A lifetime love of antiques and vintage treasures – plus a keen sense of style, adventure, and entrepreneurship – has landed Shelle McCollum right where she knows she should be.
Listening to an inner calling to explore new places a few years back, Shelle left behind her hometown of Raleigh to live on the North Carolina coast. But soon her heart – and a relationship – brought her to Winston-Salem. “I had never known much about Winston-Salem prior to moving here, but instantly, it felt comfortable to me,” she explains.
Shelle worked part-time as the receptionist at a car dealership, and rented space in an antique store selling furniture she refinished in her home garage. A year later, her job ended and the venue space she rented was closing, so Shelle took another leap of faith and made a deal with the landlord to actually rent the building herself. Relying on both the business savvy she had gained from previous endeavors and a strong faith, Shelle immediately was able to rent three of the five rooms in the building to other vendors. “Just getting started was a whirlwind of work, and truly, a wing and a prayer!” she recalls.
Her company name, Carolina Vintiques, is a clever combination of the words antiques and vintage!
“The first year for Carolina Vintiques was awesome,” she says. “Winston-Salem is an entrepreneurial haven! Before long, I had new friends, regular customers, and was learning my way around the city as if I had lived here for 20 years.”
Luckily just as that building was up for development, another location just around the corner became available. “One thing I’ve learned from the businesses I created in Raleigh is that you must always prepare to adapt!” she says. Today, Shelle welcomes customers to a charming house-turned retail store near Hanestowne Village off Stratford Road.
While the smaller location doesn’t accommodate vendors, Carolina Vintiques does accept consigned items. The shop is ever-changing and overflowing with original condition antiques, painted furniture, and decorative accessories for every room of the home. Be sure to mention what you’re searching for because you never know what she may have hidden or stored away!
Don’t shy away from a visit if vintage isn’t your thing, because Carolina Vintiques is truly about overall home décor, and Shelle creatively displays her pieces in comfortable vignettes that allow customers to envision each piece right in their own homes.
Stocking the store with unique pieces is one side of Shelle’s business, while helping customers learn to decorate their home is the other side, in what she calls Quick Fix with Carolina Vintiques – a venture that invites customers to send photos of their “problem” areas. In turn, Shelle offers suggestions on how to bring balance to that space.
“People want a change, but aren’t sure where to start,” she says. “If you need a fresh eye to help, take pictures of each room of your house. Stand in the doorway of your room, take three pictures (right, center, left), then stand inside the room and take three more photos. Create a gallery in your phone for all your current home photos, and another galley for inspiration photos, and you’ll start to see a pattern of what styles you like and specific pieces you need. Also, while visiting another home or location, hone in on what draws you in. For instance, I loved the high bedside tables at a bed & breakfast I stayed at, and couldn’t keep my eyes off them, they were so beautiful!”
Even if you’re renting a house or apartment, you can still make it look like a home. She encourages customers to buy what they love, and everything else will fall into place. It really is about training your eye to things you are drawn to, and creating your environment.
For Shelle, creating a work life that feels like home is important. “I’m growing my business six days a week and come Sunday, I love being home with my dogs and chickens,” she says. “I also love cooking, gardening, and bonfires. For the first time in 57 years, I truly feel at home!”
Make plans to visit the supremely charming Carolina Vintiques, and follow them on Facebook and Instagram to get to know Shelle’s expertise and enthusiasm for home décor! Carolina Vintiques is located at 312 Harvey Street in Winston-Salem, 336-829-1173. Store hours are Monday – Friday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturday 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.