If you find yourself strolling downtown, you’ll want to make sure and experience the charm and unique shopping space at Trends n Traditions. The boutique style store offers an eclectic variety of home décor and one-of-a-kind items; vintage, repurposed, and salvaged. Every piece carries a story.
The store’s owner, Dona Laman, is a genuine second act success story. For many years, accounting kept her from opening her own business. Dona always had a passion for collecting but downplayed it as a creative hobby for years. Like many of us, the pressure to provide financially for her family kept her from dreaming too big.
Her story begins in accounting. “It’s what I’ve always done for a job,” she explained, “I had to provide for my two sons.” Dona has worked as bookkeeper for most of her adult life. “I was with PVT for about 10 years and have worked for several other small companies,” she said. The security of her job and a reliable paycheck kept Dona at her office desk for over 40 years but she never lost her creative niche for collecting.
“I’ve been selling home decor forever,” Dona explained. When the boys were little she worked as an independent seller at a wicker basket company, selling decorative items and furniture to help buy school clothes and cover the price of the family’s car. After several years Dona switched over to selling home interiors, she said, “I would do an all-day open house event, serving snacks and drinks and letting people shop items in my home.” This creative hobby helped Dona to provide financially for her family while still being present as a mom and wife.
As time passed and her children grew into adults themselves, Dona’s doubts of not having the time or money dwindled. She stated, “At this stage in my life I don’t have the fear of being unsuccessful.” She had a new-found freedom to let her creative passions become something bigger. After many years of booth rental at the local antique mall, Dona found her passion for collecting and selling flourished. Her husband, Dale, gave her the gentle nudge and told her she had better go ahead and open her shop because he knew she would always regret not giving it a try.
On June 10, 2019, Dona opened the doors to her very own vintage boutique shop in downtown Artesia. A combination of new trends and old traditions gives the store a unique character. “I want people to come in and see things that they have never seen before,” she explained. Working to find unique pieces is something that they really strive for. Most items found inside the store have been discovered at estate sales and auctions in New Mexico, Texas, Colorado, and Arizona.
When you visit the store, you can find Dona smiling behind the original counter built by her husband out of old oak flooring and wood pallets. Dona says she is focused on being intentional as she warmly greets new customers and builds a conversation around collecting or junking. Dona’s experience in home interiors allows her to easily assist customers in making design choices.
Dona has a strong desire to build a community amongst small business owners in Artesia. “We want to promote working together so that maybe we can bring more interest to the area,” she states. She knows the business and knows the customers, which gives a personalized shopping experience for every customer. In building this community, Dona has also developed strong relationships with other entrepreneurs and hopes that working together they can enhance Artesia’s downtown shopping experience.
From Dona’s story, we find that even though we may experience limitations on achieving our highest goals, we can continue practicing our passions. Dona believes we should always be reaching to do the work we love, with people we love, and making a difference. That is something you can’t put a price tag on.