Remnants on Mill: New store fulfills the cravings for antiques
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula News
Published: August 07, 2013
By Peggy Kelly
Santa Paula Times
There isn’t anything you probably can’t find at Remnants on Mill, an antiques, collectibles, industrial, repurposed and way cool store now fulfilling the cravings of stuff junkies throughout the Santa Clara River Valley and beyond.
There are various rooms in the shop just north of Main Street, every nook and cranny filled with fun items that complement floor displays ranging from furniture to an oversized claw foot tub artistically tipped to hold gallons of collectibles.
Owners Racquel Taylor of Santa Paula and Lauren Vigil of Fillmore opened the store at 110 N. Mill St. in April, a venue for their combined tastes in unique stuff that bloomed into the business. Taylor first met Lauren when she had a space at a shop formerly located on East Main Street.
“I always had been into interior design,” which led Racquel to visit estate sales where she discovered she had a natural imagination for ways of revamping and redecorating space and stuff. It wasn’t a surprise: when Racquel was about 7 years old she started down the vintage path with her mother, visiting flea markets, thrift stores and estate sales in her native Riverside.
“Lauren and I, well to be honest I think we were a match made in heaven.... When I was around the corner she’d come into the store and buy from me,” and Racquel discovered her newfound friend rented shop space in Fillmore.
Lauren, who said, “I’ve collected antiques my whole adult life,” invited Racquel to have a look at her space. The latter liked what she saw and then the two women exchanged home visits to see how their particular interests would complement each other.
“I really loved Racquel’s style, and I loved talking to her... when she visited my space in Fillmore it went boom! We realized our stuff would go so beautifully together,” and the idea for Remnants on Mill was on its way.
Now with plenty of space for the ever-changing displays and merchandise, the shop is becoming a destination not only for collectors but also for dealers who buy local and then sell the goods at higher prices in such places as Santa Barbara, Ojai and Agoura Hills. The dealers, said Racquel, “sell it for triple the price they got it from us,” but then again their locations offer more foot traffic. “We just like to sell and our prices are more in line for this area.”
Her husband Brandon, a City of Oxnard firefighter, also makes trendy industrial look lighting that hangs from the store’s ceiling. Racquel also has a machine to create custom signs.
The store purchases antiques and collectibles “all the time,” a remark that was illustrated when a man came in saying he had unearthed what he believed was a “jousting glove” that he wanted to sell.
Both Lauren and Racquel feel Santa Paula is the perfect place for their business: “The historic beauty of it, being right off Main Street,” said Racquel, “just felt right.... I knew this spot was open and I had seen it before and could see the potential in it.”
“Our location was perfect, just everything fell into place” during their planning, said Lauren. “We would look at each other and say, ‘hey, this is going to happen,’ and it did.”
“This is my calling, I love it. And I love downtown Santa Paula,” said Racquel. “We need more shops like this downtown.”
Racquel and her family - which includes Malia 7, Shaye 5, and Alana 15 - moved to Santa Paula from Newbury Park, “but I feel this is where my heart is.”
Her personal store favorites are “things with the industrial look, I love it, and the old trunks with the detailing on the sides, the woods.... I love a mirror that’s probably over 100 years old,” brought in by an elderly woman who said it belonged to her grandmother.
“There’s a story behind everything,” including perhaps the most unusual item in the store that is not for sale - a small “probably silver” Victorian urn with bunnies and other child-centric decorations that Racquel showed off. “It’s beautiful, we just love it, it’s very sweet... Lauren acquired it from an estate sale.”
Lauren said she has a fondness for “lights, I love shabby chic, antiques, vintage items... I do have some dolls in here. I seem to like the sweet things and I gravitate towards very feminine things,” especially those with “beautiful colors.”
Both women pride themselves on their eclectic and ever changing inventory: from a doctor’s bag and garden furniture and an old pulley cart - a decorative piece that can be filled with plants - to a 1950s deep freezer and vintage bird houses and bowling pins and paintings. There is glass, a special section of child items, kitchen items, stools, metal signs, advertising art and, well, just everything!
“My very favorite piece in the shop now is a 1940’s metal locker” that Lauren said caught her usually more vintage interest. “We have everything from old oil cans to the most feminine chandelier you’ve seen.”
The partners are practical and ruthless: every three months they tour the store and select items for sale to create room for new merchandise.
Racquel said she and Lauren also pride themselves on customer service: “We do 30-day law-away and we will deliver in Santa Paula... we really try to accommodate our customers. We keep a log of what people are interested in and call them when we find it. It feels good when we sell something and see the smile on the buyer’s face, the enjoyment they have in owning it.”
Lauren agreed, noting even their common interest in customer service “is amazing... we’re very devoted to our customers. We’ve already established quite a few regulars” from the steady influx of looky-loos who are drawn by the items displayed outside the shop and the windows showing more treasures.
Jo Ann Guilin of Santa Paula couldn’t resist stepping inside for her first look at the shop: “It’s very nice,” she said. “I’ll be back!”
“We just love the people in Santa Paula, they’ve been so gracious and highly complimentary,” said Racquel.
Said Lauren, “Everyone has been so helpful. We’ve gotten a great response.”
Hours are Tuesday & Thursday to Saturday 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Wednesday Noon to 5:00 p.m. Closed Sunday and Monday. “We’re always excited for Cruise Nite or any other festivities; we stay open late,” said Racquel.
The phone number is 805-204-6292. For more information visit the website www.remnantsonmill.com and the store’s Facebook page.