Where old meets new. Salt & Light Market works hard to provide customers with a wide variety of vintage, re-purposed, and new market goods. Take a drive and find us at our brick & mortar shop in North English, Iowa where you’ll find furniture, novelty gifts, candles, and even jewelry. We have shiplap, hardwood floors, some rust and some shine.
Salt & Light Market opens in North English
Salt & Light Market began as a mobile vintage inspired home decor and gift shop in 2016. Founded by the previous owner, Meredith Carter purchased the company in 2018. The mobile shop was a truck originally used on an Army base as a parts truck.
"I'd been thinking of opening a store and was told of this truck from a friend. I fell in love with it instantly," Meredith said. "They had put so much love into the business that it was a simple decision to buy the truck and take the product to the customer."
The Salt & Light Market name was chosen by the original owner and references Matthew 5:13-16. Meredith planned to change the name but decided not to because of what she felt were signs from above while attending church the first weekend after transfer of ownership.
It now means so much to me and has become such an important verse for me and the business," she said.
Meredith grew up in Williamsburg where she graduated high school before attending Kirkwood Community College. She and her husband, Chris, now live in Iowa City. The have three children and one grandchild and often spend their weekends on the farm in North English.
"Chris grew up in in North English and it is such a special town for us. I love that there are other similar shops in town like Sharon's Shop and Whatever Floats Your Goat and the recent addition of Glaze the Galaxy," Meredith said. "My hope is that in the near future North English becomes a destination shopping or visitor's shop."
The Carters have renovated the building. The front exterior came off, and they installed new store windows and doors in its place. They gutted dry wall and plaster from the interior, exposing the original pressed tin ceiling.
Meredith said she plans to add to the back where she'll have her painting studio and offer painting classes with Fusion Mineral Paint which is available to purchase in the shop.
She often treasure hunts at garage sales, estate sales, Goodwill, Salvation Army, as well as from private sellers and the side of the road. She also has new products she orders from select vendors and wholesalers.
Meredith creates décor by using old or vintage inspired items and mixing them with new.
"I love a story or the history of a piece of Grandma's furniture or Grandpa's seed hand planter and mixing them alongside my more modern pieces," she explained. "It makes people ask and notice them more."
She also enjoys replicating pieces such as something that looks like an old scale but is now a clock or a calendar.
She doesn't consider her work on vintage pieces as repurposing. She and a few other select vendors who will sell their pieces at the store front take older pieces and paint or refinish them, but the use for most of these pieces remains the same.
"I love taking a very sturdy old piece and painting or bringing fresh life into it and making Grandma's old furniture fit in your house today," she added.
Meredith's vision for Salt & Light Market is to host a theme every market or month, and curate displays so shoppers can see how it might work in their home. Other sale items include gifts such as cards, jewelry, t-shirts, hats, candles and baby and bath.
The grand opening was held June 5–7 in coordination with the Feathered Farmhouse Rural Road Trip. Salt & Light Market will be open one to two weekends a month except for holidays and special events. Dates and hours will be posted on the store window, Instagram and Facebook. Meredith said she will operate the shop with the help of family and friends.
Follow Salt and Light Market on Facebook and Instagram for updates.
Article written by Erika Sauter in The Hometown Current (Volume 9 Number 28) on July 8, 2020.