Visiting Vintage Corner

Published 12:55 pm Tuesday, December 12, 2023

Do you remember my column, “Landrum Wanderings”? For four years I “wandered around the Landrum area” writing a column for the Bulletin about the people and places that I discovered. I no longer write this column, but occasionally I happen upon a person or location that I know are meant to be written about. 

Recently I wandered into the Landrum gift shop, “Vintage Corner,” located at 110 North Trade Avenue. “Wait a minute,” I said to myself. “Am I still in Landrum or did I fall down a rabbit hole and find myself in Wonderland?” I knew it was time for “Landrum Wanderings” to add one more column.

Diane Patterson lights up her store, not only with candles and glowing lights, but with her welcoming smile. She tells me, “I love light. After my husband passed and I was dealing with sadness, I knew I needed to brighten my life. That Christmas I put up my tree and holiday lights. My house felt warm. The flickering lights found their way inside my heart and brought it alive again.” 

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Growing up in Blue Ridge, she learned from her mother who operated a floral gift shop for 

30 years. “I wanted to delve more into design so I attended design school in Chicago and designed windows and storefronts in the city. Chicago has cold weather and it was difficult making friends. I decided it was time to go back to my home in the south and start over.”

She wanted a career where jobs were always available and that fit her caring personality. “I became a nurse. I was a nurse for 39 years at Greenville Memorial.” After retiring she knew she needed to do something. “One day I met with the owner of the little building across the street from my present shop. Without thinking, I told her I would take it.” When the landlord asked her what she was going to do with it, Diane told her she had no idea. 

Her design background and the years in her mother’s shop came back to her and “Vintage Corner” was born. After a year in the original location, she moved across the street into The Collective on Trade Street. The shop at this location has been open for two years.

Diane has sought out many unusual decorations and gifts. Her design and floral background is evident throughout the shop. Several displays are lit with small twinkling lights, round balls filled with light, and candles ‘burning’ with battery lit wicks that glow but are fire safe. A friend asked me what was my favorite in the store. That is impossible to answer. Is it the charming polar bear wearing his cozy red scarf; maybe the snowman smoking a pipe; the pinecone candle holders; or maybe the St. Nicholas portrait to hang over the fireplace? The many selections are so varied it feels like “Fifth Avenue on Trade Avenue.”

Diane credits God and her religion for guiding her in this endeavor. “Brokenness leads us down another path,” she explains. “It changed my surroundings and brought light into my heart.” Thank you Diane. It’s been a pleasure to talk with you, learn your story and explore your unique shop.