STYLE AND SOUL When Mary Keebler, owner of Garden Style Living, 192 Castle Shannon Boulevard, looks at a rusty old chair, or a beat-up desk, or a time-worn stone bench, she sees history-—old-fashioned, hard-to-find-these-days craftsmanship.
“These pieces have soul,” she says.
Keebler and her husband, Matthew, sell vintage and antique pieces from the shop, and also offer design services, helping people figure out how to use “character pieces—things that have age, and tell stories, and have picked up a patina over the years.”
She says a lot of people may become enamored of antique furniture or art, but don’t know how to integrate them into the fabric of their home design.
“It’s amazing how a few well-chosen pieces can add character and really warm up a space,” she says.
Keebler started out in business next door to her current place. She owned Josephine in the same spot that now houses Hitchhiker Brewing, from 2003 to 2005. When she sold the business, she had to sign a noncompete agreement that said she could not own a business in the immediate area for at least five years, so she relocated to Peters.
Keebler was friends with Kristin Nell, owner of Vicar Home and Garden, and when Nell decided to close the shop in 2018, she gave Keebler a call. By then the noncompete agreement had expired, and Keebler was ready to move closer to her Austin Avenue home.
The Keeblers make the rounds of estate sales, but are finding the competition for items a lot stiffer now, because antique and vintage pieces are coming into style. She says she gets a lot of the pieces she sells through word of mouth, from like-minded people who collect old things and give her a call if they come across something they think she might like. She also picks up a lot of things on family vacations, where she will stop at any and all flea markets and yard sales, “much to my children’s chagrin,” she says with a smile.
While Keebler was operating in Peters, one of her best customers was Leanne Ford, who went on to host a show on HGTV with her brother, Steve, Restored By The Fords. She saw a lot of her stuff popping up on episodes last season. Several episodes this season were shot in Pittsburgh (check out our online story, Restored On Royce), and Keebler may be featured in one.
She believes adding some vintage and antique pieces to a home does more than elevate the space.
“We save some of our history.”
CREATING THE FUTURE When Steve and Wendy Denenberg, longtime owners of Create a Frame/Handworks Gallery, 615 Washington Road, decided to sell their business and retire after 40 years, they didn’t just toss the keys over to the new owners and wish them luck.
“The Denenbergs were great with the handoff,” says Meg Kelly, who owns the store with her daughter, Megan Kelly. Both live in Upper St. Clair.
Steve Denenberg trained Megan Kelly in the art of framing. Although she picked it up quickly, Meg says her daughter still calls Steve occasionally when she has a particularly difficult request to fulfill. The Denenbergs also introduced the Kellys to the artists and have been available to answer any business questions.
Shoppers at the store will see a lot of the same artists represented, with the addition of some newer, more affordable handmade artwork. Gifts are available for less than $100 and some items are less than $50, in addition to the regular, high-end artwork.
Meg Kelly isn’t new to the business; she owned a frame and artwork business in Washington, D.C., years ago. A frequent shopper at Create a Frame/Handworks Gallery, she was naturally interested in purchasing it when the Denenbergs mentioned they would be retiring.
LET IT FLOW Professional golfers, football players and regular people are all swearing by a circulation technology called Bemer physical vascular therapy, now available in Mt. Lebanon at Circulation Central, 514 Washington Road. Partner Mike Hanley, Serrano Avenue, is an insurance broker by trade. He first tried the electromagnetic therapy mat and attachments expecting it to be a scam. “It’s amazing,” he says of the painless 8- to 20-minute sessions that increase blood flow to help eliminate waste products. After realizing how good he felt, he says he felt an obligation to share this technology with the public.
“It makes your body run efficiently, like it did when you were younger,” he says. To use it, you lay on a mat that shoots the electromagnetic waves through your body, with attachments that allow more targeted action to stimulate the body’s vascular system to work better. The process is gentle and subtle, he says.
Clients can use the Bemer three different ways: They can purchase sessions at Circulation Central, much like visiting a tanning salon; they can rent a machine to take home with a recommendation to use twice a day; or they can buy a machine outright.
Hanley says his client testimonials have been fabulous ever since he opened in mid-November. Circulation Central has open houses the first Tuesday of every month, with the next one scheduled for May 7 at 6:30 p.m. Parking is free. RSVP by calling 833-256-6335.