Do cool vintage finds pique your shopping radar and give you a thrill? Then follow us to Found Studio, a Broad Avenue shop that’s a find in and of itself, and one of the city’s best-kept secrets. (Psst … not for long!)
From classic vinyl and ’70s funkadelic jewelry to Mid-Century Modern furnishings and local art, Found Studio offers up an eclectic, curated mix of vintage items and unique gifts. Co-founders and cousins Paige Miller and Zach Payne bring their distinct sensibilities to the table when it comes to scoring the finds and filling the shelves. “That’s why when you walk in, it’s such an eclectic store,” Paige says. “I’m drawn to the women’s vintage — apparel, accessories. Zach’s drawn to the local Memphis nostalgia. The record collection is his, and he does a lot of the vintage and Mid-Century furnishings.”
When a third partner, Karen Helgeson, joined the venture late last year, she brought another voice into the shop. “She had a very successful online vintage store on Etsy,” Paige says. “She has a really great eye.”
With the partners’ hands shaping it, the shop has grown organically — much like the Broad Avenue Arts District itself. Paige entered the district in 2012, nabbing a storefront for her eponymous photography studio. At the time, the revitalization movement was in its first stirrings, and she saw the neighborhood’s great potential. “I fell in love with Broad at one of the first art walks that they ever held,” she says. “I just knew I had to be part of that street. I knew it was going to be great.”
Fast-forward three years, and Paige has moved her photography business home and followed her bucket list into shop ownership. She and Zach formed the initial concept for Found over a beer up the street at Wiseacre, after he moved home to Memphis from France. “He said, ‘Let’s do it.’ We just went in head first,” Paige says. “The great thing about it is that our grandfathers ran a local painting and contracting business together for 30 years. They were very close. So I think it’s very neat that we’re able to have a business together. I think our grandfathers would be excited for that.”
Their grandparents also helped foster Paige and Zach’s love of all things vintage … and all things Memphis. That’s why along with vintage clothing, accessories, furniture, home décor items and more, Found Studio serves as a retail outlet for an ever-growing collection of local artists and artisans. “We really love to promote local art and local music,” Paige says. “We have fun, local jewelry makers, and we try to feature an artist once a month.”
A room in the back serves as a makeshift concert space after hours. The staff transforms the space by “throwing up some vintage sheets and putting up some Christmas lights” and welcomes music lovers to hear up-and-coming artists — a contribution of Zach’s, who has a background in music production. “Initially, we did it to get word out that we’re here and to get young people in the store,” Paige says. “Now, it seems like something Memphis was really wanting, a place to hear some young, unknown artists in a different kind of environment.”
Even outside these events, Found Studio makes music a big part of the customer experience. Along with selling classic records, the shop plays them as a soundtrack for the store, encouraging guests to hang out and have a good time. Vintage concert posters line the walls, and the close, cozy vibe that comes from a roomful of unique objects makes the shopping experience at Found just that — an experience. On one trip, this writer scored a vintage ’60s bracelet that’s now a wardrobe staple. On another, a set of vintage tea towels caught my eye.
And that’s Found Studio’s biggest goal: to match its customers up with unique, quirky pieces they love and that speak loads about their personalities. Paige says the staff only brings in items they’d want in their own homes and closets. They listen to their customers. And, of course, they seek out items that are one of a kind.
“If you come to my house, I try to do a fun mix of vintage with modern décor,” says Paige. “I think it just totally sets your home apart from others and it shows your personality, and people are looking for that. There are so many big-box stores that people dress alike, and houses are all starting to look alike. Our customers are so diverse, but everybody’s coming in to look for that one little piece that might set them apart from somebody else.”
Found Studio is located at 2491 Broad Ave. Store hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Sunday, 12 to 5 p.m.