Traveling Triangle shoppe takes to Country Living Fair
Meghan Santucci is known as the Martha Stewart of junk. Her house is filled with barn wood and ribbon, paints and shipping labels. She and her husband, Anthony, can transform a rundown sofa or create farm tables from scratch.
Meghan, a Durham resident, is the owner of The Go Girl Shoppe, a store of eclectic new, handmade or vintage finds based out of a refurbished trailer. Since March, Meghan has gone full time with her small business; she travels around Raleigh selling North Carolina jewelry, handmade pillows and Southern signs.
This week, Meghan is one out of only 175 vendors from across the country hand-picked to sell at the Country Living Fair in Atlanta.
Country Living, a national magazine themed around home decorating, recipes and antiques, puts on multiple fairs a year, most recently in New York and Ohio. Hard-core vendors will spend hours building a perfect display space before people begin to line up. Presenters will be on hand discussing autumn tablescapes and vintage wedding styles.
Meghan said she’ll be among the best of the best, the very women she’s followed and considered inspirations to her work, such as Charlotte’s Shawna Robinson, former NASCAR driver turned creator of “Happy Chair,” and Christy Stone, a Tennessee mom who runs “The Strawberry Patch” country chic barn sale.
For Meghan, entrepreneurship runs in the family. Her dad owns his own business, the North Carolina Hammock Company, on the state fairgrounds. She graduated from Appalachian State University and majored in graphic arts and imaging technology. Before that, she attended the Durham School of the Arts.
She left her work at a commercial print facility in March and amped up her own dream. She doesn’t call herself an artist, but “it’s always wild and crazy when people buy things we make,” Meghan said. “It still blows my mind every single day.”
Her “shop on wheels” idea was formed when she wasn’t ready to fully commit to a brick and mortar store, at a time when food trucks were making it big in the Triangle. She transformed a hollowed-out trailer with water damage into a shoppe nicknamed Olive. Now they can fit 15 women inside to scope out their wares.
The Santuccis started their business almost three years ago, during the economic downturn.
“There’s this part of you that you have to take a leap, and you can’t be scared your whole life,” she said. “… I never thought I would be a girl with a toolbox and a tool belt, but I love it. I love getting dirty and going out there and finding my stuff, whether it’s at a junkyard or a wholesale market.”
They’re reaching Christmas sale season, and their house has turned into a shipping warehouse. Their Durham warehouse along Guess Road is filled with projects, from household furniture and pillows to jewelry and paper goods.
They also carry items from other artists, such as silk wrap bracelets from Georgia and jewelry made of old doorknob pieces from Raleigh.
The Santuccis are traveling to the Country Living Fair a few days early to prepare, with family members and friends in tow to help. Their trucks are filled to the brim with items for sale, and the product, down to the packaging, has to be perfect.
Many people think that owning your own business means making your own hours and taking your own vacations, Meghan said. But she’s the heart and soul of her entrepreneurial journey, and that requires becoming a familiar face at the post office and running on five hours of sleep.
“It’s not for the weak,” she said.
Find The Go Girl Shoppe and its traveling schedule on Facebook and at gogirlshoppe.com.