Hello! I’ve been keeping some exciting news to myself, but I just can’t keep from shouting from the rooftops about Carissa Shapiro any longer. So, without further ado, please welcome Stockroom Vintage’s very first styling assistant! After a series of very sweet, honest emails, in which we talked about vintage love and what made Stockroom tick, I met Carissa for a coffee date a few weeks ago, and we hit it off instantly. Really, it’s impossible not to like her. Carissa has such a calming, easy vibe—definitely something that will come in handy on event days—and, really, she’s a gem. I knew right away that she was a kindred vintage spirit, a lover of thrifting, flea markets and the like.
One long brunch and about a zillion emails later, here we are: Stockroom is officially growing, and that’s the best feeling ever. I’m so happy to welcome Carissa to the team! And what better way to introduce Carissa than with photos of her gorgeous, charming wedding? (She and her hubby, Nashville photographer Aaron Shapiro, were married at the Tinney Contemporary Art Gallery followed by a reception at Marché. You can check more photos at The Sweetest Occasion.) Are you crazy in love with her dress? It’s more than 100 years old! Carissa shares details about that amazing dream dress and more below. I know you all will adore her as much as I do!
What’s the story behind your wedding dress? Where did you find it…and how do you manage to not wear it, like, every day?
Ohhh, my wedding dress. How I adore it! I knew for a fact that I wanted something vintage. Several months before my boyfriend (now husband) proposed, his parents went on a trip to California. During their trip his mother called me and said she knew it may be a long shot, but she saw a dress in the window of an antique shop that had my name written on it. She took photos and measurements and sent them to me, asking if I wanted her to buy it. The dress was beautiful and the measurements were absolutely perfect, and even though I was in the pre-wedding planning phase, it just wasn’t the time. I really wanted to say yes, but since I wasn’t engaged just yet it didn’t feel right to get the dress.
Fast forward about six months. I was engaged and looking for a dress. I had honestly just thought there was no way of finding that dream dress in that small-town antique shop across the country. I casually mentioned it to my future mother-in-law, thinking it was a long shot that she had any of the information for the shop. After digging through papers, she managed to find the business card of the antique shop. I called the store, left a message and didn’t hear back. I was going to give up but a couple weeks later I gave them a call again…just to see.
At this point you know what happens next. The owner still had the dress! She also had information about its possible origin. If her research was right, the 1910 dress belonged to a woman named Annie Kennedy Bidwell. (Look her up because it sounds like she did some awesome things in the Sacramento Valley area with some awesome people like Elizabeth Cady Stanton, a leading figure of the early woman’s movement.) I felt so lucky to wear this one-of-a-kind dress for my once-in-a-lifetime event.
What attracts you to thrift shopping and hunting for vintage pieces?
I just love seeing different furniture, housewares and clothes from past eras. Everything was made different back in say the 20s or 60s, and it is so cool to see how style has evolved. Things that were so ordinary back then have become collectible now. I can’t help but wonder what seemingly boring things I use day to day now will be sought after in 30 or 40 years.
What is your favorite thrift find of all time? And what’s the one dream piece that you’re always looking for?
My favorite thrift find has got to be my milk glass lamp. I had never seen anything like it before and had to have it! The lamp was in bad condition when I found it, but after re-wiring it and putting on a new shade, it is one of my prized possessions. I’m always looking for the next chair. I love chairs with style and personality and seem to always fall in love with at least two whenever I go thrifting.
What’s your itinerary for a perfect day in Nashville? Where do you go, what do you eat and who do you take along with you?
What a hard question! OK, so this is what I envision on my perfect Nashville day…
Let’s start off with the fact that it would be a beautiful spring day. I love Nashville most when the trees are blooming. I’d probably spend the morning sleeping in and being cozy at home with my husband and sweet puppy. I usually don’t get to sleep in so this would be a luxury. Now let’s get outta the house and do something fun! I’m so lucky to have married a guy who likes to go thrifting, too. I’d love to hit up the Nashville Flea Market and another favorite in the area Pre to Post Modern. Oh! And we must go across the street to 8th Avenue Antique Mall, too. They always have so much to look at!
For lunch, depending on our mood, we’d either go to our favorite sandwich shop Sloco in the 12th South area or Marché in East Nashville. Both have incredible food. We love Marché so much we decided to host our wedding reception there!
I always love visiting my favorite local shops. I’d visit Hatch ShowPrint, The Green Wagon, and Pangea. My husband and I would be long due for a good cup of coffee at this point, so depending on our location we’d either go to Crema or The Barista Parlor. We love coffee done well and these places are stellar.
Sometime in the evening I’d love to go to Centennial Park for a concert in the park. Meeting up with friends and enjoying some jazz or classical music while sitting on a blanket sounds incredible to me. Dinner would be a toss up between The Catbird Seat and Mangia Nashville. Both restaurants serve delicious food and you’re guaranteed to have a great time. Going with another couple would be a blast.
Name your current obsessions. When it comes to books, blogs, food, TV, movies and music (or any guilty pleasures), what are you loving now?
So can you tell I have a really hard time narrowing things down? I have a couple, OK a few, OK several current obsessions. I’m totally loving West End Cafe for brunch these days, learning about and making all-natural face and body products, hairpin legs (I’ll always be obsessed), the reality cooking show Masterchef and searching Craigslist day and night for that perfect Chesterfield Sofa.