For more than 50 years, April Ogg-Ivankovich’s family has had a presence in downtown Pontiac, owning and operating the building at 150 N. Saginaw St.
April has had space in the building since the 1990’s, operating a design studio. But she always wanted to do more downtown. She and two partners opened Saginaw Street Consignments, a vintage store that sells previously-owner furniture, lighting, fine china, artwork, designer handbags, jewelry, vintage audio equipment, and other housewares and accessories.
“I always wanted to do this in my heart but it was never the right time,” she says.
The new store, which opened in July, functions as her all-in-one business, out of which she’ll run the retail side, the design side, and also do all furniture repurposing work.
“This is my way of giving back to Pontiac,” she says. “I finally have a place that I can call home and do everything out of, have everything in one store. This is a long-time dream of mine.”
Before the store opened, April was a client of the Oakland County One Stop Shop Business Center where she worked with a trained counselor, learning the ins and outs of starting a new business. Tom Raymond, a SCORE (Service Corps of Retired Executives) volunteer, helped lead her through the process.
“She is so thankful for SCORE and the One Stop Shop Business Center and its tools, its spirit of startup and the feeling of accomplishment we brought to her business,” Raymond said. “We met her for seven sessions here and then I met her four other times to keep up with her progress. April is a true startup success story.”
April, along with business partners Alan and Linda Kovan, opened Saginaw Street Consignments in July. A formal grand opening is set for Oct. 10. She worked as an interior designer for the past 25 years, having earned a degree from the Kendall College of Design in Grand Rapids. She has worked on both the residential and commercial sides of interior design and was always drawn to what she calls the “background” of the pieces she would find and use in her designs.
“I enjoyed learning about the history behind them, and I enjoy repurposing old pieces,” she says. “I always try to be creative and utilize different designs in my clients’ homes.”
The three partners bring a variety of expertise and professional relationships with them, which is how they source items for the store. Alan has been dealing in vintage audio equipment, vinyl records, and sports memorabilia for decades. Linda owns Peace of Mind Life Solutions, a company that specializes in transitioning senior citizens from their family homes and assisting them in downsizing, as well as assisting family members after a loved one has passed. The store carries many older pieces that come from estate sales or from people transitioning.
“We get a lot of American-made fine furniture pieces that can be passed down from generation to generation,” April says. “You’ll find a really nice piece at a fair price.”
Some of the hottest items include all things mid-century modern – “All generations come in looking for that” – as well as classic designers and high-end serving ware. “There’s a generation of couples that like to entertain, maybe ages 30 to 50. They like to have cool wine glasses and a collection of nice appetizer plates and barware. Things like that are fun to find.”
They will celebrate their grand opening with a ribbon cutting on October 10 at 4 p.m., during which time 10 percent of all proceeds will go to benefit Haven, the Oakland County nonprofit organization for victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse.
“We do want to give back that way and we will always partner with local charities and always give back,” April says.
They will also make the retail space available for nonprofit fundraising events free of charge.