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Ella’s Whatnot Shop relocated to Kissimmee

Posted on Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 5:12 pm

By Charlie Reed

For the News-Gazette

New isn’t necessarily better, according to Lori Deleon, owner of Ella’s Whatnot Shop in downtown Kissimmee.

In fact, it’s quite the opposite for Deleon, whose store is a paradise for vintage enthusiasts. From clothes to furniture, Ella’s Whatnot Shop is full of treasures, most of which Deleon hand selects. She sells both antiques and refurbished furniture and homewares, along with a variety of apparel and accessories. Most of the pieces are one-of-a-kind.

Deleon does custom jobs and commission pieces for clients along with design consultations.

“This repurposed, vintage market has grown so much. People just love it. It allows them to keep their pieces and do something new with them instead of just throwing them out. They like the character it brings. It’s a whole creative endeavor, a movement really.”

Shopping at Ella’s is unlike your typical stroll through the mall; nothing is mass produced or sold in bulk.

The shop, tucked next to Lanier’s Historic Downtown Marketplace on Broadway, has a whimsical and cozy aestetic. Deleon recently re-located the shop to Kissimmee from St. Cloud, where she got her start in 2010. That’s the year she took over the Whatnot Shop in St. Cloud, adding the Ella to the title.

For the record, Ella is Deleon’s shitzu dog that works alongside her seven day’s a week.

“I didn’t think Lore’s Whatnot Shop sounded good. Ella’s had a nice ring to it,” she said.

Kissimmee was a great transition, she said. “I like the vibe in Kissimmee and the action here. It’s vibrant.”

Ella’s Whatnot Shop is enjoying success in its new location, and Deleon already has plans to start expanding into the courtyard just behind the shop. Earlier this fall, the Typsy Gypsy Market set up shop in the courtyard, drawing a variety of vendors, artists and customers.

Deleon is also continuing to teach classes at her new location, from how to refurbish and repurpose old pieces of furniture to jewelry making. Next month she’s hosting a wreath-making workshop at nearby Vintage Vino.

“I have so many visions for this place, between growing the space in the courtyard for garden parties and other events. Down the road I may look into possibly getting a beer and wine license,” she said.

Her goal, Deleon said, is to create a gathering space for artists along with selling her wares.

“I want to grow it like a vintage art center. It needs to be destination location to draw people. You can’t just offer one thing anymore. It’s about the experience.”

Deleon said got her start in the vintage and restoration industry a few years before she went decided to open her own shop. She collected antiques, remodelled furniture and sold handmade jewelry.

“After a while, I was starting to horde and I didn’t know what to do with it all, so going into business just made sense. It basically found me and I couldn’t be happier. I absolutely love what I do.”

Ella’s Whatnot Shop is open seven days a week, usually between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. Deleon is working on expanding hours to include evenings.