Labor of Love
A love for home décor, vintage, antiques and clothing was what drove the three owners of The Found Cottage to open their own store in 2016. “We kind of dove right in and have been learning along the way,” Lisa Vandyke, one of the owners, said. “It’s been kind of like watching a baby grow. It needs a lot of tending to and sometime we fly by the seat of our pants. But it works!”
The Found Cottage’s aesthetic is a combination of cozy cottage and rustic farmhouse style with a touch of modern. The boutique style store’s 6,000 square feet is filled with antiques, vintage, handmade, unique finds, clothing, gifts, bath and body, candles, jewelry, and more. The key to their unique style is the gathered collection of vintage and new – merchandised together to create an eclectic, cohesive boutique.
Located in Hudsonville, Michigan, a small town outside of Grand Rapids, The Found Cottage has built a loyal following both locally and around the world. The store has become a destination spot thanks to a robust social media following. Their Instagram account, @thefoundcottage, has 198,000 followers. “We once had a customer from Australia,” owner Abby Hoppen-Albers explained. “She was traveling to a vacation destination but scheduled a layover in Chicago so she could come to our shop in Michigan! It was a very cool moment for us,” she added.
The store is an ever-changing canvas and displays are moved around daily, according to store manager Joy Hubach. Styled vignettes throughout the store show how new products can be displayed alongside vintage finds. Furniture pieces such as chairs, tables, dressers and hutches are used to anchor each area and display accessories such as throw pillows, wall decor and candles.
Everything is for sale if a customer sees a piece they want to buy. Jewelry is displayed on a variety of fixtures – from architectural salvage to reclaimed antiques. The copper pipe displays are provided by one of their jewelry vendors.
“We design and collect inspiration for the store based on our personal tastes,” Hoppen-Albers said. “The store’s aesthetic evolves as our own personal aesthetics and tastes change.”
The owners responded to feedback from their customers to provide even more vintage items. They recently opened another store in an adjacent space for strictly vintage items. “We decided that having a separate store allows customers to shop exclusively vintage finds. It also allows our talented vendors to showcase their own personal style,” Hoppen-Albers said.
The owners have found that having events at the store on a regular basis keeps traffic consistent. Events such as their Closet Clean Out, Sidewalk Sale and Flower Fest are customer favorites year after year. Promoting the events on their personal blogs and Instagram stories is one way customers find out about what is going on at the store.
Owner Liz Marie Galvan frequently takes viewers on tours of the store on her Instagram account, @lizmariegalvan, for behind-the-scene looks at styling the vignettes as well as her favorite products. Her 354,000 following is a testament to the hard work she and the entire team put into their social media. “We work really hard to be innovative and ahead of the trend and I think that attracts people to us,” Hoppen-Albers said.
“It’s an ever-evolving labor of love,” Vandyke said. “We couldn’t have imagined that we would need to triple the size of our store after a year of being open but it was one of the best decisions we made. We love our space and it gives us a lot of room to play with and create new vignettes on a weekly basis to keep things fresh.”
“We design and collect inspiration for the store based on our personal tastes. The store’s aesthetic evolves as our own personal aesthetics and tastes change.” – Abby Hoppen-Albers, co-owner