Conversation with Katy Jones
Dec 29, 2017 10:13AM ● Published by Kylie Kinnett
Words by: Kylie Kinnett Photo by: DeKwaan Wynn
How did Shell & Pine first come about? Tell us your story!
As a college student, almost two decades ago, I stumbled across the concept of selling vintage clothing on eBay and started supplementing my income that way. I specialized in clothing for over ten years, eventually transitioning to Etsy and using my little shop as a way to make extra money as I pursued my Creative Writing degree and then working in education. After marriage and a kid, the time felt right to transition my business into home goods—it was what I was most interested in, even though I continue to deal antique clothing here and there. Opening the shop in Rockport last year felt very serendipitous—being in the right place at the right time.
Where does your passion for vintage come from?
I always say that I come by my love of old shit honestly! My mother is a life-long collector and a walking encyclopedia when it comes to antique dish-ware, glass, and pottery. I grew up in homes full of beautiful, old things and started thrifting and antique shopping when I was practically still in diapers. My dress up box as a kid was stocked with 1950s prom dresses, 1920s lace shifts and 1960s Lucite handled bags. I was taught at a really early age that often things made more than 50 years ago are better quality and will last much longer than new items from Target. I am also an intensely obsessive history nerd—there are eras I am fascinated with and that fascination extends to the everyday objects of that era.
I know your store was affected by Hurricane Harvey. To what extent did the storm affect you and how have you moved forward since?
Hurricane Harvey damaged our physical shop space and caused us to have to close. It happened so fast and was so final that I’m not sure I have completely processed it yet. When it became clear that we were going to have to close the shop, I threw myself into trying to find the best avenue to move forward and haven’t really taken a breather since. We are focused more on pop-ups and markets and the big plan is to completely re-vamp and re-launch our online store in the new year. We have also started stocking a booth space at Red Crow Antiques, which has been a wonderful experience and a way to get our items out into the community when we don't have a pop-up scheduled.
What do you hope your shop does for the community?
Other than helping to support my family, I only have one big goal for my business—to spread the love of old things. Buying vintage & antique is good for the environment, good for the wallet, and good for aesthetics. I am a passionate believer in surrounding yourself with beautiful objects, even if those objects are everyday items. Instead of going to a chain store to buy something like a pie server or serving platter, choosing to buy vintage can often be just as cost-effective and the items are often better quality and have much more character. It’s also a way for someone on a more limited income to be able to own beautiful, expensive things—my husband and I ate off Gien (a historic French china company) plates as broke twenty-somethings!
What does the future look like for Shell & Pine?
In the short term, we hope to be able to relaunch the online shop very soon. More pop-ups, more markets, more activity within the Coastal Bend. We are focused on keeping our space at Red Crow well stocked and styled. And then, who knows? Maybe back into a brick & mortar, a place to hold workshops and events, a clubhouse for people to come together over their love of beautiful old things.