Old Made New Again at Shabby FiFi
Shabby FiFi, a new antiques shop, opens on Fall River Avenue.
A new shop opened just last week on Fall River Avenue between Gary’s Barber shop and Amanda Lynn’s Antiques. Shabby FiFi is a nod to both the owner’s dog and the “shabby chic” movement, which refers to vintage furnishings with some wear and tear, or newer pieces made to look old through a process of ‘distressing.’
Inside the small and cozy store one might find farm tables, rustic mantelpieces, chandeliers, vintage mirrors, nostalgic beds frames, fine linens, garden items and other home goods in the style of “country cottage” or “French apartment.” The palette is what owner Yvonne Turner calls “bright and airy” with subdued shades of whites, pinks and neutral tones.
Turner said she’s been fascinated by “anything old” since she was seven-years old, and has been an avid antiques collector for years. Nonetheless, it wasn’t until she and her husband relocated to Rehoboth from Los Angeles in 2002, that she began selling antiques on eBay. Turner had been a successful makeup artist there, freelancing for herself and Lancome where she readied people – including once Bill Clinton - for lavish parties, political events and more.
“I did a lot of make up for weddings, which is a huge thing in Los Angeles,” Turner says. “When I came here people had never heard of paying someone to do their make up for a party. I realized I couldn’t have a makeup career here.”
After her success with eBay, Turner decided to act on her dream of opening a shop. She says she used to drive by the building and say to her husband, “Someday I’m going to own an antique shop in there.”
After six weeks of renovating the space, including painting over many layers of Cherry Red paint and removing “an innumerable amount” of telephone wires, Turner and her husband opened the shop with a well-attended wine reception last Friday night. After just one week she says her sales have been “phenomenal” with both drive-by folks and former customers from eBay.
As for decorating tips, Turner recommends following your heart.
“Buy what you love and not what’s necessarily popular. Somehow you can make it all cohesive,” she says. “Sometimes I walk in the door and my husband goes ‘What the heck?’ because I’ve got an old window or something. Our home is a mishmash of a lot of different things, but somehow it seems to blend.”
For those who are dog lovers as well as antique lovers, Shabby FiFi offers an extra special treat. The store’s namesake is an official greeter, along with Scooter, a feisty paraplegic pup, and Lily, who arrived just a few weeks ago from Tennesse on a plane with 33 other traumatized pups as part of a rescue effort by PAWS New England. Turner vounteers for the organization, and she hopes to do a fundraiser at Shabby Fifi for them in the near future.
Shabby FiFi is open Wednesday and Friday 11:30 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursdays 11:30 a.m. to 7 p.m.; and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. There is on street parking across street and a parking lot directly behind the building up Jerry Lane.