Plunder Coming to Trade Street This Fall

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Friday, August 2

Lisa Burton and Wanda Garcia are teaming up to bring new life into an old downtown location.

The two plan to remodel the old Carolina Treasures building at 214 Trade St. and open their new business, Plunder, this fall.

The antique and vintage goods storefront, formerly owned by Will Yarborough, changed hands earlier this summer.

“My grandmother used to always say, Do you want to come plunder through my attic? Through my jewelry?” Burton said. “I loved that it was related to my past. I was actually riding past this junk yard off of Roper Mountain. I’m like, that would be a fun place to go plunder through and then I’m thinking, that’s going to be the name of the business.”

Burton convinced Garcia to join her in the new venture.

“I did talk her into it because I know that this is going to be a phenomenal place,” Burton said. “We’re going to twist it up a little bit. We’re still going to do antiques.”

“A lot of what we’re doing, we almost would consider ourselves a design house of sorts,” Garcia said. “We’ve got ideas to take the best of yesterday’s vintage and today’s vogue and mix it all up because—the way we look at it—a lot of today’s style is very eclectic.”

“People tend to live in what they love,” she said. “Anything goes. We mix up old and new. It really works.”

 

Opening
Burton and Garcia are looking to open between August 15 and the beginning of September.

“We have a lot of work to do,” Burton said, noting more painting and setting up gallery walls. “We want it to be great when it opens. We will have a list of our classes available when we do open.”

While Garcia leans towards farm house and rustic themes, Burton likes one-of-a-kind finds, such as the llama which has characterized the storefront window for months.

“The llama’s friend, the emu, is coming to the window soon,” Burton said. “Those are pieces that are not for sale.”

Items for sale include silver, rugs, old farm house tables and much more.

“We have a treasure right here in Greer that’s going to bring some of his amazing items in here to sell,” Burton said. “We will be doing consignment.”

A clearance section upstairs is one of many ideas in the works.

“We’re also looking to do a pop up market,” Garcia said. “We’ve got a lot of ideas in the hopper, as they say.”

Garcia, originally from Spartanburg, has lived in Greer for 10 years, and Burton, originally from Charlotte, grew up in Nashville but has been in Greenville since 1991.

 

Meeting
Burton and Garcia met about three years ago at a market in Greer.

“I loved her from the very beginning,” Burton said. “She’s just heartfelt and supportive and true blue.”

Both Burton and Garcia also used to do the Vintage Market in the Park.

“I was just floored with the way she took vintage and made it look like, this is what you want to live in,” Garcia said. “She’s so good at that, the styling.”

Around the same time, Burton met Yarborough, the owner of Carolina Treasures for almost seven years, at a market in downtown Greenville.

“I was with Carolina Treasures for about three years,” Burton said. “I begged him to let me come in here.”

When Yarborough decided to open the upstairs to vendors, Burton was his first call, and she was also one of the first to know about his decision to leave the site.

“He let me know at the beginning of the summer that he was going to retire,” Burton said. “I just love downtown Greer. I love the windows. I love getting in there and playing and staging.”

“I just said, I’m going to rent the building,” she said. “I contacted Wanda, if I do this, will you come in with me? I need her.”

Although Garcia initially turned her down, the partnership formed soon after.

“Wanda has always been my go-to person to find out what something is,” Burton said. “She can look at anything and say, oh, this is such and such.”

“I’m a real history buff,” Garcia said. “I love it. People tell me stories about stuff, and it sticks. I remember it.”

Garcia currently has a space at the vintage market in Greenville.

“I think people really appreciate the craftsmanship of solid wood pieces made in America,” Garcia said. “We need to stop throwing them away.”

“I’ve been a repurposer for a long-time,” she said. “I liked the idea of repurposing things and not throwing them away. That’s a little bit of where our style comes from.”

“It has a story behind it,” Burton said. “That’s what’s so important.”

 

Collaborating
Burton and Garcia are leading the initiative but are also collaborating with others and offering classes.

“We’re going to be doing some staging, teaching people how to stage shelves, painting,” Burton said. “Everyone’s going to have a different skill.

“We really want to offer some classes just to help people take Grandma’s chest out of the garage and do something with it,” Garcia said.

Classes will kick off in September with a couple of guys teaching about how to make corn hole from scratch, and Garcia is going to lead a rewiring lamp class at some point.

“I’ve often had people say, I’d be afraid to use that,” Garcia said. “My husband’s an electrician.”

“We’re kind of thinking it might be fun to offer something specific every six weeks, kind of depending on the seasons,” she said. “It’s going to depend a lot on what’s popular out there.”

Burton and Garcia are also looking to start up a Pinterest idea board to give people an idea of what they are wanting to do.

“We have a lot of great ideas,” Garcia said. “We’re just taking advantage of a lot of those of what’s popular out there.”

“It excites me,” she said. “The old building will have lots of new ideas in it.”

The new ideas come at a time when downtown Greer is transforming with brick pavers on Trade Street as well as new landscaping, benches and more.

“I love it,” Burton said. “We would love to get out there and do some sidewalk sales. I know they made it like this because they wanted to bring some of the markets in off the grass and do them down here on the street.”

“I just think that it’s going to be so quaint,” she said. “We’re getting in right in the beginning. The bench out there, we just want to go sit out there.”

Garcia mentioned planters and lights for their site.

“We’re looking forward to it,” Garcia said. “I’ve had the opportunity to go visit some city scapes. They do this kind of thing, and the people just flood in.”

“It’s just a comfortable place to gather so that’s what we’re hoping,” she said. “This is going to be that ticket to bring more people downtown.”

Burton and Garcia also noted the relationships with neighboring businesses.

“We absolutely love our neighbors around here,” Burton said. “Lisa and Grey Garland from Stomping Grounds, right before the streets opened last week, they put a set of wicker table and chairs.”

“Everyone was going out and taking pictures, having tea, cutting hair,” she said. “It’s amazing. You just don’t get that in other towns. Greer pulls together as a community. We want to collaborate with our neighbors and market each other. It’s a great opportunity for us.”

Estate sale services is another idea for the new business.

“We’re going to be handling some estate sales for people,” Burton said.

The services would be available to those who have relatives move to assisted living or nursing homes or pass away.

“We can go in there and take care of everything for them from start to finish,” Burton said. “That’s a really tough time for people to go through.”

Garcia mentioned being able to let people know what to keep, what to repurpose and what to throw away.

 

Beginnings

The Roper Mountain location was one of the first places Burton went shopping for treasures about six years ago.

“The gentleman there, he’s just so much fun,” Burton said. “He’d actually been on American Pickers before. He’s got probably an acre of just stuff everywhere.”

“When I went through it, I had a pile of stuff I wanted to buy,” she said. “It was just a love at first picking.”

As her daughter became more independent, Burton pursued market opportunities from a little market in downtown Greenville to the Vintage Pop-Up Market and more.

“I did a show in downtown Greenville,” Burton said. “There was just a little bit of foot traffic, but I loved doing it, loved talking to people, loved hearing their stories.”

“The second show that I did was Farm Fresh Fair, and that was in Fountain Inn,” she said.

Burton did that market for two years.

“The first time I did it, I was set up in the little red barn,” Burton said. “I’m notorious for coming in last minute and staging stuff.”

“At 10 o’clock Saturday morning, it was like flood waters poured through with the people that were coming in,” she said. “They had close to 7,000 people that came through that show in two days, but it was fun. They would tell me their stories. The connection with everybody that came through, all the customers that came through, I absolutely love.”

Burton has considered writing a blog with stories from customers—just one of many ideas Burton and Garcia have.

 

Written by Kaelyn Cashman

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