A retailer specializing in rehabbing old artifacts is laying roots in Richmond’s Union Hill.
Hilary Martin has signed a lease at 2000 Venable St., where she is opening a retail space for Housemade by Hilary, a restoration business she started in 2010.
Martin, who makes and sells restored vintage home goods and furniture, plans to split the 2,400-square-foot space into a workshop and retail floor. The store will be open Thursdays through Saturdays.
“During the week we’ll work in the workshop, so each weekend it’ll be new merchandise,” Martin said.
Martin has previously sold wares at craft fairs across the country and at Chartreuse & Co., a retailer in Frederick, Maryland.
Martin said she was drawn to the Church Hill area because it shares a key characteristic with her work: history.
“The fact it’s so historical and walkable and diverse, that’s what appealed to us,” she said. “(Church Hill)’s a place that’s new but old … I want to support that and am eager to be a part of it.”
Started as a hobby, restoration eventually turned into a business for Martin, who searches attics and basements for neglected house goods and gives them new life.
“Everything I buy is vintage. Things will be damaged, and we’ll modernize these old things with good bones,” Martin said. She cited a vintage Zenith television that she converted into a lamp as an example of the types of pieces to expect at the store.
“I guess I was just born in the wrong decade,” she joked. “I love vintage fashion and textiles. I’m just drawn to an earlier time. The nostalgia, for one, and also the quality of things that were made back then.”
Construction on the space is underway. Martin is aiming for a spring opening for the shop, which she said will be staffed by her family, including her husband and veteran adman Stephen Martin.
The Church Hill area has been an increasingly popular retail destination in recent years.
2016 saw the arrival of Dear Neighbor and Roaring Pines, a home decor and coffee shop, respectively. Last fall, Boho Cycle Studio opened a second location in Patrick Henry Square, a mixed-use development at 2401 E. Marshall St.