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July 29, 2013

Let’s Welcome Colleen and Allen from Atomic Vault on Etsy!


By RetroRuth

Everyone give a big welcome to Colleen and Allen, two super-sweet people who run the shop Atomic Vault on Etsy and who are No Pattern Required’s newest sponsors!


When I asked Colleen to give us a little peek into their life, this is what she wrote:

We were always into vintage, retro, and mid century modern items. We would go anywhere for that rare piece. When we bought our second house, a California Ranch built in 1959, we knew filling it with period classics was going to be an exciting new hill to climb! Going to thrift shops, garage sales, even family member’s basements, we were always looking for that cute little end table or shiny chrome kitchen gadget from decades ago.
We knew these pieces had a style, a voice, a character that nothing today seems to possess. These were built to last, and made here in the U.S.A. This is why we love to buy from this period! Our little family tries to live as dark “green” as we can to support our community and protect our daughter’s future. We want her to grow up knowing things can be reused and given another life. Always appreciate what you have and never mindlessly throw it away without creatively thinking about what it could still be.
As we found more and more great pieces a business was born (after all, how many chrome waffle irons does one family need?) So we’ve opened the “Atomic Vault” for others to enjoy and snatch up treasures for their own retro homes! So as you can see, it is a business, but with a purpose for our family and hopefully yours! We stand by our customers with only one motto: “REDUCE, REUSE, and RECYCLE with Atomic Vault gifts!”

1. Do you have any vintage or retro collections? We would love to hear about them, in detail!

Allen has quite the collection of vintage cameras, 8mm movie projectors and slide projectors going…some make it to the store, others find a permanent home on the Domino Mobler shelves we scored. $30 each! Woohoo!

camera photo

2. What does your house look like right now?

Half painted 🙂


Here’s a pic of our California Ranch house in the NW Chicago burbs. Ours was a model home made by Kennedy Builders so although there are many similar to ours in the neighborhood none of them match it exactly. And ours is one of the very few with full basements (lucky for us cause that’s where a bunch of good MCM collectibles were hiding!)

We also found a giant stash of McKee Jadeite in the rusty metal shed behind our house, most of which we sold through Atomic Vault.

jadeite group

3. What is your favorite vintage possession? What is the story behind how you came to own it?

We love love love the Heywood Wakefield Desk we found about a week before we closed on our house! Had to have the vintage shop hold it for us until moving day so that we could pick it up in our rental truck  It was the very first thing in the door!

photo 1

4. What would you rather have, an Eames lounger or an enormous pink vintage sectional?

Mr.Atomic Vault, my husband Allen would kill for an Eames! He drools every time we see one on Instagram or I bring home the Design Within Reach catalog (and why do they call it that? Nothing in there is within my reach!)

5. If you could have anything to eat right now, what would it be?

I could really go for a strawberry shake from Portillo’s Hot Dogs, Allen will take Chinese food! 🙂

Thanks for the fun interview, Colleen and Allen! I hope everyone heads over to Atomic Vault to take a look at what they’ve put together, and as further enticement, No Pattern Required fans get 20% off anything in their shop with coupon code NOPATTERN20 !

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9 Responses to Let’s Welcome Colleen and Allen from Atomic Vault on Etsy!

  1. tammyCA Reply

    July 29, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    Neat. I’m originally from the NW Chicago’burbs…Portillo’s is a very long time favorite. In fact, we were just at Knott’s Berry Farm this weekend and we stopped to eat at the only Portillo’s out west..my kiddo even had a Strawberry Shake.

  2. Kim Campbell Reply

    July 29, 2013 at 2:08 pm

    sigh As a former Ilinois resident of 15+ years, I miss Portillos!!!

  3. Sara In AZ Reply

    July 29, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    So nice to have you aboard Colleen…you store looks amazing…..and it looks like we do have twin desks! Wow, how lucky that you found Jadeite in a shed out back….score!

    Funny that you mentioned Portillo’s I lived in Chicago back in HS and Portillo’s was a fave spot…..imagine my shock when I saw they were opening up 2 right here in the Phoenix area….one is set to open just down the street from where I live next month…….Eeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 🙂 LOVE that chocolate cake!!!!

    • RetroRuth Reply

      July 29, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      Ha! Well, NOW I have to try the chocolate cake there!!! Thanks, Sara, you enabler. 🙂

  4. AtomicVault.etsy.com Reply

    July 29, 2013 at 4:30 pm

    Thanks Sara! Yes, the Chocolate cake is awesome, but let me warn you, the new Chocolate Cake Shake? Not so much.

  5. RetroRuth Reply

    July 29, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I just have to chime in and say I LOVE Portillo’s as well! It is a must-stop every time we drive through Chicago.

  6. AtomicVault.etsy.com Reply

    July 29, 2013 at 5:41 pm

    I completely agree RetroRuth! In fact, there is one just a couple blocks from my day job and every time we have vendors in from out of the country, we take them to Portillo’s! I’m sure they think we’re a bit wacky, but come on! It’s either Italian Beef from Portillo’s or Deep Dish Chicago-style Pizza from Lou Malnati’s!! (again, Lou’s is a mile or two from our office! We’ve got it made for unhealthy but yummy food)
    Colleen @ Atomic Vault

  7. Andrea Reply

    July 30, 2013 at 10:49 am

    Welcome! I am utterly jealous of your jadite score, what a find! Your shop looks fantastic as well, especially since you have sewing machine parts! Now I gotta figure out if that blind hemmer is going to fit my machine!

  8. AtomicVault.etsy.com Reply

    July 30, 2013 at 11:18 am

    Thanks Andrea! Just let us know if you need any other info/model numbers, etc for the blind stitch attachment. We’ll set you up! 🙂
    Colleen @ Atomic Vault

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