Various mentions in the press about Kit Rodenbough – the owner of Design Archives

At Home with Kit Rodenbough

At Home With Kit Rodenbough
Kit Rodenbough’s Lake Daniel home may consist of five rooms and a kitchen, but she spends most of her time there in one area: her craft room.

It’s the largest room in her home, and the brightest. It’s an open space with light green walls and large windows that overlook the deck and back yard. A sitting area, with a sofa, chairs and table are at one end of the room. Her desk and filing cabinets are at the other end of it.
The other fixtures in the room are her four small rescue dogs: Bogie, Bebe, Kobe and Bruno. They all weigh less than 10 pounds, and Rodenbough says the sofa serves them more than herself.

She doesn’t spend much time lounging, anyway. She’d rather be creating. There are craft tables, sewing stations and shelves filled with fabric and other crafting supplies. She also regularly scouts estate sales and thrift stores. Many of those items make a pit stop at her home before ultimately landing in one of her stores. In fact, sitting in Rodenbough’s craft room is a lot like visiting Design Archives. And from September through December, her entire house becomes a factory for store inventory. The Christmas ornaments alone — all handmade by Rodenbough — are hung from every cabinet and drawer of several rooms.

Rodenbough says she’s always had a craft room or a space in her home to make things. When she was a young girl, her parents encouraged her to stay busy by either playing outside or making something. Her first craft room was in the basement of her parents’ home. She made things like pencil holders from tin cans and handmade cards. She even feigned being sick so that she could stay home from school to make things.
The only time in her life that she didn’t have a craft room was when her children were young — she had three children over 39 months. Even then, she had a sewing area, and made much of their clothing.

For Rodenbough, a craft room is as essential as a kitchen. Probably more so, since she doesn’t have any interest in cooking.
“I’ve always felt like I had to make things every single day,” she says.

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Design Archives to open in Winston-Salem:


“Design Archives is a collaborative space where multiple crafters, artisans, vintage collectors and resellers lease small spaces and operate as mini shops. The Greensboro location has more than 80 vendors selling vintage clothing and home furnishings, and the Winston-Salem location will have double the footprint of the existing Greensboro shop.”

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Kit Rodenbough - Design Archives owner

» Kit Rodenbough Interview

Excerpts taken from an online article about the owner of Design Archives.

  "…To step into Design Archives on East Market Street in downtown Greensboro is to step back into the early 20th century, only with the conveniences and business-sense of our modern age.

Kit Rodenbough in the Design Archives store. Image copyright of the Triad Business JournalBeaded clutches, petticoats and dresses adorned with lace decorate every corner. Men’s seersucker sport coats hang below old fedoras and vintage Hawaiian shirts. Costume and estate jewelry conjure up memories of playing at Grandma’s house for every girl that enters. Even the smell — musty, warm and thick — takes visitors back in time.

This is Kit Rodenbough’s brainchild. And a unique combination of passion and desperation led to this: a retail store that sells vintage and antique clothing and furniture…

In May 2001 Kit was driving through Greensboro and saw an empty storefront on East Market. On a whim, she inquired and took a look inside. The shop had recently been a photo studio, but it opened in 1921 as a Cadillac showroom. The interior space, with tile floors and tall ceilings, was inherently dramatic. Something clicked. ‘The real estate agent opened up those doors,’ she says gesturing inside, where two large glass doors stretch open, ‘and I just had this vision — an instant realization that, ‘This is for me.’…

Walking through her store, Rodenbough delicately touches the antiques and details their history, right down to who owned it and what room it came from. While 90 percent of her inventory is from consignments (she has 370 consigners), the rest comes from estate sales and yard sale shopping…

Rodenbough clearly loves what she does. Sitting outside the store she greets customers by name, compliments them on new pieces of jewelry they’re wearing and has a genuine rapport with them that isn’t found at huge retail establishments….

(Some) years into it, she’s found her niche, and she’s sticking with it: ‘We have something for everyone. But at the same time we’re not for everyone — and that’s OK.’ "

© The Business Journal/Triad 2004

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