Name: Chad Spaulding
Business name: First Born Vintage
Where do you sell?: TVBs and other fleas/markets. Our Etsy storefront just got up and running – anything that doesn’t sell at next TVB is going up on there.
So this is so weird. You were totally my downstairs neighbor in like, 2007. When you moved in I had just started writing my blog at BackGarage, and I secretly took a picture of your back porch and posted it on the blog because you had such a sense of style! (I remember the red metal chair and the other — yellow? — chairs hanging on the wall.) Was that totally stalker-y of me? How come we didn’t become drinking buddies way back then?
It wasn’t TOTALLY stalker-y! I probably would’ve done the same especially if I knew about BackGarage while you were living there. Luckily some stranger off Craigslist came into my home and told me who you were and about the blog – ah, the power of the internets! I should probably mention the stranger off CL was buying a dresser from me – strictly a PG-13 transaction. And the other chairs were red, as well. I’d love to see this pic.
We should have been drinking buddies that’s for sure, but we can more than make up for it at the TVB with Longman & Eagle cocktails on November 11th.
Way to plug the show! We love First Born because you’ve totally made the transition from vintage shopper and design enthusiast to vendor. How did that happen and how long did it take?
I’d be lying if I didn’t say it’s been in the back of my mind for a long while. However, when I was at TVB in Pilsen something just clicked in my brain that the time was here to give it a go; I remember saying out loud “I should be here!” And now, I am and it’s totally awesome and rewarding. And nerve-wracking and stress inducing. It takes a certain kind, that’s for sure.
Your first experience selling in real life was at Congress on September 18. How did that go? What was the experience like for you — any surprises?
Going in, I thought it’d be this referendum on my taste and what I think is cool and why I think people should buy stuff I chose and the best part was the way people responded – the first 2 hours were insane, selling right and left and all the things that were uniquely First Born Vintage and what were my vision for what FBV is – were gone or sold. It was amazingly gratifying to be “gotten” in that way, and on such a scale especially for it being my first show.
What are your three favorite shopping experiences here in Chicago? Where do you go for your stuff?
I live near Andersonville and I love shopping there. The respect for design in that neighborhood is awesome. Room Service, Scout, Brimfield, the amazing guys at Brownstone – they’re all wonderful and so different from each other but there’s room for them all. That’s great. Mode on Damen in Ravenswood supplied half my apartment when I first moved to Chicago, that and the Brown Elephant on Clark, but their prices are way high now.
We know you bought the coveted Albini ottoman from STUDY at the May pop-up in Pilsen. What design staple do you have your eye on now?
I stalked that thing! As soon as they posted it on the blog, I knew it had to be mine. The Brick House had like 90 (read: 3) of them at the time and I was hella jealous. But as for right now, I’m totally obsessed with All Things Rattan or any kind of Bentwood Chair. Paint it black and consider me a fan.
We’re bringing one Black Rattan Chair to TVB next week that is going to go fast I think. We had a similar one in September that sold to one of my friends, so luckily I get to visit it.
When I was doing your home tour, you introduced me to my (now) favorite design rag, Apartmento. Can we just talk for a second about why that magazine is so awesome?
It’s amazing. I discovered it after a trip to Spain a few years ago and just love it. Any magazine that costs over $12 is a splurge but that one’s worth. It’s designed beautifully as well.
Speaking of that. Tell us about your day job.
I have my own graphic design studio – 3979 Design. I work with a few companies but mainly do design for a real estate owner/developer. I make things look pretty, to completely simplify it.
I’m also starting to branch out the First Born Vintage brand and am starting to do remix projects with clients, where I come to your apartment/home with, say, a new rug or lamp or something awesome and just move your furniture around while we have a cocktail. It’s fun and it breaks your eye (hello, art school education!) and allows you to see your possessions in a whole new way. I just completed one for a friend that will be on the blog at firstbornvintage.com soon and I will have details at TVB.
Okay, so I knew you were a graphic designer. I’m a total hanger-on, wanna-be graphic designer.
What graphic design trend are you, like, so over? And um, what’s your favorite font?
I’m over Bevels, Shadows and making things look like Metal. I’d blame Steve Jobs but now that seems in poor taste. But honestly, Apple creates a look and the world follows, I’m just kind of over it.
My favorite fonts are Cooper Black (’70s!) and Bauer Bodoni Bold Italic (FBV’s font); but Univers and Gotham (OBAMA!) are the ones I use the most.
Speaking of trends, what are you totally digging interiors-wise lately? Anything you used to be into that you think is garbage now? (Getting over stuff is so a sign of style maturity, don’t you think?)
I like the look of all these white walled rooms I’ve been seeing online and in design mags everywhere – I want to live there but I don’t know that I could. I think the overly-collected and done-but-made-to-appear-undone look is kinda on its way out. It’s everywhere now. I think there will be a move away from straight-up MCM to a more integrated look.
The ’90s were all over the place and they’re back in fashion and IN fashion, so I think that will start to affect home design as well. Bring on the cobalt blue and hunter green!