Ontario woman starts vintage furniture business from her parents' basement
An Ontario woman's dream of owning her own vintage furniture business began in Mexico, but it finally started becoming a reality in her parents' basement near Toronto during lockdowns.
Siete Home is a curated, sustainable vintage shop specializing in what's known as "space age" or "atomic era" furniture and design.
Owned and operated by Natalie Camara, by now Siete has offered private sourcing to a major retailer, a film company, and a Canadian tech company looking to furnish their office.
"My niche is space age or atomic era furniture, which originated in the late 1960s, influenced by the excitement of the space race and the lunar landing," Camara tells blogTO.
"Most space age furniture is made of casted plastic and industrial metals, specifically chrome. Some of the more recognizable space age pieces are modular sofas, pod chairs and shooting-star-inspired arc lamps."
But back to earth, and Mexico City, where Camara was living in 2020. Her father was born there, and she moved there to explore that connection and to learn Spanish.
"While there I fell in love with the architectural styles, the bustling art scene and interior design. As a creative person, I've always had an interest in art and design, and actually had some earlier success in the vintage clothing market while living in Toronto a few years prior," says Camara.
"I decided to dive into vintage furniture, sourcing and curating a unique style that I've now built a brand on. My company is called Siete Home, an homage to Mexico City, siete being the Spanish word for seven."
When lockdowns hit, Camara had to move back home with her parents, but used the advantage of more space to delve further into her passion for furniture and started curating pieces, storing them at their house.
"One of my first pieces was a 1966 Eero Aarnio pod chair, a rare find that helped me break into the space age and atomic era of furniture and interior design," says Camara.
"Within a few weeks, I had filled my parents' basement with pieces and had a consistent flow of inventory coming in and selling fast so I began to look for commercial space to warehouse my inventory. I started with a 500-square-foot warehouse space, and recently moved into a 2,200-square-foot space in Woodstock, Ontario."
Siete has now become Camara's full-time job, and she's been curating and selling rare finds from sought-after designers such as Harvey Guzzini, Percival Lafer, Milo Baughman, Reggiani, Cassina, Joe Colombo and Ligne Roset.
Modular sofas sell the fastest, and prices range into the thousands.
"I source and curate inventory, schedule pick-ups and deliveries, manage my social media accounts and 1stDibs store, work with private sourcing clients to curate pieces and provide interior design consultations, and offer private viewings at my shop in Woodstock," says Camara.
"My future plans are to expand Siete Home into the U.S. market, and maybe even expanding into an interior design agency specialising in space age design."
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