This article was provided by HappyValley Industry, a website run by Affinity Connection that highlights local tech companies. Read more and sign up for the newsletter at happyvalleyindustry.com.
One of the many habits changed by the COVID-19 pandemic is our relationship with our business. Spending months at home gave us time to scour attics, garages, and basements and even sit among our things and realize we might not need so much. We did the spring cleaning. We minimized. We donated items listed on Facebook Marketplace.
A Happy Valley business owner saw it happen and acted quickly. Jessica Dolan, owner of Room to Breathe, was already an expert in decluttering, helping customers simplify their homes. During the stay-at-home period of the pandemic, she began offering free, contactless pickup of items people wanted to give up, some of which were donated to charity and others sold to cover her expenses. Dolan knew that even if one person threw something away, it might be interesting or valuable to someone else. She took the idea and ran away, realizing it represented an opportunity for a career change.
“Ironically enough, I still have notes I wrote when I was about 15 about how I wanted to have some sort of interior design/antique store at some point. When Arcadian appeared I had forgotten about this note and went to my keepsake box and found it. It was almost perfect with what I had just created,” Dolan said.
His new business has become the reality of his childhood dream. An Arcadian is a person who leads a simple and quiet life. Dolan was inspired by this word to create Arcadian Consignment, Vintage & Antique Co. The store offers a variety of items for resale.
Arcadian offers two distinct experiences: 1) Simplify: consider what’s important to you and free yourself from the things that don’t bring you joy. 2) Reuse: Buying used benefits both the environment and the buyer considering that many vintage items are made from more sustainable materials with better craftsmanship.
Plus, second-hand items are often just more interesting, Dolan said. “These are pieces that have stories and will create more stories in their new homes. For every retro, vintage, or antique item that comes into the store, I stop and wonder where it’s been, who owned it, and what it might share if it could talk,” said she declared.
Growing up in Happy Valley and having already invested 20 years in the area with Room to Breathe, Dolan couldn’t think of a better place for Arcadian. She knew she wanted to be part of the second-hand community along Benner Pike near Goodwill, St. Vincent de Paul, Apple Hill, LoveIt and Center Peace.
“The building transpired in the precious moment it needed and really, everything just fell into place so naturally,” Dolan said. “It just felt like it was meant to be.”