Bucks County Herald

Getting that Vintage Vibe

Doylestown family business turned 2 in April

DAVID CAMPBELL



The Pierson family, from left, Tyler, Meghan, Lexi, Dave and Maddie, poses inside Vintage Vibe, which celebrated its second anniversary last month. Vintage Vibe is on East State Street in Doylestown.

When an item sells at Vintage Vibe, Dave Pierson usually feels a bit conflicted.
Sure, it’s good for business, but ...

“It breaks my heart like you can’t imagine when all of these pieces that we made sell,” said Pierson, who has owned the Doylestown family-owned business at 52 E. State St. with his wife, Meghan, for 25 months.

Dave Pierson, now retired from his 30-year career with Philadelphia Gas Works, has been dubbed the “Master Tinkerer” for his ability to take items that have probably been collecting dust for decades and giving them a second chance.

“We find the loneliest, saddest piece and we try to breathe new life into it,” he said.

Old-school radios, record players and typewriters, among many other things, flood the interior of Vintage Vibe. The oldest item in the shop is a restored 1913 sewing machine.

Also among the inventory is a street light that Pierson dates to the 1960s and that is the very first thing Pierson brought home years ago and fixed up.

“The things we buy are kind of beat up and not in great condition,” Meghan Pierson said.

“In a way, we’re preserving history. We’re giving people something historic that they can use in their homes instead of having it rot in someone’s attic.

“If we can’t get [a piece] back to working in its original condition, we try to repurpose it – for example, putting Bluetooth in the little radios,” Pierson added.

“We love a challenge,” Dave Pierson echoed. “We take once useful and attractive items that are now obsolete and return them to working order.”

The Piersons search high and low for their inventory, which, the couple agreed, they’ve been collecting their entire marriage, spanning 23 years. They visit antique shows, auctions, estate sales and flea markets, Meghan Pierson said, and even search online, via Craigslist and other channels.

“We’ve always done this kind of thing in our own home,” said Pierson, a mother of three, “so we decided we’d love to share our passion for doing this with others.”

Vintage Vibe opened in April 2016. Pierson said it’s going well.

“Everyone who walks in here can pretty much relate to something in this store,” said Pierson, in direct view of a fire extinguisher that now functions as a lamp.

“There is a lot of character to all of the pieces,” Pierson continued, “a lot of functionality to all of the pieces.”

Vintage Vibe is a true family business. All of the employees have the same surname: Pierson. It’s just Dave, Meghan, son Tyler and two daughters, Lexi and Maddie. The Piersons are residents of Chalfont.

“They’ve all grown up with it,” said Meghan Pierson, noting that Dave’s first find, the approximately five-decade-old street light, spent a good chunk of time in Tyler’s room growing up, “so they have a passion for it, as well.

“It’s really our passion,” Pierson continued, “and it’s so fun to see the looks on people’s faces when they interact with the items [at Vintage Vibe].”

Pierson said Vintage Vibe has done custom projects for customers from time to time; however, the bulk of its work is focused on scooping up vintage relics, cleaning and fixing them up and then reselling them, with a new lease on life.

“They’re a part of history,” Pierson said, “and we want to save these things that obviously have survived until now.

“It’s not like a junk store and it’s not like an antiques store,” she added.

“It’s certainly not a thrift store,” Dave Pierson concluded.

dcampbell@buckscountyherald.com

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