Hunter Wyatt's outdoor vintage market and online store
Gathering – collecting and assembling things – is a task that HUNTER WYATT, founder of online retail store Gathered by Hunter, has treasured for as long as she can remember. Her parents, who were raised in rural North Carolina farmlands, took her to auctions, estate sales, and thrift stores. They taught her to make things last and that everything has a purpose. Her grandparents were equally thrifty and creative, bringing everything back to life that they could through sewing or woodworking.
Wyatt recalls, “Growing up as a girl with the name Hunter caused me quite a bit of grief! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been asked if I hunt. As I’ve grown older, I’ve learned to love my name. I’m not a hunter, but I definitely know how to gather things.”
Wyatt’s quest into the world of selling antiques and vintage items started in August 2020 online. Within the first month she realized she needed a legitimate web presence with more organization. So, Gathered by Hunter was born, offering kitchenware, home décor and furniture, mostly from the 1950s through the 1970s.
In June 2021, Wyatt partnered with AMANDA VINOPAL of SunandShine Vintage to create Curated On Castle Vintage Market. This outdoor market offers a diverse selection goods through collaborations with local brick-and-mortar shops from Castle Street Arts and Antique District. The market is open every second Saturday from March through November in the open lot on 6th and Castle Streets.
“Our goal was to create a welcoming community, not a competition, while providing a diverse selection of vintage goods,” Wyatt says. Shoppers can find vinyl, clothing, décor and more at the market which reopens March 2022.
Wyatt’s philosophy on gathering items for her business is simple. “I just get what I like, and hope someone else likes it too,” she says. The majority of the items come from estate sales and thrift stores, but sometimes from friends looking to downsize. And from her beloved grandmother who watches for good finds on Wyatt’s behalf when volunteering at the Wilkesboro, North Carolina Habit for Humanity ReStore. Wyatt has been told she has an eye for spotting great vintage. She humbly says it’s just experience.
Wyatt graduated from University of North Carolina Wilmington (UNCW) with degrees in music and theatre performance. Working on stage and behind the screens with the downtown Wilmington theater community after graduation, she learned to source vintage furniture and decor for the shows. She eventually became the paint and props master for UNCW’s theater department which she left to start her own business.
“After a while, I started to recognize colors and textures as part of a certain era,” Wyatt says. Mid-century modern style (1950s-1960s) is Wyatt’s favorite era to source goods for both her shop and her personal collection. “It is as hot as ever and I don’t really see that changing any time soon,” she says.
Sustainability and preservation of history are the foundations of Gathered by Hunter. “Instead of repairing items like our ancestors did, we throw them away. Obviously that is an incredible impact on our environment that is hard to ignore, especially living in a coastal area. The more effort we can put into conscious consumption and making things last, the better.”
Wyatt practices these same principles in her home. “It brings me joy to be able to utilize things in my home that were created with so much care and attention to detail. I feel a sense of connection when I get to use something another person also got to enjoy,” she adds. A huge fan of eclecticism, she likes her home to feel like a museum, blending the old with the new.
Wyatt acknowledges the incredible amount of work it has taken to launch her online store. She feels she has gained a lot of self-confidence in figuring out the business side which she admits she truly knew nothing about in the beginning. “Gathered by Hunter allows me to be both creative and logical which feels healthy for me. I’m very fortunate to be able to do something I enjoy. I owe it to my supportive partner David and my parents for helping me make something I’m proud of.”
Wyatt concludes, “Buy second-hand, take care of yourself, and be kind.”
To view more of photographer Terah Wilson’s work, go to terahwilson.com.
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