Vintage Envoy is an online, Denton-based Instagram boutique that sells vintage watches, cameras, home decor, and furniture. While these online vintage businesses have been popular lately, Vintage Envoy sets itself apart by focusing on items that usually require much more work and time to repair and touch up.
Vintage Envoy owner Vinita Demla started the business with her husband Colt Demla after buying a house and being unable to find mid-century modern furniture for the house at the usual fast furniture stores.
“I wasn’t satisfied with the quality or the prices of fast furniture stores, so I started looking on Facebook Marketplace and I found dealers who were selling mid-century items on Instagram,” Demla said. “That kinda opened my eyes to vintage furniture and how that can be a business idea.”
Vintage Envoy was created in March, right during the time the COVID-19 virus hit the U.S. Therefore, Demla did not have to adjust to the virus, rather, Vintage Envoy was created around it.
“We started when COVID became widespread and before the shutdown, so I can’t really say what it was like before then,” Demla said. “We have had to lower some prices according to the market, and we do no contact porch pick up.”
Crystal Yao, a recent customer of Vintage Envoy, expressed her appreciation for their ability to adjust their schedule to her needs.
“Since my schedule is limited and I live far from Vintage Envoy’s location in Denton, she made time in her schedule and met me in a convenient area for me to pick up the item,” Yao said. “I thoroughly appreciate the lengths she went through to make me feel like a valued customer.
Vintage Envoy also has quite a variety of different items to choose from, selling pieces from different decades and genres.
“We specialize in mid-century items,” Demla said. “50-60s or boho, 80s postmodernism, vintage SLR film cameras, and antique watches as well.
What sets Vintage Envoy apart from other similar businesses, however, is their knowledge over Vintage watches and cameras, thanks to Demla’s husband Colt.
Colt has been selling antique watches since 2008, and he says that he has “been fascinated by mechanics for as long as I(he) can remember.”
Colt stated that Vintage shops do not often deal with repairing and refurbishing vintage watches “due to the cost and difficulty of repair.”
“Dealers are often intimidated by inventory that can break at any given time,” said Colt.
Colt’s expertise whenever it comes to timepieces, however, gives Vintage Envoy confidence to reliably stock and sell watches.
“He started when he was 13-years old. He studied under a master watchmaker and then he was self-taught from there,” Demla said. “He basically just bought watchmaking books and started to figure out how to repair items.”
Vintage Envoy has also recently expanded to vintage film and cameras as well.
“I had been shooting digital photography for a few years and felt the whole process had gotten stale,” Colt said. “My mother had an old Nikon film camera sitting around, so I decided to shoot a roll of film through it. After being impressed with the results, I started shooting film almost exclusively.”
The most exciting part of work for Colt is the feeling of traveling and finding new and unknown products.
“I’m really enjoying the freedom and diversity of our work. No two days are alike,” Colt said. “It’s quite exciting hunting out products while traveling, not knowing what we might find.”
According to Demla, vintage items stand out from fast furniture due to not only being of higher quality but also because of the vast history that can be etched into the pieces.
“We picked up a dresser recently and we found old photos and letters from 1956 and 1960 hidden in between the mirror,” Demla said. “I love knowing there is a history to every item.”