As the sun hung low in the crisp autumn horizon, Liz Lyday and Chrissie Batten sat back with a glass of pinot in hand, smiles for the camera, and deep respect for one another’s journey.
Lyday and Batten are the proud owners of Charleston’s newest vintage furnishing boutique, Indigo Market. Perched atop the corner of Morrison Drive and Brigade Street, the new furnishing store was kept safe from much of the hazardous flooding that inundated Charleston streets in early October.
vendor Rhodes Miller
Lyday: “The flooding from Hurricane Joaquin initially slowed business. Since the waters have receded, there has been quite a buzz.”
While Lyday and Batten both lay claim to the newly emerged business, they started out on smaller scale solo-projects.
Batten: “Liz and I had vendor booths at Mount Pleasant Mall. Having similar styles, it was a natural progression go from our 8x10 little booths to operating in this great space together.”
Indigo Market is already stocked to the brim with vendors, along with a burgeoning wait list of people trying to squeeze their craft into the establishment. While having a long line of vendors can make their business model appear stress-free, it is often an arduous process.
Batten “This really is a labor of love. We get to enjoy the thrill of the hunt when we find vintage pieces. You wouldn’t believe the kind of places we go. We travel all over in the Carolinas and Florida. My husband has a truck, Liz has an SUV. We make over 10 stops a day.”
Beyond the actual process of finding vendors or furniture on their own, the process of molding a solid, 1970 armoire into something stunning is paramount for the brand they are building.
Lyday: “We ensure that the pieces of furniture we are selling have good bones. We occasionally leave items as is, but often times we’ll paint pieces or contract someone to professionally upholster or recover. We do what we feel is necessary to make our pieces look the best.”
vendor Pixie Bell Jewelry and Currie Jewelry
Batten: “We also lacquer certain pieces. We work with someone who will pick furniture pieces up, lacquer them, and deliver them to the customer. We have many options to customize our furniture for our customer base!”
Indigo Market has branded itself not only as a place for vintage seekers, but as a haven for those seeking a space where they can let their hair down, be themselves, and sample what various craftsmen have to offer.
vendor Ruth Campbell
Batten: “We want this to be a place where people can relax, socialize, and have a good time, even if they only have ten spare minutes on the way home from work.”
Lyday: “We are about family and having a good time. It’s hard work but we feel so grateful to do what we love. This journey has been a blast.”
vendor Grace Beall
They both openly admit that they would not be where they are without the strong support of giving husbands, understanding children, and each other.
As Lyday and Batten earnestly spoke their sentiments of goodwill, the groovy ballad The Weight (Take A Load Off Fanny) began softly humming in the background, echoing the vibe of Indigo Market and what they hope it can be for Charleston.