Owners make statement with business

The mother-daughter team share a passion for vintage items that are both interesting and enduring.

Advertisement

photo

DeBouche store owner Terry Baker adjusts a colorful scarf on the back of a leather reclining chair for sale in her store at its new location on Main Street.

WALLA WALLA -- If the "statement pieces" in Terry Baker's and Amy Reser's home furnishings store DBouch could actually speak, they would implore you to picture the possibilities.

They would probably also say something about how good they would have looked in Sinatra's sitting room with a pair of zebra heels slung next to them on the floor. But that's another conversation.

Imagination is key when it comes to the eclectic array of mid-century and Hollywood regency couches, chairs, artwork and accessories that fill the storefront of one of downtown's newest tenants. Baker and her daughter, Reser -- self-proclaimed "purse-aholics" -- scour antique stores, estate sales and auctions seeing nothing but potential in the treasures they pick up to sell at the roughly 1-year-old business that started on Myra Road before the move to 10 E. Main St.

The business -- pronounced "day-boo-shay" and meaning an outlet or market for goods -- developed from the passion Reser and Baker share for shopping for vintage items that are both interesting and enduring. A 1958 aluminum Christmas tree. A gold ?âtag?®re lamp with a globe light. Brass bookends, turquoise lamps shaped like horse heads, resin chairs influenced by the simplicity and cleanliness of Scandinavian design of the 1950s.

They're also not afraid to put in a little work to refurbish a slightly worn Eames chair.

That's where imagination comes in, Reser said. An animal-print upholstery upgrade on a tufted ottoman, a chrome powder coating on a Bertoia chair, a couple of coats of stain on a credenza - all transformations to modernize pieces with old-fashioned flair.

Lest there be any confusion, Reser and Baker love to shop.

"It's an addiction," Baker said. "And this is a way of supporting our addiction."

But it didn't start as mere frivolity. As with all enduring ideas, necessity was truly the mother of invention that led them on the path to what ultimately became their own business.

Baker, retired from a career in finance and accounting, learned to search for a good find on the shelves and racks of thrift stores as a young girl growing up with meager resources. As a kid, she was embarrassed by it, she said. She worried she'd show up to school in the castaway clothes of her peers and that someone would notice.

But her outlook changed in adulthood when she became a single mother. The sensibilities she learned from her own childhood only made sense as she stretched her pennies with her own kids.

And she did well, her daughter said. Dressed in clothes with name-brand labels, Reser said few of her classmates ever knew they'd come from thrift stores. Even when the family had the money to buy new items, searching for treasures at out-of-the-ordinary places seemed like more fun.

Over the years, mother and daughter honed their abilities to spot such items and furnished their homes this way. Thrift-store shopping evolved to antique markets and estate sales, continued Reser, who also balances a weekday career at Baker Boyer Bank's Eastgate branch.

When the idea came a couple of years ago to turn their hobby into a business, the pair began accumulating one item after another to build an inventory while simultaneously looking for the perfect spot to open. By the time they made their debut on Myra Road, across from the old Blue Mountain Mall, they each had a garage full of items, as well as a full storage unit.

Once they were sure their business had legs, they decided to move to a more visible location. Their shop opened on Main Street in early November. Their storage units are now known as "back stock."

Furniture is the big attraction, but between sales of Adrian Pearsall tables and sofas and Panton-style chairs, the business is supported by the sales of handbags, jewelry and shoes.

"Occasionally we still get that 'Oh, it's used?' comment from people not understanding what's going on here," Baker said.

But with a few decorating tips -- and a little vision -- those are few and far between, she said. in adulthood own

DBouchoperates Thursday through Monday, with hours 11 a.m.-5 p.m., except Sunday when the hours are noon-5 p.m. For more information, call 520-0348.

Comments

Use the comment form below to begin a discussion about this content.

Sign in to comment