We spoke with Amanda Gaudelet, owner of Backcountry Mercantile in Greenwich, who told us about the unique services she offers at her business.
Backcountry Mercantile melds vintage treasures with new, carefully curated, and sought-after ones. They believe that setting a table that not only looks elegant but one that also tells a story, is what becomes the foundation of a memorable celebration.
Amanda Gaudelet has been drawn to heirloom elements, such as glassware, cutlery, teacups, and linens, for as long as she can remember. Her passion for blending these vintage elements with those that are new is where her appreciation for setting a table was born.
We asked Gaudelet what types of services she provides and what makes her a stand out business in town.
Can you tell me a little bit about your business and what you do?
Our business model focuses on providing our customers with the ability to create their very own, personalized tablescape. The product we offer includes one-of-a-kind, hand-painted ceramic ware, an array of vintage sourced glassware, and curated items from other small, family-run manufacturers. Partnerships include Mosser Glass in Cambridge, Ohio, FIMA in Deruta, Italy, and Pergay Porcelains in Limoges, France. Everything we provide to our consumers is handmade, whether it be hand-pressed glassware or hand-painted ceramic ware. Nothing is mass-produced, which makes our products all the more unique, and limited in design.
What types of services do you offer?
The short answer is that we offer the coordination and design of custom tableware from Italy and France, as well as retail of our curated glass items.
Our ceramics are handmade in Deruta, Italy, the same as was done during the Italian Renaissance, the maiolica way. They are created using hand-pressed molds, and then each piece is intricately painted by hand. The festive collections we design are produced in limited quantities. Custom orders may be made, upon request, with a lead time of 6-10 weeks. Popular requests are monogramming and logo imprinting.
For a full guide to the making of handmade Italian ceramics, please read our story here: https://www.backcountrymercantile.com/fima-deruta
In the new year, we will be expanding upon our offerings, including custom porcelain. The porcelain is produced in Limoges, France, made from hand-pressed molds, while the decoration and design of the pieces are also created by strokes of using various hand tools. Custom pieces such as imprinted logos and colored rims are also painted by hand. The lead time is 8-12 weeks.
Our online shop offers a vast array of vintage glassware, as well as new, 'reproduced’ glassware, made from vintage molds. We have customers who ask us to source specific pieces that they may have seen at a wedding they attended, or in a magazine spread. Some requests are more nostalgic in that we are seeking something a relative once owned, but it can no longer be obtained.
Can you walk us through your daily tasks as a small business owner?
My day consists of performing tasks from content creation, photoshoots of table settings & new collections, marketing on social media (where we obtain a large number of our sales), maintaining web inventory (we also offer a limited supply of our product on Etsy), keeping up with packing product and supply (boxes, ribbon, stickers, the printing of marketing material, bubble wrap, more bubble wrap – haha). Then there is answering web inquiries and sales calls. A good amount of my day is spent fulfilling orders to ship all over the country, we currently only ship domestic. There is the coordination with vendors, the coordinating of receiving the goods, and then when there is any spare time (which there hasn’t been a lot lately) I might work on the blog.
What do you want readers to know about your business?
We aim to bring joy to celebrations, gatherings, and the everyday tabletop presentation at home. A beautiful tablescape brings a sense of immediate warmth and welcoming while setting the stage for an enjoyable and memorable moment amongst friends and family.