The Brown Eyed Suzy adds to vintage shops downtown

Published 12:05 am Sunday, December 11, 2016

By Amanda Raymond

SALISBURY – Barbara Fuller loved going to auctions with her family as a child.

Fuller was left with a house full of items when her parents passed away, but she said she had fun selling the items off.

“I just fell in love with history,” she said.

You might say she also fell in love with making what was once old new again.

Fuller is the owner of The Brown Eyed Suzy at 113 W. Innes. The shop sells handmade vintage and vintage-inspired furniture, home décor, art, clothing, accessories, jewelry, candles and soaps.

The styles include primitive, cottage, farmhouse, industrial and rustic.

Fuller said everything in the shop is basically 20 years old or older. She repurposes different items, like using old metal to make decorative trees, using old doors as wall décor and hanging jewelry on a part of an old bicycle.

She also makes jewelry from old silverware.

“(It’s) kind of enjoying yesterday today again,” she said.

She upcycles clothes by hemming and adding to store-bought clothes to sell them to a younger generation. She also makes wallets and handbags out of old feed bags.

“I don’t waste anything,” she said.

Fuller is also able to make heirloom gifts out of the jewelry customers bring in.

She actually makes a lot of the items in the store herself and gets the rest from local artists. In fact, 90 percent of the items are locally-sourced or created by local artists.

Other items are collected from private sellers, auctions, flea markets and estate sales.

Everything in the store is for sale, including the displays. Fuller said she is constantly rotating in new items.

The Brown Eyed Suzy started in 2009 and Fuller primarily sold items online and at craft shows.

She still travels to shows, but now the shop can serve as a base of operations.

“It’s been a dream of mine to have my own business,” she said.

The name of the business came from a nickname a grandfather gave Fuller’s daughter. Fuller said he “used to call her his little brown eyed Suzy when she was growing up. She has big brown eyes and so that’s where the name comes from…”

Fuller said having a physical location is good for customers who like to browse her items in person. It is also great to meet her online customers face-to-face.

There are other shops downtown that offer vintage items, but Fuller said every store sells different things. Her addition to the vintage shop landscape in downtown Salisbury is vintage gifts.

Fuller said she might start craft classes in the future. As the business grows, she also hopes to open more days out of the week. For now, normal business hours are Saturdays only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. or by appointment.

The shop will hold special hours from Dec. 21 to Dec. 23, 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., for the holiday season.

For more information, visit The Brown Eyed Suzy’s Facebook page or call 336-426-9199.

Contact reporter Amanda Raymond at 704-797-4222.