Last week marked the grand opening of Bonnie Esslinger's latest venture, Bleu 32, in Columbia's historic district just off the downtown Square. The eclectic shop reflects Esslinger's passion for "junking," a term not intended to be diminutive, since perusing the shop is sure to yield a treasure or two of old for anyone with a discerning eye.
Pictured in top photo, from left to right: Roma Powis, Jeannie Davidson and Bonnie Esslinger at the Opening of Bleu 32.
Just visit Pinterest or Houzz online to see the popular trend of decorating in a shabby-chic and vintage style. It takes a certain amount of finesse and a good eye to pull this off. Esslinger certainly has the eye, which is apparent upon entering Bleu 32. It's like the thrill of discovering your grandmother's attic full of yesteryear treasures or going to a really fabulous garage sale. The phrase "one man's junk is another man's treasure" contains a lot of truth.
Most of the store's inventory has come from local sources. Esslinger says, "Every weekend, I'm at the flea market, estate sales or thrift stores." She adds with a laugh, "I do have a bad habit of 'junking' on vacation -- wherever we are. Many times my finds have been crammed into an already loaded-down vehicle, which always thrills my husband and my boys!"
Not all of the items displayed in Bleu 32 are old. She carries quite a few new things, as well. Esslinger explains, "It's hard to tell what's new, because I want everything in my shop to have a 'vintage flavor.' Along with new jewelry, scarves and candles, you will find several new home accessories blended in with the old. Brand new galvanized metal platters, crusty mule-shaped door stops and concrete fruit mix well with my vintage linens, old silver pieces and antique farmhouse tables."
Esslinger has dreamed of having her own shop for as long as she can remember. So how did it finally happen? Esslinger says, "All the pieces just fell into place to make it happen in June. I think being two doors down from Loblolly and around the corner from Ye Peddler and Itty Bitty is the perfect locale. I'm so excited to be working with all the 'shopgirls' at 8th and Walker!"
We are pretty sure that the "shop girls" of 8th and Walker will embrace Esslinger and her new dream store, just like the shoppers of Maury County will. We also know that we will be among those who regularly peruse the vintage store to bring home those treasures that she is so good at scouting out.
Above: Kelsey Davidson who along with her mother, Jeannie Davidson, helped
Bonnie Esslinger get the store ready for its grand opening.
Bleu 32 is located at 806 Walker Street in Columbia, TN. Hours of operation are Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. - 5 p.m. Website: www.bleu32.com
To see Bonnie Esslinger's beautiful home, see our May article in profiles: http://www.offtheduck.com/#!It’s-Bonnie-Blue-for-Columbia-and-West-7th-Street/c1kod/5541899f0cf23d016461f1db
Above: The ribbon-cutting ceremony with Columbia Mayor Dean Dickey for Bleu 32