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By Lexington Howe
Staff Writer 

DIY projects are a mosaic of inspiration at Vintage Retail Therapy


Last updated 7/23/2020 at 10:22am

Village News/Lexington Howe photo

Vintage Retail Therapy has a DIY studio in the back of the store, where guests can come in and work on DIY projects and learn how to use different tools and techniques.

DIY projects have been therapeutic for Mara Ciardullo LaFay, owner of Vintage Retail Therapy, who has been redoing furniture and putting her own touch on unique pieces for over 20 years.

LaFay has been in Fallbrook for over 23 years, and lives only a few minutes away from her shop.

"The store's in transition right now," LaFay said. "We have home decor and gifts in the front half of the store, but my heart's really in the back."

She has a DIY studio in the back of her shop.

"We kind of needed a fun place to hang out here in Fallbrook," LaFay said. "I specialize in speciality finishes so I don't just paint furniture."

As she works on projects, LaFay has been livestreaming them.

"When we first shut down, I'd say we were just about every day doing a live," she said. "It's about using what you've got, we can make this work, we can find projects with everyday stuff."

LaFay also works with moldings, finishes, paint, stamps and more, creating unique, one-of-a-kind furniture pieces.

"Whatever's not working, you've gotta figure it out," LaFay said.

Due to the shutdown, her shop closed its doors for three months.

"I'm grateful that I've built a social media following," she said. "We're pushing close to 10,000 (following) on Facebook, Instagram's a little slower and I just picked up my YouTube channel again."

They also have project classes where you can leave with a finished product.

Village News/Lexington Howe photo

Vintage Retail Therapy is a fun home decor and DIY shop in Fallbrook.

"I'm constantly in a mode of creating content because I'm on so many pages," LaFay said.

She also represents a company that makes molds and stamps, and social media and livestreaming has been a way to get LaFay out of her comfort zone, she said.

"We all need this, and it's been a great way for me to connect with the community during this shut down," LaFay said.

For her, Vintage Retail Therapy is named for exactly right – it's therapeutic.

"We were created for the community so it's been really hard on a lot of people in so many different ways and this is one of them, just to be able to do something creative."

Lexington Howe can be reached by email at [email protected]


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