by Lee Noles
MONROE – Cynthia McLaughlin considers herself to be a traditionalist. She also loves anything historical. Her passion for the past is so strong, she has even traced her ancestry back to when King James ruled over England more than 400 years ago.
When McLaughlin decided to open The Faded Rose in May, it was no surprise her love for the past shone through with antique furniture and classes teaching artisan skills from long ago.
“I love finding those unique pieces and making sure they have a new life,” McLaughlin said. “I like making the old last. Not just making it new again. It’s history, and they don’t make it like that anymore.”
McLaughlin’s interest in antique furniture began almost 20 years ago when she would go to flea markets, garage sales and search the internet to find old pieces. Once she found what she was looking for, she would fix the items while keeping as much of the original piece intact.
One of her favorite pieces at the store is a shaving stand dating back to the 1870s. McLaughlin said the locks, drawers and doors on the piece still work.
“It’s just really good quality,” McLaughlin said. “I like quality. I like finding well-made things.”
McLaughlin first started selling the furniture online before bringing in her pieces to The Good Rooster. She eventually came on as a partner with the store and turned it into The Faded Rose when the original owner decided to leave the business.
“I like adding historical things,” said McLaughlin of putting her stamp on her store. “I hope to find and offer unique items. I try to have a little something for everyone. I try to have the best quality that I can.”
A successful business is not the only thing McLaughlin is hoping to maintain. McLaughlin said she remembers the community her mom developed as a librarian for 28 years in Indian Trail. McLaughlin talked about her mom knowing which books a patron would want, and how storytime became a favorite for the children.
“I want to build a feeling of community because I like having people around me,” McLaughlin said. “You can have the pretty things and have things people want to buy. They don’t want to just buy things. They want to buy emotions. When you call and say ‘Hey this is Cynthia, I found a picture of something you were looking for,’ they remember that.”
One way for McLaughlin to build community at her store is by offering classes that reflect her passion for history. McLaughlin said people used to come together as a community to make different items. She wants to bring that back with classes that include basket and chair weaving, as well as spinning and pottery.
“We have the new people and the old people, and the classes have slowly built,” McLaughlin said. “Fifty years ago, we used to sit around, and we would have sewing bees and quilting bees. Now we have the internet. We lost our community. We lost our village. Our village is now us whining and complaining on Facebook. When we are here, we are talking face-to-face, and we are learning something our grandmothers did.”
The store is not just about holding on to the past. McLaughlin also has work from contemporary artists, which include woodworking, pottery and painting. In the end, McLaughlin also wants to show her children, who also help at the store, that anything is possible.
“I don’t want this to be just a store,” McLaughlin said. “I want to make this something for my children to look to if they want to run their own business – to have a start.
“My children will know I tried. They will see it takes work to make something happen. I want it to be a place where they have pride.”
Want to go?
Store hours for The Faded Rose are from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Contact Cynthia McLaughlin at 704-776-2114 or email@example.com for more information.