Brookfield resident Alana Waters-Piper needed a break from work-related stress. After 15 years as an interactive creative director, she knew the time had come for a change.

“I went home to my husband [Dave Piper] one night and said, ‘I’m done,'” recalled Waters-Piper while sitting on a chair in Nest Vintage Modern, a store she opened in mid-July at 3750 Grand Blvd. in downtown Brookfield.

The store features a mix of vintage and vintage-style items, from furniture to kitchen furnishings to jewelry to art prints. The store has a definite 1940s country kitchen feel to it, from the reproduction aprons, linens and tablecloths to the colorful, retro-looking “gurgle pots” perched on a display case at the front.

“It’s eclectic vintage ’40s farmhouse décor and things that complement that style,” said Waters-Piper. “When I’m trying to decide on items for the store I ask, ‘Could this have been in my grandmother’s house?’ And if it is, I feel safe buying it.”

Now whether or not opening up a small niche retail business in the midst of an economic recession amounts to a stress-buster is open to interpretation, Waters-Piper admits.

“It’s a different kind of stress,” she said. “I want nothing more than for it to be a successful and long-term establishment because it’ll be good for our family.”

The store isn’t such a reach for Waters-Piper. Her grandfather owned an antiques store in her native Galveston, Texas, and her mother still operates a high-end vintage furnishings store in Texas.

Waters-Piper herself got the entrepreneurial bug early in life. At the age of 5, she was selling polished rocks for 25 cents a pop out of the back of her Big Wheel. And for the past two years, she has run an e-commerce website called Bluebird Goods, which sold many of the same kinds of items available at Nest Vintage Modern.

While the shop has a definite antique-store vibe, it’s really not. Most of the items – 80 percent, Waters-Piper estimates – are new items or reproductions. The furniture tends to be modern and for sale on a consignment basis, but the rest of the items merely “look” older.

“I want people to see it more as a home goods store,” she said. “There’s more new stuff than vintage.”

She also wants the store to be a gathering place. Every Friday she opens the store for a “sweet tea and sangria social” and hosts guests like author Ann Turlow, who talked about her book about vintage amusement parks at the store on Aug. 3.

In the future Waters-Piper said she’d also like to hold classes on topics such as canning, sewing and knitting.

The store is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (7 p.m. on Friday) and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The store’s website can be found at

This story has been changed to correct the name of the store and its website address.