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Take a walk down memory lane
Cameo, which recently expanded in downtown Fredericksburg, carries vintage items that spark memories.

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Date published: 2/2/2013

BY CATHY JETT

For many customers, walking into Cameo in downtown Fredericksburg can trigger memories.

Their grandmother may have used a Hoosier cabinet like the one in the vintage shop last Wednesday. Or they may have owned a 1960s sideboard like the one on display that's been updated with paint.

People will often share their recollections, and nothing pleases owner Cameron Parody more than to hear a customer say, "Oh, I've been looking everywhere for that."

Parody, who helped her mother run The Hope Co., now at 614 Caroline St., for many years, opened Cameo next door at 612 Caroline St. in September. She expanded into 610 Caroline St. late last year. Her two showrooms are connected by a back patio that faces a small garden.

Cameo specializes in vintage furniture, home furnishings, clothing and accessories, as well as repurposed antiques. Parody buys some of her inventory from customers or takes it on commission, but most comes from a group of collectors who scour auctions and estate sales or buy directly from owners.

"It's a very eclectic mix," she said. "Everyone has their specialty, and it all works."

So far, old brooches have proved popular with brides, who include them in their bouquets. Someone looking for a unique hostess gift may come away with a piece of Victorian china, and college students snap up frames for photography projects. Customers also turn vintage suitcases into furniture or use them for storage.

"I call everything 'my little orphans,'" Parody said of her inventory, "and I run a little adoption agency here."

Cameo also carries some new pieces by local artists, such as the Valentine's Day cards with pins fashioned from old Dominos by Deborah Gayle of Spotsylvania County, and old-fashioned plate racks and chimney cupboards made by Steve Lambrose of Caroline County.

Parody and her mother, Connie Parody, have been in business separately and together for more than 20 years. Cameron Parody helped her mother at Hope Co., and launched a side business selling primitive furniture and vintage textiles at River Run Antiques, 106 William St., with photographer Kerri Corsano of Fredericksburg and Eileen Boyd, owner of Griffin Bookshop & Coffee Bar at 723 Caroline St.


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