Meet Influencer and Vintage Dealer McKenzie Renae who She Shares Her Secret To Creating The Best Antiques.
The GoodFeed sat down to speak with one of our founding members for tips on snagging her most fabulous pre-owned finds
In an industry dominated by older white men, Instagram influencer, lifestyle consultant, and now, vintage dealer, Mckenzie Renae, realizes that being a young black woman in the antique world is very rare and she’s determined to make waves in this traditional trade. Take one step into her newest retail boutique the Never Lonely Antique Lounge in Atlanta, Georgia and you will find that antiquing and collecting rare finds is Mckenzie Renae’s purpose, and clearly her calling. Her curated collection is like a visit to a museum exhibit, that's been transported in the age of decadence and glamor or a scene from an old movie or magazine shoot and every object pulls you in, the difference is that you can take (these pieces) the art home. “My muse is Elvira Hancock from Scarface, the lounge is kind of the eighties, seventies vibe, very boss bitch like her.” It was during the pandemic when Renae realized that her childhood hobby could soon become a profitable business and that’s when she opened Never Lonely Lounge. The Good Feed sat down to speak with one of our Founding members for tips on snagging her most fabulous pre-owned finds as she shops her way through estate sales, thrift shops, and antique stores that she’s loved since she was a kid.
What Inspired You To Get Into Antiquing and Shopping For Rare Vintage Finds?
I've always been passionate about the vintage space. I grew up in antique shops and in the vintage world with my mom. She has an eye for design, she also knew how to sew, so we were always in and out of fabric shops as well, so interior design, and creating are not something that is new to me. I just think it was very timely (opening up the lounge) as when the pandemic happened, everyone started paying attention to their homes and their living space. I knew opening up the lounge was a perfect time. But I've always been interested in home decor, home design, interior design, and all kinds of things. I've always had a love and appreciation for it.
How did you come up with the name Never Lonely Boutique?
Never Lonely is not to be taken in a literal sense. based on the idea of you (meaning the customer) being comfortable, spending time with yourself, and ultimately being comfortable in your own surroundings in your own space. Creating the perfect space around you where you are, never feeling alone. Learning to enjoy your own company by yourself. I think that's really important as we grow and your home space plays a big role in that, you wanna feel good about where you're at. So that's why I came up with the name Never Lonely.
So why vintage?
I chose vintage because I love having things that are one of a kind or are rare. I like being different and I always think other people should really tap in and celebrate what makes them unique and things that they truly like, more so than gravitating towards somebody else's style. I consider my style all the way around, even when it comes to fashion. I like to put my own spin and my own twist on things. I like having something that nobody else has or using it in a different kind of way. So that's why I chose vintage because I love the whole angle of exclusivity, rare and one of a kind. I get a high off finding cool stuff and then somebody else gets to buy it and have it in their own home and make it in their own space. Like that is truly the best part I could shop all day,
Who do you look to for inspiration?
My mom introduced me to a lot of this. We would often go look at model homes. She would make a lot of the pillows, bedspreads, and things, always, putting together various color combinations in the house like she has such great taste. I was exposed to a lot of that at such a young age because of her. And then after that, I would look through different magazines. Today, I follow a lot of stylish girls whose style translates into their homes. I love Kristen Noel Crowley. I think she has a great eye. I love Kelly Wearstler. She's an amazing designer. I like people that make something their own and they truly have an identifiable look.
What are the tips that you would give to someone who is looking into buying antiques?
I'm very visual. Having visuals ready helps you be a little less overwhelmed because you can show somebody what you're talking about. Then also have the picture to reference back for yourself. Pinterest is my best friend. That's how I shop a lot. Having visuals helps you stay focused, shopping with no focus can lead to hoarding and you want to avoid that at all costs. I have vision boards broken up to represent every room, bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and living room. Take your time when looking for the perfect find to complete the space. If I'm really specific, it might take me time to find something. If I don't wanna, if I really want that look other times, um, I might find something close enough and just to complete the room, I'll get it. But if it's something I'm investing in, I take my time. Don't save your vintage finds for just a special occasion. I want everything to be special because every day is a special occasion. I don't believe in saving special things for, a special time. You bought it because you love it and most likely it's a conversation piece. When you're by yourself, if you wanna drink water out of this fancy-ass wine glass, then do it.