The adage about trash and treasure couldn’t ring truer for two Oklahoma City sisters.
Kim Spicer and Melissa Graham own and run Verdigris, a furniture and decor shop downtown.
All of their products are vintage or repurposed. The open exposed-brick shop is filled with eclectic pieces, such as mannequins and retired card catalogs.
The pair, along with about 20 other buyers, find used items like these, fix them up, and sell them at 415 NW 7. Although the original pieces aren’t in the best shape, the workers recognize their potential.
“Some people might see it as trash, but we don’t,” Graham said. “It’s kind of neat, like you’re on a treasure hunt.”
The thrill of the chase isn’t the only reason the two got into the business. Both feel an obligation to share the urge to conserve.
Spicer and Graham grew up in the Dallas area.
“Everything’s new; everything’s big,” Graham said.
The culture of the city reflected that, they said. Upon adulthood, they both felt the pressure to consume, to keep buying bigger homes and bigger cars.
“But then we started going backwards,” she said. “I don’t want a big house. I don’t want a big yard.”
White block letters line the bottom of the glass windows at the shop’s front. They spell out various “re” words: reuse, rejuvenate, reinvent, revive.
Verdigris gets its name from the green pigment copper takes on when weathered, as on the Statue of Liberty. In addition to the green symbolism, the sisters liked that it reinforced the idea that something old can be pretty.
In addition to the environmental benefits, reusing old items can offer an emotional experience, Spicer said.
“You see all these old things, and they bring back memories,” she said. “You realize ... how it makes you feel when you get that memory back, of your grandma.”
After moving to Oklahoma City for family reasons, the sisters decided to open a shop together.
“We’ve always been entrepreneurs,” Spicer said.