It seems fitting that The Fab Pad is housed in one of Steveston’s most historic buildings. Owned by lifelong Steveston resident Laura Stapleton, this eclectic store showcases treasures dating from the 1800s onwards with a leaning to the mid-twentieth century.
Laura and her husband discovered their passion for mid-century (1940 to 1970) furniture when they were looking to replace their mass-produced furniture with pieces that displayed substance, character and individuality.
Soon after, Laura was looking to make a career change. She explains, “I thought it would be a natural next step to follow my passion for vintage and antiques, and open a shop in the village.”
The new central location has drawn more locals to The Fab Pad.
The Fab Pad originally opened in 2013 and moved twice before settling into the Moncton Street storefront in November 2018.
This unique shop attracts clients ranging from younger couples looking to invest in quality pieces to empty nesters who are reconnecting to the pieces they remember from their younger days.
Laura mentions, “The local film industry purchases a lot of product from us, and we’re grateful. Thanks in part to the booming film industry, we’ve been able to expand and grow our business.”
Laura is doing her part to make the world more sustainable.
She says, “We’ve found people are attracted to vintage pieces because they are not “cookie-cutter” like those that are produced by thethousands today. Often we will only get a particular item a few times over a period of months or years, and sometimes only once ever. In addition to the attraction of having pieces that are unique and different, people also like the sustainability behind vintage furniture; no new furniture is being produced, precious resources aren’t being used, therefore vintage is better for the planet.”
Mid-century teak and walnut sideboards and dressers are the store’s most requested items.
Laura recalls one of the more memorable items was also one of The Fab Pad’s most unusual. She says, “It was a chandelier made out of amber-toned Lucite grapes. While there were lots of Lucite grape chandeliers in the mid-century (yes, really!) there were few of this size – this thing was colossal. It was more than two feet long and must have weighed 40 pounds. It looked absolutely spectacular lit up in the window, and it sold in less than a day.”
The Fab Pad’s pieces are sourced in a variety of ways including estate sales and auctions, but most importantly through Laura’s network of “pickers” who find items around the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.
The Fab Pad also carries a huge selection of lamps, barware, collectibles, art, and even a little taxidermy.
“We get new items in the shop every week, and sometimes daily. Our inventory is constantly changing,” says Laura.
She adds, “I do most of the refinishing and restoration, although we do occasionally send out more complicated pieces to a local refinisher. As we’ve gotten busier, I find I have less time to refinish, and it takes a lot of time to do a quality job.”
One of the greatest rewards is finding special pieces, and presenting them to her customers in new and interesting ways, whether that means refinishing and bringing them back to life, or displaying them in the stylish environment.
She delights in finding rare and one of a kind pieces, although they are few and far between. Laura remarks, “It’s the thrill of the chase that makes this business fun!”
She loves hearing how nicely the shop is curated.
Laura says, “Since I personally choose every item, it’s rewarding to hear people say they appreciate the amount of time I put into selecting just the right pieces.”
As a Steveston business owner and resident, Laura has a vested interest in seeing her community thrive. She is an active board member with the Steveston Merchants Association, and is also as an advocate for merchant relations with the film industry.
Her wish for the village is to see it continue to develop with the addition of more restaurants and boutique stores.
“I hope we continue to see many more unique businesses come to Steveston,” says Laura. Fortunately, by locating her independent business here, Laura has played a part in making her dream a reality.
The Fab Pad
3580 Moncton Street, Richmond BC V7E 3A5