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June 24, 2022

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Ridgefield Mercantile features new home decor, vintage items from 20 local resellers

By , Columbian staff writer
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4 Photos
A Scandinavian daybed is featured at the new Ridgefield Mercantile shop in Ridgefield. This retail vintage home and garden boutique brings together 20-plus local vintage resellers, as well as new home decor and specialty food products.
A Scandinavian daybed is featured at the new Ridgefield Mercantile shop in Ridgefield. This retail vintage home and garden boutique brings together 20-plus local vintage resellers, as well as new home decor and specialty food products. (Amanda Cowan/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Suzy VanTilburg Rylander and Kate Sacamano raised their kids together and learned through that season of life they “operate in the world similarly.” Sacamano remembers taking their families on vacation together.

“It was like a perfectly choreographed dance,” she said with a laugh.

Last weekend marked the first day of their newly choreographed dance — the opening of their Ridgefield Mercantile. It sells new home decor and specialty food products, as well as vintage home and garden decor from local vintage resellers.

Rylander has been selling vintage pieces for two decades. With her skill set and Sacamano’s background in marketing and retail, the pair said it was a recipe for success.

When they opened the shop, they hoped to greet customers warmly, learn their names and see them come back again. And that’s what they saw during their opening weekend.

People lined up for an hour before the store opened Friday. Then they came back the next day and then the next day, bringing new friends each time.

The shop is situated at Ridgefield’s former Pekin Ferry Grange Hall at 418 Pioneer St.

There are more than 20 local vintage resellers who are selling goods at the store.

“If we did not have this caliber of vendors, we couldn’t be this,” Rylander said. “We have vendors who are tried and true in this profession.”

She added that the products and vendors are high quality and were chosen specifically.

“That’s what Kate and I did — really picked what vibe we wanted,” Rylander said.

The products are curated to appeal to a wide audience — from lovers of the French style to lovers of the Boho style. Products include flowers, local olive oil, local salt and jewelry, to name a few.

Supporting local vendors is important to the duo.

“I think if we’ve learned anything during the COVID times, the only way to persevere and thrive is by coming together,” Sacamano said. “And so if we could support 20 local business owners, which is essentially what each of our vendors are, and then draw in other makers — people who are producing high-quality products from locally sourced ingredients — then we all thrive.”

Ninety percent of the products are vintage and the other 10 percent are new.

Rylander doesn’t see a comparison between Ridgefield Mercantile and Clark County’s many big-box stores.

“If somebody’s looking for something from a big-box store, they’re going to go there,” she said. “But if somebody is looking for something unique for their home, or they want something that’s been well built, they can find it here.”

Not just the goods are unique, though. The experience is different.

“The minute they walk in, it smells different, it sounds different and it feels different from a relational standpoint because you’re meeting the owners and meeting the vendors,” Sacamano said. “We want it to feel special.”

With rising inflation, Rylander sees another benefit to shopping at the store.

“If you’re looking for some dining room chairs, we could sell a dining room chair at a profit for $35 to $60. But you may go online and they’re $200, and you won’t get them for six months,” she said.

“What we’re doing is taking what’s already been created in the universe and then repurposing it, fixing it up, finishing it up, possibly painting if it needs it, staining it, and then making it like new again,” Rylander added.

Rylander and her husband, Kurt, were born and raised in Ridgefield. The couple’s experience growing up in Ridgefield informed the business owners’ decision to open their shop there instead of Battle Ground or downtown Vancouver.

“This was about investing in this community that we love,” Sacamano said. “We love the local businesses here, the neighbors here and being able to connect with the history of this town.”

The shop’s home was built by the Presbyterian Church in 1922 before becoming the Grange. As Rylander was growing up in the town, she saw the old building used for trick-or-treating, school dances, basketball games and high school reunions.

The 5,000-square-foot building provides a large open space and a stage with smaller rooms and a commercial kitchen downstairs.

The shop is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays. For more information, visit ridgefieldmercantile.com/.

The pair are hoping that the store will be a community gathering spot for locals and visitors. They plan to host vintage flea markets in the summer, pending conversations with the city. They hope to close down a portion of Fifth Street and host vendors, set up booths and have food carts.

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