Simply Vintage Marketplace: Mason antique store keeps it in the community


Lucretia Mansfield met sisters Katherine Hartwick and Nichole Ward during a recreational volleyball league game. Mansfield said their interactions “quickly flowered into a great friendship,” which led the trio to start discussing the possibility of opening a vintage resale store in Mason.

“They were always in the crafting world and always wanted a brick and mortar,” Mansfield said of Hartwick and Ward. “We just kept looking for something until we eventually found the property we opened up at, which had so much potential.”

Mansfield, 49, is a Monroe native who moved to the area in 1993 to attend Michigan State University. Hartwick, 43, and Ward, 45, are Mason natives.

“Each of us brings our own strengths to the table. Katie and Nichole have this great crafting ability. They can make beautiful signs and presentations. I’m more of an organizer,” Mansfield said.

In 2019, the trio launched Simply Vintage Marketplace, a multi-vendor “family business” that carries “anything and everything collectible,” Mansfield said.

“We have a 2-acre property with five outbuildings. So, we have room to stock a very large variety that includes furniture, vinyl, glassware and comics,” she said.

The challenges of opening the shop included planning a series of renovations and navigating the red tape of local regulation. Mansfield noted that it took a while for Simply Vintage to come into its own.

“You really learn as you go. I think that’s normal for any business,” she said.

With five years of business experience under her belt, Mansfield offered advice for others looking to establish a similar concept.

“Be prepared for everything and anything to be thrown at you and don’t get discouraged,” she said. “You’re going along and doing well, and then all of a sudden something comes up and really sets you back. You just have to keep pushing.”

Mansfield called Mason “a community town.” To promote this sense of togetherness, she and her fellow co-owners made a point to establish their space as a gathering spot in addition to a retail store.

“You walk out our back door, and we have a gazebo and sitting areas, and we’re pet friendly. I think that draws a lot of people in because you can make a day out of it. You may want to take a break in the sunshine on our patio, especially this time of year,” she said.

Overall, she noted that Simply Vintage wouldn’t be where it is today without the support of the community.

“It’s just so important to support a small business,” she said. “Even if you come in and buy a $2 item, you’re supporting a lot more people than you may think, and you’re also keeping it in the community.”



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