Welcome to the next installment of our Uncommon Objects staff/vendor interview series. In this installment, we are sitting with staff member, vendor and manager Janette Bibby. If you’ve seen any of the staff members with extra huge grins on their faces, and a slightly glazed over look, nine times out of ten, it is because Janette has brought in some of her amazing baked goodies! Let’s get to know one of Uncommon Objects most well loved fixtures…
Janette, can you tell our readers what you do and how long have you been at Uncommon Objects?
Hello! I’ve been a vendor at Uncommon Objects for about 10 years. I joined the staff 6 years ago when I moved to Austin.
If you can, please tell us how you got involved in the antiques world? What is it that keeps it fresh and exciting for you?
I learned the business of selling vintage goods from two pros. First, Charity Cornelius, one of the original vendors at Uncommon Objects, who has been involved in the vintage world most of her life, took me under her wing and showed me how to look at things with a new, appreciative eye. She helped me set up a space in a mall in Dallas, where we were neighbors. It was there I learned how much work it really takes to keep a space fresh and interesting and profitable.
Then, for several years I had the great opportunity to work with Steve Wiman, helping him set up in Warrenton, Texas, the huge bi-annual antique flea market that takes over the countryside between Austin and Houston (which, incidentally, is happening again right now). Working with Steve was/is a continuing education. I’ve never met anyone so dedicated to consistently creating something artful and extraordinary with objects once loved and then discarded.
When Steve invited me to join Uncommon Objects, I was so happy! I eventually moved from Dallas so I could be here year round and concentrate on trying to make my space worthy of this amazing store. How can I not be inspired by all the hard work, remarkable objects and beautiful, sometimes literally breathtaking, display work going on around me all the time? It’s contagious and frankly, it’s just too much fun! I’m one of those lucky people who loves her work.
You are also an amazing quilter. Your quilts have a delicious organic feel and beautiful color stories. What inspires your quilt making? Do you feel that your quilts and display work inspire each other?
Thank you! I’ve always been compelled to use my hands to create. I love to bake, garden, do needlework and make quilts…creating something pleasing from raw materials. Playing with colors and textures makes me happy. Quilting is a way of experimenting with those raw elements of texture and color. It’s functional art. I suppose styling my space is an extension of that impulse to create something appealing and useful from the materials I have gathered.
I’m sure you’ve seen some fantastic pieces come through the shop. Any particular ones (including your own) stick out in your mind?
Once we had a stuffed dog. I had never seen one before! I suppose someone loved their pet so much, they couldn’t quite let it go out of their life. We got so many comments on that dog. Then, of course, there was the stuffed squirrel band! Rather mundane compared to those, my favorite personal find is a fine silver tea set I bought from another vendor at Uncommon Objects. All the pieces, teapot, sugar and creamer, are crafted out of silver to look like pumpkins on the vine. Combining my love of tea, tradition and autumn, it’s one of my very, favorite things.
Thank you Janette!
Till next time friends…
Le Petit Phantom