Located in Newton Upper Falls, Lynne’s Vintique offers customers a selection of vintage and antique finds, organic coffees, teas, honeys, and psychic readings.
The business started as a way for owner Lynne Robbins to pursue something new and exciting after retirement.
“After retiring from teaching, I found this current space at the Mall at Echo Bridge and set off on a new direction—a love for DIY and a lifelong fascination with finding and researching objects and books and just about anything old and interesting,” Robbins said in an email to The Heights.
The shop has a wide array of goods, which is encompassed under the term “vintique.”
“The word ‘vintique’ was created to define ‘vintage’ antique and retro goods,” her website reads. “Lynne would define it as: Savoring the present, and creating the future.”
Robbins said she enjoys engaging with the people who come into the shop and does so despite being born completely deaf.
“[I’m] not culturally deaf, but deaf meaning just about zero hearing,” she said.
Robbins is able to understand what people are saying through lip reading. During her interactions with customers, she said she makes those who come into her store feel welcomed and appreciated with her warmth.
Robbins said that she does not have to look too hard to find vintage and antique items for her store.
“People will come in … and drop them at my feet and say ‘Here, I don’t want this anymore,’” she said. “That’s how I find them, it just happens.”
Yet, despite the obstacles that have come with being deaf, Robbins was accepted to all three of the colleges she applied to. She attended Bennington College with scholarships as a double major in art and writing.
“I was told that because I’m deaf I wouldn’t get into any of the colleges that I applied to,” she said.
Robbins later pursued a master’s degree in art education (MSAE) at Massachusetts College of Art and Design (MassArt), where she continued to face challenges.
“The administrator at MassArt told them that I shouldn’t be allowed to finish my MSAE because I was deaf, and they wouldn’t hire deaf teachers,” she said.
The head of the art education department, however, advocated for Robbins to stay at the school and finish her degree, which she did.
After graduating from MassArt, Robbins worked in the education field. She said one of her most fond experiences was working at the Campus School at Boston College, a special education day school.
“It was quite an experience because the kids were unbelievable,” Robbins said. “That class has a place in my memory till the day I die.”
For two years, Robbins worked as an art teacher and assistant teacher at the Campus School while simultaneously working toward completing her master’s degree in education from BC.
“I remember I set up an art project for them in the corridor with the paint … and they painted the floor with all different things, different colors,” she said.
When she retired from teaching, Robbins said she relished the opportunity to open her own store when she had heard about an available space at the Mall at Echo Bridge.
“I wanted to create in this 180 square foot space an experience where I could share what I was finding and learning about,” Robbins said in an email. “Things like antiques or retro items or books and that included an interest in organic, healthy teas, coffees, honey.”
Those eager to check out Robbins’ store also now have the opportunity to book a tea leaf reading with her through her website. Robbins said the ancient tradition allows readers to discern fortunes from tea leaves.
“The system of tea leaf reading is called tasseography,” Robbins said. “It’s basically when you put the leaves in a cup of hot water and you drink them, they’re supposed to pick up some of your energy, and they form symbols.”
As a quaint and tucked away store, the vintique has received advertising help through All Over Newton, a site that promotes local small businesses.
Laura Berman, founder of All Over Newton, said the goal of her site is to help provide a platform to businesses like Robbins’ shop.
“What I do is try to give small businesses exposure and a voice and do it in a way that’s affordable to them,” Berman said. “I was able to give Lynne the exposure and a voice which she just couldn’t get on her own.”
Berman started working with Robbins at the beginning of the pandemic.
“I created a flea market and I reached out to various antique stores and used clothing stores,” she said. “I had reached out to Lynne, and she came to that market. She did really well. She had typewriters.”
While not drawn to antiques, Berman said she still appreciates the local honey, teas, and Dean’s Beans coffees that Robbins sells.
“She was the only local resource that I knew of for truly local honey … that was from bees in Needham and I think Medford,” she said.
Robbins’ store is important for Newton as it is a business that provides services that otherwise wouldn’t be available, according to Berman.
“She is on the lookout for different products that others don’t have and she, you know, fills that space from my perspective,” she said.
Lynne’s Vintique, located at 381 Elliot Street, Building N Suite, is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sunday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.