Do you perk up when you spot a patinaed pot? Do you dream of lounging on a vintage velvet chaise draped in estate gems? Maybe you’re more of a modern minimalist in search of a fresh-scented candle or simply looking for a creative hostess gift. We can’t wait for you to meet Lee Vose, the affable owner of Lee & Co., a new home and décor store in downtown Amesbury. A quick spin around the enchanting emporium uncovers a carefully curated collection of vintage, modern, farmhouse, industrial, and mid-century treasures.
Secondhand goods became the North Carolina native’s first love 25 years ago when she was a restaurant server, and her husband, Bob, was a singer in a band called Fortune. The couple would grab a coffee and do yard sales on weekends. “I don’t know how I pick stuff,” says Vose, who has an impeccable eye for style. “You can mix old and new,” she says, expressing the essence of Lee & Co., where she hopes shoppers can find items that express their personalities.
The collections are ever-changing and eclectic. One day you’ll find a rare piece of photo art or a European cabinet alongside locally made candles, soaps, and glassware. The next week you may discover an antique clock, a velvet settee, a colorful vintage jacket, a whimsical tea towel, or a sweet bucket of dried flowers. While some of the rare finds command higher prices, Vose is committed to keeping the prices affordable.
When her two kids were young, Vose launched an online business selling children’s gently used items, and secondhand goods remained her first love even when she switched to a corporate job. She was a vendor at Ivy Lane and still displays at Green Plum Vintage Goods in Newburyport. Her introduction to the Brimfield Flea Market in Western Massachusetts was a revelation. “It was pretty bold of me to become a vendor there,” says Vose. “But I’ve always wanted to do things on my own.”
When another friend, realtor Janet Faulkner, and her daughter Lauren showed her some available retail listings in Amesbury, she became enamored with the town and in particular with a space in an old mill. Despite its green cupboards and carpets, Vose could see that its industrial vibe had potential.
She took the plunge in May 2022, had a soft opening last summer, and is presently using 2,400 of the 3,400 square feet for retail, with plans for pop-ups, workshops, and classes in the loft. “Amesbury is a hip, up-and-coming community with young families moving in,” says Vose. “Everyone is so enthusiastic.”