Text by Marisa Dellatto
Photos by Nydia Hartono
“Sometimes you imagine stories,” said Stephanie Pevnice on her version of daydreaming. But when she does it, she's not looking up at the clouds- she’s looking at antique pieces. Nowadays, Pevnice serves as a buyer and seller of antiques, as well as the curator for the SoWa Vintage Market in the South End of Boston. Her present is filled with anything and everything of the past. However, her journey through time did not begin this way.
It all started 25 years ago. Pevnice and her husband had just purchased a farmhouse in Marblehead, Massachusetts. “We needed furniture,” Pevnice commented. And so began her Saturday morning trips to local antique shops. Sooner or later, her whole house had been furnished with antiques to spare. Working in high tech sales by day, Pevnice quickly became a collector in her spare time. “I would replace the overflow.”
Pevnice took some time away from work once she had kids. But it came time to get back to it. It was then that buying and selling antiques made it’s transformation from hobby to full time career. About 6 years ago, Pevnice was asked to curate a vintage market to accompany an art market, food trucks, and farmers market. These four make up The SoWa Markets, and happen each Sunday in the South End of Boston from May to October. Thanks to Pevnice’s work, the Vintage Market has grown into it’s own. It now goes every Sunday of the year.
Finding that sweet spot between the old and the new is the key to antiquing. After all, Pevnice’s use of social media helped her get noticed to curate the Vintage Market. She recalled a vintage dress she uncovered years ago. “It was from the 1950’s,” Pevnice recounted. The dress had a “circle skirt, travel stickers, and beading.” “I didnt have enough money [in my wallet] to buy it!,” Pevnice exclaimed. “The lady let me write her a check - Gladys June - I still remember her name.” She thought it looked like something that J Crew or Banana Republic would sell - now for over a $100.
When looking for pieces to sell, Pevnice looks for “any piece that is interesting.” She’s drawn to tables, sculpture, and furniture pieces. “And jewelry, always always always,” she added. Of course, quality is of the essence. “People are drawn to the craftsmanship of old pieces, of their design aesthetic,” Pevnice preached. She loves finding real “authentic pieces” especially from around the world.
Pevnice recalled an old coat. It had a “flared out collar with a sort of Burberry [print] that you could imagine with a big big sun hat,” she said nostalgically. It was too big for her. At SoWa, a gentleman bought it.
It’s those stories and details - real or imagined- that keep our interest in antique pieces alive. Thanks to people like like Pevnice, these slices of the past are revitalized and given new life. They are able to live on to create new stories.