Propcellar's Summer Avenue headquarters lands EDGE loan

Propcellar Vintage Rentals' new warehouse and showroom on Summer Avenue should be looking sharper thanks to a $25,000 loan from the Economic Development Growth Engine (EDGE).

The local business--which opened its new location November 6 at 2585 Summer Ave., adjacent to the Broad Avenue Arts District--received the loan through EDGE's Inner City Economic Development program. It earmarks funds for exterior building renovations.

Propcellar will use the three-year, forgivable loan for façade improvements and interior renovations designed to help develop the location into an event space and showroom. Owner Karlee Hickman said numerous Broad Avenue businesses have been taking advantage of EDGE support, but Summer Avenue businesses are now getting in on the action.

"I'm so happy to be part of the changing landscape of Memphis and of Summer Avenue specifically," Hickman said.

Propcellar is an antique store of sorts, but its wares aren't for sale. Hickman collects vintage treasures and provides them for rent for a variety of occasions, from weddings and special events to photo shoots and film productions.

Hickman is the pioneer of her own "Memphis Proud" movement. A Sacramento, Calif., transplant, she first opened a small showroom in East Memphis but moved into the former Laukhuff Stained Glass factory this fall.

Her showroom features an array of antique finds: parlor chairs, church pews, cupboards, farm tables, reclaimed barn doors, glass bowls and bottles and even an old bedspring turned chandelier. Smaller details include vintage suitcases, globes, birdcages, typewriters and gramophones.

Hickman is a lifelong collector whose fascination with vintage has transformed into a small business. Her new showroom serves as an event venue of its own, available for rent for weddings and private parties.

Opening in November, the new Propcellar headquarters building was a collective project of Hickman, interior designer Natalie Lieberman of Collect + Curate and Jack Culp of P & J Construction. The midcentury brick building pays homage to its industrial roots while presenting a retro-chic space befitting its antique inventory. It backs up to Broad Avenue’s Water Tower Pavilion.

Read more articles by Jane A. Donahoe.

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