Giving Home Decor a New Life at WarehousePVD
The Find RI and PreppyGangstas have teamed up to create a unique shopping experience in a warehouse showroom filled with unusual, funky and timeless furniture, lighting and home accessories.
Like many great ideas, the slow burn behind WarehousePVD started through a friendship formed at a local fitness center. Among other things, Jason Cahill is a Lagree instructor at CORE Fitness in Providence, and one of his clients had the idea of creating a “shopping speakeasy” of sorts, a new way to shop showcasing current, vintage and upcycled home items.
Cahill, an interior decorator, already had a dream to start a chic home decor, lighting and furniture store of his own. He had just moved to Rhode Island from Asheville, North Carolina, where he had rekindled relationships with sources and showrooms that deal in high-end home decor. Through these relationships. which had taken a backburner during his sixteen years in Prague, Czechia, Cahill gained access to vibrant, one-of-a-kind, new, retro and antique home furnishings, accessories and curiosities that turn heads under his personal brand, PreppyGangstas.
On the other hand, his future business partner had invested in a local item removal service, Junk N’ More, and was bothered by the sheer volume of all of the beautiful and well-made items being discarded by clients and ending up in the landfill. Instead of carting unwanted items to the landfill, Junk N’ More began amassing goods at a rented warehouse space with an eye towards breathing new life into them. “Why should all of this good, heritage furniture and home decor end up in a landfill,” Frank Warren, Junk N’ More’s founder says, “because nobody wants these things or the families have too much and don’t know what to do with it?”
Out of this notion, the Find RI was born. The team at the Find RI believes that the quality and craftsmanship found in vintage and antique home furnishings is rarely matched today and that many previously loved items end up discarded because they are in need of care or stylistic updating. The team at the Find RI set out to curate, refurbish and revitalize unwanted items to ensure they do not end up in our local landfills. Timeless goods are sourced from local estates from Newport to the East Side of Providence, found by Junk N’ More’s item removal teams, and donated from clients around Southern New England. With a full-time furniture refinisher on site, and a team of restorers and researchers, the Find RI offers refurbished vintage and antique furniture with a timeless and sophisticated style.
The partners at PreppyGangstas and the Find RI joined efforts and founded WarehousePVD as a shopping experience where practical meets fantastic, and elegant meets unexpected. Located in a massive warehouse at 1655 Elmwood Avenue in Cranston, the site of a former auto manufacturer and then gun manufacturer, the WarehousePVD experience is anything but typical and made even more attractive in that anything collected by the Find RI not used in the retail showroom is donated to organizations that help those in need.
“PreppyGangstas is a lifestyle brand which encompasses my style where chic meets cutting edge and kitsch while still being elegant, clean and timeless. My partners at the Find RI complement the PreppyGangstas’ aesthetic with fabulous American and European furniture that has been saved from the landfill,” Cahill says. “Together we create a unique marriage of old and new and we stand together to ‘Save the Chic.’”
Eventually, the partners might consider taking on other vendors at WarehousePVD, hence the wide-ranging name for the business. For now, local fine jewelry and accessory designer Lisa Mackey, under the auspices of Mackey Mercantile, sells some of her most precious creations made with freshwater pearls and Italian leather goods through the showroom. In October, WarehousePVD will be hosting weekend markets, showcasing the goods from other unique antiques and vintage dealers.
The two distinct styles of PreppyGangstas and The Find RI are visible in the multi-room WarehousePVD space, where furniture and accessories are combined to create colorful home decor vignettes. One area is laid out like a family room with a white, bumble-bee embroidered couch, book shelves and a coffee table, while another section features a rattan patio set and al fresco entertaining accessories ready for an outdoor terrace. A sitting area includes hanging Chinese lanterns, fun armchairs, a bar cart and tea set. There are splashes of hot pink, orange, yellow and purple throughout the whole showroom, giving it that zany, funky PreppyGangstas’ touch.
“I like to have pops of color. That’s my interior design sense,” Cahill says. “I have always loved antiques all the way to neon orange home decor and beyond, but I think it has to be done well and in a timeless manner. I can go from mid-century modern to Louis XIV or Victorian. It could be anything as long as it makes the eyes pop.”
All of this great design work is being done with an eye towards helping the community by saving items from the landfill, employing local artisans and donating back to the local community. “We are trying to keep all the work local and within the community,” Cahill says. “It’s a collective and many nonprofits benefit on the other side.”
WarehousePVD, 1655 Elmwood Ave., Door 3, Floor 2, Cranston, instagram.com/warehousepvd