Krisi Hora wants furniture shoppers at Peg Leg Vintage Goods to try out pieces with their lifestyle in mind. "Do you eat meals at your coffee table? Do you sleep on your couch?" asks Hora, who co-owns the store with her husband, Chad. She even encourages visitors to bring pictures of the room they're trying to furnish. "We work from the philosophy 'Buy what you love.' "
She is something of a furniture whisperer. "There is such a thing as retail therapy," Krisi says. Show up at Peg Leg and she's going to ask as many questions as you will answer, because as much as she wants people to fall in love with their furniture, she wants folks to come home to comfort.
Krisi and Chad have been running their store, at 9600 Baltimore Ave. in College Park, for nearly four years. They pay attention to trends — from tiny houses to multipurpose rooms — and appreciate that selling used furniture may save a tree or two. The store's styles include a blend of mid-century modern, vintage industrial and art deco. Consignment art is also available, as well as barware. Sofas can range from $500 to $2,000, and side tables and coffee tables from $100 to $800. Smaller items (lamps, wall art and other decor) range from $5 to $700.
As business owners, the Horas have wrestled with challenges, such as selling too much merchandise at once and not being able to replenish quickly, or Beltway economic cycles, the kind that arrive after elections, when employment can be uncertain and folks aren't spending money. Overall, though, they say that selling the past has been fresh and full of possibility.
Says Chad, "We now have a restoration shop in a warehouse with two full-time employees, and an upholsterer who works part time on contract out of Beltsville."
The store, set on a main artery, is about six miles from the District. An RV store, a recording studio and a frame shop are nearby. Ikea is up the road. Customers are mostly word of mouth, Krisi says, though they get their share of "walk-bys" — or "drive-bys."
"We love our location," Chad says. "This area is only going up. … There is growth and development here."
"But it is slow enough as to not crowd out local businesses," Krisi adds.