Tessa Snider, 26, recently opened The Nest, a boutique located at 6135 Lakeside Drive, No. 135.
Tell me about The Nest. What do you sell there?
I call it a vintage urban boutique. I carry furniture, décor and other stuff we like. I really enjoy furniture and vintage type items, but I don’t like to be limited to just decor, so we also have clothing, we have locally handmade soap and CDs, DVDs, just kind of whatever I come across that I think people would enjoy buying.
You have another store in Sparks, Budget Used Furniture. Is this at all similar?
They’re similar. Budget is more kind of functional furniture, and in The Nest we carry more vintage items. Stuff with more character to it. I think vintage stuff is a lot more well-made and just has more personality to it, so we have a little bit more of that here.
Describe one of your favorite pieces in the store now.
I have two. They’re both furniture pieces, actually. One is a lime green, three-piece sectional couch from the ’50s, and it must have been covered in plastic for the last 50 years because it’s in immaculate condition, and it’s awesome. The other—I’ve only seen this type of piece in a museum—it’s a kissing bench or conversation bench. It’s connected but you have one chair facing one way and another facing the other, so two people can sit in it and have a conversation or, if you’re more romantic, kiss.
While facing opposite directions?
I think you’d have to see it to understand it. But those are my two favorite pieces, for sure.
Why did you open this store?
I just felt like expanding. I had a lot of people that didn’t want to go all the way out to Sparks, even though it’s not far, there is that stigma about Sparks. People say, I’d love to come to your store, but I’m never out in that direction. I had a lot of inventory and didn’t know what to do with it and had this opportunity to open next to the Red Chair, so I went ahead and took it.
So you’re 26-years-old and own two small businesses. How did you get into this work?
It was kind of a whim. When I graduated from college, I had no idea what I wanted to do. I had a major in Spanish and philosophy, so I came home and didn’t know what I wanted to do. My dad was sort of pushing me into opening a small business. I thought he was crazy. But I thought I’d check one out so I could say, ‘Hey Dad, I did it. Are you happy now?’ I went into this furniture store and loved it. The next thing you know, I had this used furniture store. So it’s totally random, but I think it worked out. I think my dad saw potential in me I didn’t know I had myself. That being said, it’s still been quite a struggle learning all the ins and outs. It’s like a college education times a hundred mashed into a very short amount of time.
I gotta ask: How’s business?
It’s doing well. It was kind of a weird thing to be opening up a business in this economy, but I think people are realizing now more that they can’t go out and spend $1,000 on new furniture at a new store. But you can go and get a well-made piece—something that won’t break down like the newer stuff you find today—and you can get it at a fraction of the cost, and you’re not going to see the exact same set-up in your friend’s house.
So many people talk about wanting to open little businesses, and you actually did. That’s pretty courageous.
I don’t know if I’d call it courage. I’ve heard other words for it lately.