Artisan opens old-fashioned mercantile

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Denna LeVan sells vintage home décor at her West Side Mercantile, and for this month she has some Christmas items on the shelves.

OCOEE — Folks in search of vintage goods, industrial antiques, hand-painted furniture and unique gifts could find what they’re looking for in a new shop in downtown Ocoee. 

Denna LeVan has opened West Side Mercantile & Brocante at 112 W. McKey St. It’s a third location for her business; she also operates booths, which she calls High Falootin’ Junk, at the Adjectives Market in Altamonte Springs and the Winter Park Village.

Offering both vintage and new merchandise, LeVan provides a place for a half-dozen of her artist friends to sell their wares. One builds farmhouse tables and other woodwork pieces. Another creates gemstone jewelry. And still others make pillows, candles, crocheted and knitted items and one-of-a-kind décor using recycled bottle caps and corks.

About two months ago, LeVan rented space downtown for her workshop. A month later, she opened the retail portion of the business.

She started her career in trade shows and stage work, and this is where the decorative art comes from, she said. She went from creating stage sets to painting furniture and then branched out into kitchen cabinet refinishing. She opened a store in Mount Dora in 2010, where she was a distributor of Annie Sloan Chalk Paint.

“That’s what got me known in the furniture business, in the DIY furniture world,” LeVan said. “That brand helped me get established.”

She set up a small studio in Ocoee, where she painted and repurposed furniture and took pieces to her Adjectives stores to be sold. When she outgrew that studio, she asked her landlord about a bigger space, and this is when she moved to McKey Street.

She wasn’t sure how she was going to maintain a shop and still have time to work on furniture.

“It’s kind of hard to take care of people with paint on your hands,” she said.

So she decided to open the store three days a week and devote the other four to setting up her Adjectives booth, working in her studio and making trips to the Webster Flea Market. She also finds pieces at estate sales. She might give it a coat of paint or take out the drawers and use them for something else.

LeVan already is thinking ahead to next year, when the Plant Street Market in Winter Garden will open in the spring.

“The energy that’s going to come from that and the entrepreneurs and artisans — that’s the kind of atmosphere that I’d love to be a part of,” LeVan said.

West Side Mercantile

ADDRESS: 112 W. McKey St., Ocoee

HOURS: 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays; 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturdays. It is open by appointment on the other days.

WEBSITE: westsidemer

PHONE: (352) 449-8140

Contact Amy Quesinberry Rhode at [email protected].


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