Owner Jessica Casper’s vision for her shop Vintage Potential
You can’t walk into Vintage Potential without seeing something special that captures your attention – and your heart. A spool holder just like the one your grandmother used. A cracker tin like the one that was kept on the kitchen counter when you were a kid. There’s a reason these objects resonate so much. Vintage Potential’s owner Jessica Casper has one primary rule when selecting items for her shop. All treasures must be “previously loved and authentic to the time period.”
You can feel that love the moment you enter this treasure trove located in the heart of downtown Smithfield’s Main Street. The shop feels like a small museum with objects artfully arranged, every corner holding something interesting. Run by a social media savvy millennial, Vintage Potential’s popularity reaches well beyond the town’s limits.
The shop came about as a result of a blog that Jessica created back in 2013 detailing her “yard sale adventures.” As Jessica explains, “As the blog’s popularity grew, my followers wanted the option to purchase my vintage items. So I started holding weekly Facebook sales, personally delivering each vintage treasure. When the opportunity came for Vintage Potential to gain a store front, it was naturally the next leap of faith to accommodate the needs of my customers.”
Jessica had a vision for the bricks and mortar aspect of her business. “I wanted to create a shop that broke the mold of the average, overpriced antique store. I always say, ‘It’s no fun if you can’t buy it!’ It’s my job to find items at great prices so I can pass those bargains on to my customers.”
Vintage Potential is not a consignment store. All inventory is hand selected by Jessica. The store offers a little bit of everything, “from coins and cameras to kitchen items and furniture.” Jessica’s favorite time period reaches from the 1950s to the 1970s; but recognizing her customers’ varied tastes, she also carries fine antiques.
What are some customer favorites? “Furniture and vintage kitchen items are some of my best sellers. Anything Mid-Century Modern is a fast selling item. Vintage Potential has also become known for providing the best selection of milk glass in the area.”
The shop’s Christmas Open House has folks lining up outside, waiting to claim vintage ornaments, blow molds, Christmas vinyl as well as ceramic and aluminum Christmas trees. (SAVE THE DATE! The Vintage Potential Christmas Open House takes place on the first Saturday of November–Nov. 4, 2017.)
Jessica refers to her Vintage Potential followers as “Vintageers.” “Some have been with me from the very beginning even before I had the store. I feel like my regulars have become a part of my extended family.”
As well as managing the shop, Jessica maintains a very active presence online, regularly posting new items on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Jessica suggests, “Following my social media gives customers first dibs on the vintage goodness. Items can be claimed online and picked up at the shop.” So LIKE Vintage Potential on Facebook, FOLLOW “vintagepotential” on Instagram, FOLLOW “@V_Potential” on Twitter, and check out theIR website at vintagepotential.com.
Vintage Potential is not run by your average employees but by family. Jessica says, “I would not be where I am today without my mom and dad, Thomas and Nancy Casper, my sister Christie, and my aunt Mary Blount who help out at the store on a regular basis. My family believed in me from the beginning and was willing to do anything and everything to see my dreams come to fruition. Customers have grown quite attached to my parents, some even referring to them as Mama & Daddy! My family is crucial to the Vintage Potential experience, and I am forever grateful for their continued love and support.”
Jessica was born and raised in Smithfield. “Smithfield is my home. While the Vintage Potential fan base has grown nationwide, the majority of my initial following was and still is from Smithfield. It’s a privilege to run my business in such a quaint and historical town.”
If you are a fan of Vintage Potential and follow Jessica on any of her social media sites, you know that she has another passion beyond finding vintage treasures. She studied Fine Arts for Photography at Christopher Newport University. Although she says that the shop takes up almost all of her time right now, she is still very passionate about photography. “Without my first love of photography, Vintage Potential wouldn’t be what it is today.” Her talent is evident in the photos displayed here – all taken by Jessica.
Jessica clearly loves what she does. “I even hunt for vintage treasures in my spare time. My idea of a dream vacation is going to a 100-mile yard sale.” That passion is beautifully expressed in Vintage Potential.
“I want a person to feel at home when they enter my shop. The items I sell seem to bring back great memories to all who enter, and I want my customers to experience that safe haven of nostalgia. We live in such a fast paced, disposable culture. Nothing is produced with the same American pride and craftsmanship. Vintage Potential offers items that have been built to last and have stood the test of time. My customers can claim vintage pieces at affordable prices and incorporate them into the design of their present and future. The potential is endless in the repurposed world we live in now.”
A vision, a purpose, a life following her passion – Jessica Casper is wise beyond her years. “Someone once told me to do what you love. I took that advice to heart, and I’ve never stopped since!” Find your own potential – stop in at Vintage Potential and see what treasures you discover.
215 Main St, Smithfield, VA 23430