From the outside, the Kinsey Electric building may not look like much, but what goes on inside is a whole other story. Walking through the garage-like opening, hundreds of people are buzzing excitedly and visiting with the vendors. You can find anything ranging from hand poured candles to decadent fudge to re-purposed furniture looking for a new home, covering every square foot of the inside.
Whitney Jurgovan, Pennsylvania State Court, found her calling in college to repurpose furniture and decorations. She said, “It was out of necessity, of course, but when my husband and I bought our first house, I really got into decorating and finding wonderfully old pieces to paint and repurpose.” Now she is not only repurposing furniture, but hosting the Kinsey Vintage Market (KVM) every year for 55 vendors to showcase and sell their work.
Each year KVM is hosted over a three-day span. Whitney explained, “The vibe Friday night [opening night] is wonderful! Everyone is walking about with their glasses of wine, shopping and listening to Sam Stuckey on the acoustic guitar sing cover songs from many genres of music.” This past May, more than 1,400 people walked through the doors to shop and mingle. Whitney also arranges food trucks in the parking lot that offer delicious tacos, BBQ and homemade lemonade.
“The most rewarding part of hosting KVM is the vendors,” Whitney said. “I didn’t anticipate the relationships I would gain from the market. KVM is really a community of good people who love to encourage other vendors to continue to do what they are doing.
She continued, “There is such a good sense of encouragement, comradery, passion and good heartedness that I feel so many of the vendors have.”
Whitney not only has a passion for re-purposing furniture, but also for giving back to her community. Admission discounts were offered for attendees who brought in canned goods. This year, about 500 canned goods were collected.
Whitney explained that around this time of year, the Western Allegheny Food Pantry really appreciates the donations. Some attendees bring in one canned good item while others bring in bags full! She said, “For some, it is just a way to get their ticket discount, but for others, it really means something to be able to donate food to those who do not have enough.”
Any future event Whitney hosts will have an outreach component added to benefit a local organization. The events will continue to incorporate a food drive, and additional ideas might be integrated in the future. She said, “I think doing good for your community is very important, and people attending KVM also appreciate being able to donate locally.”
After the first successful event, Whitney and her husband, Tony, decided to take the plunge and purchase the building even though they really had not thought about it before. “We live about three minutes from the Kinsey Electric building and I drive by at least once a day,” Whitney said. “I stopped by to see what the building was being used for and I met Claude, the renter of the building.”
Whitney continued, “[Claude put] me in contact with the realtor, and the relator connected me with the owner. It was her husband’s business, and he had passed away four years ago. She was happy that I was bringing life back into the building that had essentially been sitting empty for so long,” Whitney reminisced.
They are lucky to now own a piece of Pennsylvanian history which will, if all goes according to plan, be in their family for many years to come!
Whitney and Tony plan on hosting many other types of events in the building. A couple has already booked it for a wedding in August. Their hopes are to have the Kinsey building as a place to host weddings, corporate events, anniversaries, vintage car part swap events, concerts and wine and beer festivals.
“The options for the building are endless! We really look forward to learning more about the building in the months to come and we can’t wait to see what the future hold for Kinsey Events, LLC,” Whitney exclaimed.
Article by Brittany Demendi.