Lorie Combias always wears a pair of old cowboy boots when she visits Brimfield market on the hunt for antiques for her shop. When she is there it invariably rains, hence the name for her antique and vintage shop that opened in 2002. Lorie grew up visiting flea markets and antique stores with her mother. After graduating from college with a degree in costume design she worked at Ralph Lauren’s Rhinelander mansion on Madison Avenue. During the 6 years that she was there she cites Ralph Lauren as a major influence and inspiration to her. During that time she was promoted from sales associate to manager of the home collection and learnt what customers were looking for. Very often Lorie found that people wanted to buy the props, which inspired her to say, “one day I’m just going to sell the props” she recalls. Her next experience was as assistant curator at The White House, working for both the Carter and the Reagan administrations, and honing her eye and knowledge of fine antiques. A family building in Summit, NJ provided the perfect location for the muddy boot. Both her grandfather and uncle had had shops in the building dating from 1930. Whilst Lorie was waiting for a 25 year lease to end she opened the muddy boot showroom on first the 3rd floor and then 2nd floor of the building, which provided the perfect balance of limited hours allowing her to build her clientele and parent her school age children. When Lorie finally took over the ground floor space she renovated and restored it, maintaining as many original features as possible. She encourages her customers to ‘borrow’ items for 24 hours so they can try items in their homes, a policy that has proven successful as items are rarely returned. Over the years she has built a good relationship with her dealers, and dreams about the day she can have a full time manager in the shop and can dedicate her time to traveling and sourcing.
– Home | Antiques | Art –
44 Maple Street, Summit NJ