Chance led an Otterbein University alumna to open a new shop in Uptown.

Chance led an Otterbein University alumna to open a new shop in Uptown.

Amy Winter, who graduated with a degree in art, was working in a dentist's office earlier this year. At the time, she had only had casual thoughts of opening a business.

"I've had a vision of one day wanting to own my own business," she said.

The Westerville native was walking through Uptown in May when she noticed a vacant storefront for rent and decided to look into it.

Less than three months later, she opened Edwin Loy Home Designs at 12 W. College Ave.

"It kind of all fell into place. It wasn't something I was looking at doing at the time, but I was looking at getting out of my present job," Winter said.

The shop is based on Winter's long-held hobby of collecting vintage items.

"I always liked to go out and find things. I like to collect jewelry, is how I really started," she said. "I started collecting chairs here and there that I wanted to repurpose. If I found things that were of beauty and quality, I would pick it up for myself to repurpose."

Edwin Loy offers an "eclectic blend" of new and vintage items, including furniture, home decor, jewelry and clothing.

Some of the vintage items are in their original state; others have been repainted or refashioned by Winter.

"I go to lots of sales. I go out picking and (to) antique sales, estate sales; I just go all over the place. I do a lot of online shopping, too," Winter said. "(I wanted) to have a place for people to purchase these things to enjoy for themselves."

Winter also aims to offer art by local artists. She said she plans to have a different artist's work highlighted each month.

"I'm really big, being an artist myself, in giving back to our artists and trying to get them recognition. It is a hard business to be in. If they're interested in putting up their work, I would definitely be interested in taking it," Winter said.

In addition to offering vintage furniture, Edwin Loy offers refinishing services, helping others to redo vintage furniture they have, Winter said.

"Say you have your grandmother's old dresser and it doesn't fit with your decor but you don't want to get rid of it, I would definitely take it into consideration," Winter said. "If you want to change the color on it or the hardware, that's definitely something I would be willing to get my hands on and work with for the customer rather than getting rid of it and hiding it away."