Photo by Christy Wolyniak
Co-owners of Trove Vintage Boutique, Cyrena Preszler and Sara Leanord, work on repainting the walls to get ready for their grand opening.

Ballard invites a 'trove' of treasures into its business community

By Christy Wolyniak

Every girl has always dreamed of going through her best friend’s closet and high tailing it with all the loot she got her hands on.

A new Ballard business is hoping make that dream a reality. The Trove Vintage Boutique offers a comfortable atmosphere, color and everything your best friend’s closet never had.

“The name describes what we’re doing: treasure hunting. It’s a space where all one’s treasures can be found. It’s a treasure trove,” said Co-Owner, Cyrena Preszler, who runs the business with friend Sara Leonard.

The boutique reflects the passions of both women. Preszler began crafting handmade jewelry with vintage glass and beads. Leonard sold vintage clothing online to supplement her income while she was in college. When the two women became friends, it was almost inevitable that such a store would someday blossom.

“We both have a passion for vintage because of the stories and sentimental value behind them. We want to cater to a customer who appreciates that. We think we have found the right place [here in,” Leonard said.

Located between Starbucks and Romanza on NW Market Street, the Trove Vintage Boutique women are tirelessly painting as they prepare for the launch of their new store. Ballardites so far seem excited and have given the new business owners a warm welcome.

“We have had such a warm response from the community, it makes us want to live here,” Preszler said.

The store will offer vintage pieces ranging from delicate peach lace dresses to beautiful wooden chairs to a vibrant, 10-foot-long pink and orange couch.

“It’s almost southwest, but cooler and more versatile,” Preszler said.

Light blue walls with painted white pillars cheer up the old space and green and yellow stripes were painted on the back wall of the store. As for the ceiling, Preszler’s husband, Andrew Preszler, got on a lift and took care of that.

“Everybody’s always afraid to make that jump [to start their own,” Andrew Preszler said. “I told Cyrena, ‘Just jump, I won’t let you fall.’ “

Cyrena Preszler took a mop to clear away dust from the front entrance, where a beautiful 70-year-old floor made of tiny, slated stones was hiding beneath the cement and plaster. Cyrena Preszler said she wants to incorporate the Trove logo around the space.

“We want it to be like a maze [when people come; not in a cluttered kind of way,” Cyrena Preszler said. “We want it to be visually stimulating [so when people leave, they will want to come because they feel like they still haven’t seen everything.”

Old pieces with interesting histories discover new life and meaning at the Trove Boutique. Local artist and friend, Will Gebenini, is making the light fixtures out of old wooden pallets and mason jars. His business, “A Light in the attic,” features re-purposed items. Cyrena Preszler said it goes along with the theme of re-using and re-purposing.

Cyrena Preszler and Leonard describe their favorite items in the store. 1970s blue and tan suede pumps with polka dots patiently await a new owner. At size 9, these babies were a find too big for Cyrena Preszler’s feet, but she cannot wait to see them go home with someone.

Leonard’s favorite find is a 1920s beaded flapper dress that she is restoring bead by bead. She said it is worth the work to give the dress a new life.

“Sara is a savant when it comes to looking for clothes. She [can find] a button from this era or a zipper from that era,” Andrew Preszler said.

Leonard explained that, in order to keep the quality and originality of vintage pieces, the Trove women incorporate old techniques and materials that fit the era of the piece, be it zippers, old knobs, or researching about stitches.

“It’s not that you’re cheapening something, but making it new without using new materials, and keeping it authentic to the time period,” Leonard said.

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