and about again.

Q: What do you enjoy most about operating your business?

A: I love how customers can come in and ask for something specific, and we can usually either build it for them, or transform a piece for them. For example, a customer came in wanting a unique, shabby media center. She found a dresser she fell in love with so we decided to customize it for her. We took the fronts off the drawers and when we put them back, we used a hinge that allowed them to fold down for access to the cable box, DVD, etc. She loves that she can close them up ad hide the ugly electronics when guests come over, and she could simply pull down the fronts and expose them when she was relaxing at home.

Q: Is this what you pictured yourself doing when you were young? When you were young, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A: I wanted to be a fashion designer growing up. I always loved drawing and painting so I went with fashion as my major. However, now looking back at my childhood, my sisters and I made our own Barbie house under our stairs and furnished it with pieces we found laying around the house. A napkin was now a comforter, a ring box was turned into a chair, etc ... So I always had a creative imagination growing up.

Q: What keeps you up at night?

A: There are days that I find an amazing piece of lumber. Something with original chippy paint, or lines that you don't find on new pieces now a days and my mind will just run in circles trying to figure out what to do with it. My family always says that I always have some kind of project going, and its true. I get bored easily so its hard for me to sit still and "relax."

Q: If you could give one tip to a rookie business owner, what would it be?

A: Treat the customers with the kindness you would expect.

• Every Monday we feature a small, suburban business. We want to hear about yours. Contact us at kmikus@dailyherald.com.

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