Where Vintage has a Sweet SpotOct 21, 2023 06:06PM ● By Stacy Ashley Murphy
Photo by Bill Sitzmann.
Many successful partnerships start when opposites attract. There’s a yin and yang, a saver and a spender, a dreamer and a realist. That balance is evident when talking to Melissa and Jacob Peterson about their vintage home decor business, 15Two Home, which they’ve been running for almost a decade.
“Every single decision we’ve made has been ridiculously overanalyzed,” Jacob said with a smile.
“Every step has been strategic and intentional,” Melissa responded with a clarifying sigh.
The couple started selling vintage decor items and furniture on Facebook as a side hustle during their early marriage. Melissa, who always had an interest in interior design, purchased the items, while Jacob, whose father owned a small town hardware store, fixed them up. They decorated their home with their rehabbed findings, but eventually, the Petersons ran out of room. “I’m a minimalist at heart but it was hard for me to pass up the pieces I was finding,” Melissa admitted.
She kept collecting.
That was in 2014. The Petersons filled a garage full of 125 small items and vintage furniture. They posted their lot on Facebook and marketed it to Junkstock vendors for last-minute inventory since the biannual show was only two weeks away. They sold out within the first 45 minutes.
The couple then went on to host their own booth at Junkstock for several years. They eventually started to specialize in midcentury modern items and found a fit at the annual Hutchfest. The shows were successful, but a lot of work, so the Petersons continued to sell and market online through their website and Instagram. They’ve found a successful rhythm—so much so that Melissa left her job in 2019, and Jacob followed 18 months later.
Emily McPherson has been a loyal customer of 15Two Home since 2019. She’s bought several small items from the couple over the years and upwards of 10 furniture pieces. “It works out perfectly,” she said. “They do all the in between work—sourcing items, cleaning them up, and then pricing fairly.”
Emily said it’s so much better working with them compared to just using Facebook Marketplace. “There’s so many scams now that vintage has gained in popularity and prices have skyrocketed,” she said. “But they have really remained consistent and fair on prices.”
She also appreciates their quality and aesthetic. “They really spend the time, energy, and effort in finding pieces and curating photos to be super customized,” she said. “They are almost like personal shoppers. They have a sense of style and stay consistent with their theme, so it makes it easy for people.”
15Two Home has weekly “shop drops” where they post the items they have on their website on Fridays at 7 a.m. It’s a first-come-first-serve basis that typically includes 15 to 20 furniture pieces and about the same amount of accessories. Everything is either mid-century modern or fits that aesthetic.
Jacob said they discovered years back it was easier to offer free delivery rather than coordinate pick-ups. Their now 13-year-old son assists with the deliveries and provides the muscle, according to his dad. Jacob loves that his job doesn’t pull him away from his family but rather includes them, and as a former youth minister, he appreciates the developmental lessons his son and 11-year-old daughter are learning.
The Petersons’ long-term goal is to have a brick-and-mortar store, but for now they are content with their online business.
“There’s a reality of a lot of years of anxiety, anger, discussion, and joy to get where we’re at, and we’re at a real sweet spot,” Jacob said. “If we can just be content for now, be wise, and be thankful that we can provide for our family, the rest will come.”