by Claire Davidson
Adding a touch of glamour to your wedding is all about finding that “something borrowed”—a vintage item can add a fresh look as that pièce de résistance for your special day. While vintage rental companies have had their place on the coasts for years, Diane Storevik Holetz knew the Twin Cities were the next stop for progressive event style. Last year, she decided to pair her background in design with her love of all things vintage to create The Vintage Type: an event rentals company.
At TVT’s open house last week, Holetz’s collection of finely foraged treasures contained everything from linens and glassware to furniture and props—everything a bride-to-be would need to make a memorable statement on her wedding day. Artful artifacts moonlighted as centerpieces, functional furniture, or creatively-constructed installations in the welcoming St. Paul warehouse space. (We were in love with the subtly-suspended lighting—in gold-tinted umbrellas, no less.)
The Vintage Type’s vast array of timeless pieces were on display amidst some of the top wedding and event vendors in the city. Carly from Girl Friday helped to promote the event and styled the Parisian-themed dessert buffet (desserts courtesy of Patisserie 46,) while gorgeous florals by Lisa Roy of Florabella brought life to vintage vases.
Katrina Hannemann of Studio Laguna captured every detail of the night, while Chowgirls kept us sated with a steady flow of prosecco and brie. After the party, Holetz spoke with Aisle File about starting her own business, her vision for the future, and all things vintage.
Q: How did The Vintage Type come about?
A: It seems like a lightbulb moment but it really had been months in the making, I just didn’t know it. I was a graphic designer and it was a poor economic time, so I wasn’t as busy as I had once been as a freelancer. I was doing a lot of volunteering for AIGA Minnesota that served my love of planning events, and in my spare time I’d always followed design and wedding blogs. I was really seeing things happen out on the coasts where vintage rentals were a serious business, and I saw that start to carry over into Minnesota. I think Minnesota is so progressive that the metro area was ready.
Q: What kind of pieces are you drawn to?
A: My favorite look is definitely the softer palate, French to English countryside look. I also love the Parisian-antique meets a more clean, modern, “Paris apartment” look. So that’s where I always like to go, but I try not to limit myself too much.
Q: How did you start building your collection?
A: I’ve had many things for a long time—years ago from college and after college, when I would collect things. But when I decided to start the business I took a more focused approach and took my savings and went on some buying sprees that were specific for the rental industry. I went to tons of estate sales—even in the dead of winter when you’re waiting in line and getting trampled by people looking for a find —I was one of those people, but I wasn’t trampling! So I went to a lot of estate sales, a lot of people on craigslist, yard sales and garage sales . . . I did the whole nine yards.
Q:What’s your dream for this business?
A: Within five years I want to go on a French countryside buying spree and fill a shipping container and get it back here. That’s my five-year goal!
Q: We hear that you’ll be involved in In(dy)spire, the Independent Wedding Fair.
A: Yes, I’m proud to be a relatively new member so this is really exciting. I’m going to have my own booth, but I’ve also been asked to do other lounge areas for the fair in general. I’m really happy to be a part of it—everyone that’s a part of the association is really great and there’s no awkward competitiveness going on. I’ll also be doing a mini-workshop with Gretchen from Rocket Science; people can stop by and we’ll have a little spiel on what to expect when you’re renting vintage. Gretchen knows a lot about that from being a wedding planner. We really want guests to be involved and not just go to look or be sold to. Ask questions, we are here as a resource for you!
Q: If you had to give advice to brides- or grooms-to-be about vintage rentals, what would you say?
A: I’d say go with your instincts and come prepared with questions. Also, I’ve heard this a lot not just in Minnesota but on national blogs, that it’s really not more expensive [to rent vintage] than to rent other stuff. There are certain pieces that are super specialty, of course, like a rare antique set. It’s not the same as renting 200 chairs, but think of it in terms of a highlight moment or a specialty focus. That’s a lot of what we can do: Let’s focus on some nice individual seating areas versus trying to completely fill a ballroom with vintage. One day I hope to get there! But don’t be overwhelmed, you can do really nice focal points with just a few pieces.
You can look for Holetz at the upcoming In(dy)spire Wedding Fair on February 16 and spot some of her rentals at the Joynoelle Amusement Event at Aria on March 6—with her background as a graphic designer in addition to her successful new business, Holetz was also responsible for creating the event logo.