After Robin Beadle-Velazquez was laid off from Central Valley School District earlier this year amid budget cuts, she chose to embark on a new career path that involves vintage collectables instead of textbooks.
Beadle-Velazquez, a former paraeducator with Bowdish Middle School, recently opened Rejuvenate, a vintage and antique store at 3221 N. Monroe St.
Rejuvenate offers vintage jewelry, clothing, glassware, furniture, artwork and decorations.
“I still feel like an educator to others about all of this stuff,” she said, gesturing toward Rejuvenate’s collection of vintage goods. “I miss the kids, but I still get to talk with people and I still get to help them find things. So, that’s kind of fun.”
Beadle-Velazquez’s love for vintage items began as a child growing up in Ajo, Arizona. Her grandparents would often take her on antique hunting trips in the small, former copper-mining town.
“We would dig up old bottles and antiques, then we would go out in the desert and hunt for arrowheads, things like that,” she said. “So (my interest in antiques) comes from my grandparents. Since I was very little I’ve always been interested in it.”
Beadle-Velazquez taught English for several years in Arizona before moving to Ketchikan, Alaska, where she worked as an administrative assistant at the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences. Beadle-Velazquez and her husband relocated to Spokane after her son moved to the area.
“My son suggested, ‘Why don’t you move to Spokane?’ So we came, we saw, we did,” she said. “We love it here.”
Beadle-Velazquez and business partner, Barb Miller, looked at two potential sites for Rejuvenate before finding the space on Monroe Street in September, which formerly housed Spokane Graphics and Glass, a company specializing in vehicle wraps.
“This was it. It’s just cute, and we can open the bay doors in the summer,” she said, adding the large parking area could eventually be used for flea markets and auctions. “I think we got in at the exact, right time. We were really happy to get on Monroe Street.”
Construction was completed in September 2018 on the North Monroe Corridor project, which reduced the street from five to three lanes and added new sidewalks, pedestrian lighting, crosswalks and transit improvements.
The road improvements are attracting more foot traffic to the area, and building owners are improving their properties, said Gina Campbell, owner of 1889 Salvage Co. and chair of the North Monroe Business District.
“You are seeing new businesses like Rejuvenate and different things that add a vibrancy to Monroe Street, and it’s just so walkable,” she said. “It’s a vibrant area known for its vintage and antique shops and that’s great, not only for customers, but also for the shops because we are now a destination for people.”
Beadle-Velazquez said foot traffic has been good through the store since its opening earlier this month.
“We’ve had a lot of people coming in here and looking. Merchants on Monroe Street have come in and supported us,” she said. “It’s exciting. We’re in a good spot on a good street in a good city.”
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