Loot Vintage Rentals – Rhoda Brimberry and Anna Crelia
This is Rhoda Brimberry and Anna Crelia’s story. It’s one of family and downright good taste.
Anna Crelia decided on a vintage wedding long before her November 2010 ceremony. She knew this could be a tall order so she assembled a task force of scavengers soon after she got engaged. Several of Anna’s family members, including sister-in-law Rhoda Brimberry, scoured flea markets and thrift stores far and wide to find the perfect curios for Anna’s wedding.
Her collection of vintage linens, china and oil lamps grew, and the wedding took seamless shape as if the repurposed décor was together even in its heyday. Anna and Rhoda, thrifty as they were, couldn’t help but wonder how much time and money they could have saved had they just been able to rent the stuff. Still mulling in a creative state, and asking each other a series of, ‘What am I going to do with all of this?’ and ‘Why doesn’t something like this already exist?’ the two ladies saw a gap in a relatively untapped, vintage rental market.
“I think she thought of it separately and I thought of it separately, and we started talking about it and basically completed each other’s sentences,” said Rhoda.
At the time, Rhoda was a full-time mom living in Dallas, and Austin-native Anna had recently moved back home from New York; but the distance was hardly a hurdle for the zealous duo. With plans already in place to move to Austin, Rhoda started the research while Anna was still on her honeymoon. She tested the waters by placing an ad on Craigslist, and they had a bite before the newlyweds even made it home.
When she landed back in the Lone Star state, Anna packed the goods into her trunk and drove to their first potential client’s house. Although this particular client didn’t turn out to be their first [It could have been that Anna wasn’t able to lift much of what she brought…details], Rhoda and Anna saw that there was a demand for their services. They channeled their inner pickers and got to work.
Church pews were the first big purchase. “That’s when we started having to rent spaces rather than storing things in our house,” Rhoda explained. From there, their inventory grew exponentially.
“I’d wake up at 6 a.m. to go estate sale-ing on my days off,” said Anna. “When you’re waking up at 6 on your days off, it says something – ‘you should probably follow this passion.’”
Loot Vintage Rentals was given a face and a name shortly after they had their curbside consultation. Loot’s distinct styling came together rather quickly. After all, this wasn’t their first rodeo. Anna and Rhoda were life-long vintage enthusiasts. Unassuming finds certainly hadn’t failed them before. In fact, Anna’s eye for the salvageable is how she filled her New York City apartment. “My apartment was furnished with things I just found on the street. We called them street treats,” Anna laughed.
“It was really good stuff!” Rhoda clarified. The hunt was in Rhoda’s blood. From a young age, she spent weekends going on bargain adventures with her mom. She learned from an expert and grew up an avid collector of all things interesting. Rhoda and Anna’s family dynamic, impeccable taste and professional backgrounds left little room for error.
Before taking the brave step to become a stay-at-home mom, Rhoda worked in marketing and corporate communication, and Anna spent several years immersed in the fashion world. “She brought a lot of the styling and design to the business,” Rhoda said of Anna. “I added a lot of the branding and advertising.”
Together Rhoda and Anna create an unmatched aesthetic that brings soul to even the shabbiest event settings. Their eastside warehouse is a wall-to-wall, vintage wonderland. From reupholstered settees to deconstructed club chairs, each piece evokes a specific feeling.
The pair fits perfectly amidst their vintage restorations. Not unlike their showroom-esque warehouse, the owners themselves are decorated in fashions past. They don’t ignore a single detail, and their shared affinity of fabrics-gone-by comes through their quick banter:
Rhoda: (smiling) “I get really excited when I see a patch or a little bit of fray that’s kind of an imperfection on the fabric.
Anna: (without skipping a beat) “Like a worn velvet.”
Rhoda: “Gosh, yes. That makes me salivate.”
Their personal story is at the core of what they’re doing. It’s creativity and talent that sets the stylings of Loot apart. This tale just skims the surface of these talented sisters. Their processes and handmade touches are stories to be told all on their own. Stay tuned, friends.