Story by Robin Fannon
One of the most popular home trends that rose out of the pandemic has been a collective appreciation for all things vintage and nostalgic. We seem to be longing for home décor and furnishings that have history and tell a story. Whether refurbishing our own family’s treasures or scouring local vintage shops, people are turning away from big box, mass-produced merchandise to items that surround us with connection, emotion and meaning. Ocala and the small towns that dot our outskirts are a treasure trove of vintage boutiques, thrift stores and antique shops. While Micanopy and Mount Dora have long been the superstars of this genre in central Florida, Ocala is quickly becoming a contender. Here we explore just a small group of the many local vintage merchants.
The Mustard Seed Collection
“Your Unique Vintage Destination”
Mandy Bucci hails from the great state of Texas and had a 20-year corporate career until she claims there was divine intervention. Stressed out and feeling the need to spend more time with her kids and be a better wife, Mandy took a leap of faith. She jumped off the corporate treadmill and opened her own business. The Mustard Seed vintage store has developed into a must-visit mainstay in the downtown shopping experience. The shop is a unique collection of jewelry, candles, fine antiques, apparel and upscale painted furniture. They take commissioned orders for custom painted furniture and have one of the largest collections of milk paint, in a wide variety of colors. Her Instagram feed @themustardseedcollection is a never-ending source of inspiration
“It’s the Thrill of the Hunt”
Jennifer Townsend is a native Ocalan and a legend in the downtown community. It’s likely that just about every home in Ocala has at least one item from Jenn’s constantly revolving inventory. In addition to the main store at 120 South Magnolia, she also has the bright turquoise blue warehouse building located a block south at 221 South Magnolia. In fact, this building was her great Uncle’s Gulf filling station back in the 40s and 50s. I asked her what she looks for when buying merchandise for her store, and the answer is a reoccurring one throughout this article: “I use my instincts, buy what I like, what is unusual, and that I have never seen before.” She mostly buys from private individuals, but also never passes up a flea market and “side of the road” treasures. Jennifer lives with her two dogs Bamboo and Peco, and is awaiting her second grandchild.
“Buying and Selling Great Stuff”
PJ and Marlin Jamrock are longtime Ocala residents and owners of their vintage shop located at 122 South Magnolia Ave. They are raising their three children, Jackson, 14; Gavin, 13; and little Addie (Miss Tumbleweed) who is 5 years old, all the while operating a thriving local business. PJ explains how they started their shop: “I was caring for my elderly grandmother who was an avid collector and I needed a place to put all this stuff! Combined with the recession which made thrift and secondhand shopping not only popular, but necessary.” A very entrepreneurial idea indeed! In addition to the shop on South Magnolia, they also operate several warehouses by appointment. You can find them on Instagram @tumbleweed_of_ocala
Two Sisters Vintage
“Junktique to Antique”
Mary Moody and Toni Yoder like to say that they are sisters, just not each other’s!
This unique 5,000-square-foot warehouse of treasures that used to be a Libby’s fruit processing plant, blossomed out of the 2008 crash. The flooring business they had worked together in for many years, and still operate in their building, was sputtering. While Toni does the pickin’ (she never met a yard sale she didn’t like), Mary does displays and staging. Their motto is “Reimagine, Restyle, Repurpose” and is evident in their shop and they specialize in bringing old furniture pieces back to a new life. They have become well known in the industry for their famous open air “Magnolia Junkin Market” where they host 50 vendors, twice a year. Their next event is April 9-10 so mark your calendars. Check out the details @twosistersvintagethrift
Originally from Virginia and raised near Colonial Williamsburg, Crystal and her husband of 27 years, Jason, inherited 13 acres of farmland in Anthony, just on the outskirts of Ocala. Together with the help of Crystal’s mom, Kate, they have set out to create their dream home. Along the way they have accumulated a menagerie of three dogs, four cats, five mini goats, two mini donkeys, seven chickens and have rescued a horse and a pony. Through the influences of her upbringing, Flynn developed a love for collecting vintage items, in particular her collection of classic cookbooks featuring the iconic Clementine Paddleford’s cookbook. China, antique linens and ironstone are just a few of her other favorite collectables to search for. Flynn believes in taking things slowly when it comes to the development of their home. She explains: “It’s a fluid project and I believe in letting a house speak to you. I like to imagine the story and history behind each piece.” Flynn is a regular “picker” at the vintage shops in Ocala and has developed a friendship with many of the owners. In fact, one of her favorite projects has been her kitchen island, a White Elephant find, that she painstakingly refurbished. In addition to the local stores in this article, Crystal also sources from stores in Micanopy, Mount Dora and EBay. You can follow her beautifully curated Instagram feed @sage_house_farm
Jamie moved to Ocala in 1994 from Valrico, just outside Tampa. She and her husband, Richard (she started dating him when she was 16!), now have a son, Gibson, and a lovely home just outside the historic district. They painstakingly transformed their backyard into a beautiful, tropical, lush oasis. Long before its current popularity, much to her mother’s chagrin, Jamie was always into secondhand, vintage buying. “I used to beg my mom to take me to vintage stores and she would wait in the car.” Jamie is known for her colorful, eclectic style and believes that one’s home should tell their story. While her career as a home healthcare worker and her family come first, she has developed her collecting into a profitable side hustle. Just check out her Instagram page @8one8vintage and see how fast her finds are snapped up in flash! When asked what she looks for when foraging, Jamie follows her instinct: “I look for what catches my eye and what I love personally. Vintage items tend to be well made and have character. I like to imagine the history and who loved it before it ended up with me.” To find her treasures, she scouts estate sales, Etsy, eBay and is a big believer in supporting small business and shopping locally.
1812 NE Jacksonville Road
Ocala, Florida 34470
The Finicky Flamingo
640 NE 27th Ave
Ocala, Florida 34475
Interfaith Thrift Store
718 N Pine Ave
Ocala, Florida 34475