What was lost is now Found. An event planner and photographers dream, Found is a decor rental service bringing you vintage one-of-a-kind pieces of furniture and accessories. I swoon the old-fashioned seating, mix & matched porcelain pedestals, weathered wood backdrops and trunks and perfectly paired china…
The brains behind the operation, Jeni Maus owner of Found Vintage Rentals
Q. Before launching Found in 2010 what were you doing?
A. Before Found, I was a mom, designer, homemaker, photography studio manager for my husbands company: www.studioemp.com , and finder of amazing vintage treasures.
Q. What gave you the idea for Found?
A. When my husband moved his photography business from our home into a 100+ year-old studio space, I spent months designing it, renovating it, and finding the perfect pieces to fill it. After seeing them in our studio, brides and wedding coordinators started asking if they could rent pieces from my collection for their weddings. I eventually said “yes” and Found was born.
Q. Is owning your own business what you thought it would be?
A. It is a LOT of hard work, but I love it!
Q. Did you know when you met your husband, Joel that you would end up doing business together?
A. Not at all. I didn’t really think about those kinds of things. We were both going to college and working full time in corporate jobs, so I guess I was just focusing on getting my BA, and at that time I thought I wanted to be a teacher.
Q. How do you both balance family and business?
A. The first 5-6 years was easier because we worked from home and we were with the kids all the time. It has gotten a little more difficult, but the kids have always come first, and always will. We are very fortunate to be able to somewhat schedule things around them, and the important events in their lives.
Q. How do you get inspired?
A. I would say that most of my inspiration comes from home magazines and blogs. I could spend hours everyday looking at pictures of the interior of homes. I love it. I never get sick of it.
Q. Where do you get the Found Objects from?
A. I’ve been a collector of vintage treasures for years. I’ve been known to drive hundreds of miles, dig through trash, and scoop up things others neglect or discard. I have relationships with dealers all over the country but mostly I just keep my eyes peeled. Training my eyes to see beauty and value in things other people throw away has been my most valuable skill for finding “diamonds in the rough.” Even my kids now know what I’m looking for. Just recently my eight-year-old son came in from taking out the trash at the studio with excitement in his eyes because he had found a dumpster full of springs; a mother’s dream-come-true. This mother’s, at least.
I also follow my gut when it comes to my collection. I love the thrill of the hunt but I don’t buy pieces I don’t love. Just because it is old or a good deal doesn’t mean that it is worthy to be in the collection at Found.
Q. For renting, how does the delivery process work? What is the distance range that you rent to?
A. Our clients choose pieces from our collection for their events and we bring them wherever they need to go. We rent throughout southern California. Our clients can pick up smaller items at our warehouse in Fullerton but we deliver as far north as Santa Barbara, down to San Diego, and out to Palm Desert.
Q. What should we expect from Found in the next few months, anything fun in the works?
A. The collection here at Found is constantly growing; I add to it on almost a daily basis. I’m sure the next few months will be filled with more specialized vintage finds but we’ve also started to create more pieces in-house. We use reclaimed wood, vintage fabric, and found objects to make the old new again. You’ll definitely be seeing more of these pieces in the months to come.
Q. For us New Yorker’s that wish you weren’t 3000 miles away, what advice can you give us for sourcing such great finds for making our events one-of-a-kind?
A. Start at home. Heirlooms from your grandmother, your mom’s dresser, or other furniture that has a history and personal meaning for you can make your event extra special. As you search for other pieces to incorporate in your event, don’t be afraid to see pieces in innovative ways. An industrial cart can be a coffee table in a lounge vignette. A bookshelf can become a ceremony backdrop. An old door on top of wine barrels or sawhorses could create the perfect hors d’oeuvre buffet table. Think creatively when you’re shopping for vintage treasures to incorporate in the environment of your event.