A Victorian mansion in Blandon, its porches laced with ornate wrought iron, was once a hub-bub of high tea and heart-shaped treats, but after 11 years its owner, Cheryl Lamothe, decided it was time for a change.
“I loved it when I did it; I did it for 11 years. Really, I was up at five o’clock every morning till eight o’clock every night and that was seven days a week,” said Lamothe.
It was difficult for Lamothe to find good help for the Garden Angel Tea Room and about a year and half ago, Lamothe decided it was time to repurpose the bed and breakfast. Keeping the integrity you would expect to find in an old Victorian mansion, Lamothe used her talents as a decorator and turned the interior into an upscale consignment shop and called her new business, A New Purpose. Feb. 2 marked her grand re-opening.
“We are opening up three more rooms downstairs,” said Lamothe.
Lamothe intricately arranged a collection of antiques, crafts, furniture and so much more throughout the mansion for 155 consignees. It’s like panning for gold looking for all that catches your eye as you explore each room on each floor.
“I was her first consigner. I brought my jeep over and I had it filled with all my crafts,” said Sarah Ritchie. “She was as excited about my things as I was about meeting her. Six weeks later we opened.”
Ritchie originally made therapeutic pillows and items with vintage materials such as aprons. She also does alterations specializing in bridal, prom and formals. Ritchie has expanded her love of vintage to search flea markets and estate sales for items that can be repurposed. She brought in cartons of hats that she researched for any information on the make, manufacturer, and period.
Ritchie shares Lamothe’s love for the home and now helps to run the consignment shop.
“That’s the nice thing about it too; we’ve made a lot of friends with people who have the same interests,” said Lamothe.
Another consignee, MaryAnn Fischer, Reading, has been with Lamothe for a year.
“My husband and I were driving down the road and I said, ‘There’s a consignment shop; let’s go in.’ I not only bring stuff to sell, I buy stuff,” said Fischer.
Fischer brings in what she considers to be an eclectic mix of crafts, floral designs, plates and art.
“I like her stuff; they have all kinds of different things,” said Shirley Ciarlo.
A regular visitor to the shop, Ciarlo and her husband made the trip up from Pottstown to see what new things were in that she could use in her home. One of her favorite past purchases was a painting of Saint Anne.
Looking for a table and chairs, Jean Petersheim, Reading, said, “I love antiques; it makes you feel at home. It makes you remember your childhood.
Petersheim noticed one of Ritchie’s hats and reminisced on a time when as a child she had to wear one similar to church. There were dolls and teddies from childhood collections as well as clothing for all ages.
Between helping her husband with his surplus business and managing their home in Reading as well as the mansion and its gardens, Lamothe lays in bed at night thinking about how she would like to arrange new displays. She is already thinking about what she is going to do for an Easter display.
This story previously published with an error, incorrectly spelling the owner’s last name. We regret this error.