Each piece in her store has a story
As a customer walked into the entrance of Sage Door, she could be heard exclaiming, "I love this space."
That sentiment is earned by the creative and talented efforts of Connie Stewart, who opened the Sage Door with former business partner Ashley Wisseman on May 1, 2021. The store, which features furniture and home décor, has continued to grow from the time it opened, with a recent open house to celebrate some new vendors within the large, open space.
Connie has two vendors within her store, including Tammy Rorem, who works through Furnish Hope—a large charitable organization in Bend. Rorem has the Cork and Glass room at the back of the store, which includes vintage bar wares.
"They provide so much for the public," said Connie of her new vendor. "They have sales, and they give to families who need home furnishings, and they do staging."
The other vendor is Silver Fox Farms, by Nadina Best, who is an herbalist. She also has a space in the back of Connie's store.
"She is absolutely amazing," Connie stated. "She has been doing it for quite a few years. She is also a beekeeper, and she grows all her lavender on her farm."
Although the many pieces showcased in Sage Door seem to have a story of their own, Connie has a rich history that has brought her to this place and time with her business. She had a part-time business out of her home for the past 11 years, remodeling furniture.
"I have been redoing furniture for about 25 years," stated Connie of her beginnings.
She pointed out that she has redone or repurposed approximately two-thirds of the pieces in the store. She likes to include unfinished pieces at times because they have their own history and story.
"Not every piece that comes in needs to have paint. Every single piece has its story and own personality," she emphasized. "I always look at it and decide for myself what is best for the piece. You still want to show that it has some history, and it had a life before here. Some pieces are hopeless, and you have to paint the whole thing out, and some don't need much work,"
These pieces showcase the many iconic treasures that are tastefully distributed in her showroom, in what she likes to refer to as vignettes. Customers will find blanket and pillow sets, textiles, wines and coffees, home décor, jewelry, canned goods, local spices and seasonings, and many other treasures.
"They do absolutely beautiful pieces," she commented of the showcase of talent throughout the store. Connie likes to showcase local talent and has many consigner products throughout the store.
"My sister has a big hand in this, too. She does our textiles—most of them, as do a couple of consigners I have got," added Connie.
She added that she her sister, Karen King, has blanket and pillow sets, and one of her other consigners, Susan Roser, also has a variety of textiles.
"In this store, every single piece has a personality."
She indicated that Rhonda Spencer does a lot of the buffets and larger cabinets in the store, as well as a collection of candles, sugar body scrubs and wax melts. She also has jewelry, canned goods, and a wide assortment of quality products from local consigners.
Linda and Sonny Stephenson, who have L & S Gardens, also have books authored by Linda, canned goods, and products from their farm. Jenn Mostek, of Bend, has little twigs Co. She does their fab t-shirts, sweatshirts, distressed flannels and wood signs. Obsidian Jewelry has a display at the front of the store.
Connie explained that with consigners, she is able to move their products in the store to give the best visual to ensure the store flows. She added that most consigners can't fully decorate their space with like items all the time. She is able to work their items into the store.
"It just keeps the store flowing a lot better," said Connie.
She works hard to display her store with color and texture. Her interest in furniture began with the desire to restore furniture.
"With furniture, it's kind of like you are saving it. It has had a life, and somebody spent the time building it. We are just a throwaway society, and I am not like that. I grew up on a farm in eastern Washington, and we had what we had, and we didn't run out and buy new stuff all the time," Connie elaborated.
As a single mom, she enjoyed doing projects, even though she lived in an apartment. She would tape off a room and bring in the project and sand and stain it.
"We would have a new dining table or something. It was fun, and it was a good way to go--and affordable."
She worked in insurance for 25 years, and she left that career in 2010. She married Craig, who encouraged her to do more of her creative furniture remodels.
"My husband is the absolute best human I have ever known. He is so supportive and so sweet, and he drives me crazy just like husbands are supposed to."
She went on to say that she has encountered so many strong, creative women in Prineville, including many women who consign and rent space from her.
"Support other women and build them up. That is just how I feel," she went on to say. "I believe in being honest and being kind, but I also believe in being very direct—then there are no misunderstandings. Be professional and be direct and be as kindhearted as you possibly can be. The world needs a lot more of it, and if my business can reflect people walking in and having fun and meeting with a smile or maybe feeling a little better than they did when they came in, than I am happy."
When moving to Prineville, she checked with Vintage Cottage to rent some space. Her business began to grow, and as she was considering more space to grow, she contracted COVID-19 in December 2020.
"I completely pulled out and started back up there a couple of months later and realized there wasn't enough space for me," she said of her business expansion.
She was contacted by the owner of the current building, and it led to an opportunity to open her own store. They initially opened the store with another business owner, and after a short time, her co-owner had to pull out. She and husband, Craig, have had the store since May 2021.
"Connie has been doing this kind of thing for years, and we talked about a store, and she didn't want a business," explained Craig of the business beginnings. "It just evolved to become what it is, and it's a lot of fun. Busy, but fun."
"I feel like even though it wasn't my goal to have my own store, I have just been following the next step instead of questioning it so much and just doing it. So, there is much more to come with all of this," added Connie.
Connie and Craig have had the store by themselves since Aug. 1. Since that time, they have added Organic Khoas Coffee (local); they have sponsored events where they are licensed to serve Catman Cellars wine (out of Newberg); and they have since rented out the space for the Cork and Glass Room and Silver Fox Farms.
"It is the perfect space and location in this fabulous little town of Prineville," concluded Connie.
Owners: Connie and Craig Stewart
Address: 320 N. Main St., Ste. 101
Hours: Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.-ish
Closed Sunday. Monday by appointment
Also on Instagram and Facebook at thesagedoor.
Upcoming Christmas event:
In Partner with Whiskey Darling, Sweet Willow, and The Posie Shoppe
4 to 8 p.m.
Santa Claus will be at Sage Door at 6 p.m.
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