Wayman’s and a love of vintage | BEST OF

The relatively-new Buckley vintage and antique shop topped three of The Courier-Herald’s “Best Of” categories this year

Like many love stories, this one began with an “I do.”

Kodie and Chris Wayman opened their own business, Wayman’s Vintage Market, in Buckley in December after seven years of operating out of their home or being vendors in other shops.

Getting into vintage furniture, which Kodie said is what they’re most known for, was not something they planned on; of course, when can you plan for love?

“We got into it when we were doing stuff for our wedding — we did a DIY,” he said. “And some of our friends were getting pretty into the stuff we were doing and asked us if we ever did furniture.”

They were not, but that didn’t stop them from grabbing a dresser from Rainier Thrift (now closed), painting it up, and selling it at a small (but tidy) profit.

“That’s our origin story,” Kodie continued.

The couple started off advertising their products online as a part-time gig, working several other jobs on the side.

But when the COVID pandemic hit, when many other businesses slowed down, theirs picked up — maybe people needed a change in scenery as they bunkered down at home — so Kodie and Chris jumped all-in, though Chris continues to keep his vet tech license up-to-date.

Before going full-time furniture, Kodie worked with his hands at producing electrodes for a medical tech company, but he said there’s a “tremendous difference” between “a mindless hands job” and working on something you’re passionate about.

“The joy you feel every day — there’s not even words,” he continued.

That emotion appears contagious, as after opening their brick-and-mortar, Kodie and Chris’ family members started making their own crafts and art to be sold at Wayman’s.

“The youngest crafter we have in here is actually my nephew — he’s five,” Kodie said, pointing at a photo of a beaming child in a cowboy hat. “It gets you hooked.”

Wayman’s 21 vendors range in age from under 10 to past retirement, and the many of them are local (or local-ish), from here on the Plateau to Des Moines, Tacoma, Puyallup, Orting, and Bonney Lake. The store features a wide selection of products, from vintage clothes to color painting and crafts made by younger vendors.

The store, Kodie said, is arrange differently than your traditional vintage antique venue — it’s less compartmentalized and more open, which customers seem to find comfortable.

“They like they layout — it’s not so crowded,” Chris said adding that their customers feel free to just stick around, even if they’re not actively shopping. “They come in here and they’ll sit with us for half an hour, an hour.”

The Wayman’s also require displays to be cleaned once a week and changed up at least once a month, so there’s always something new to check out.

Perhaps these reasons are why the business did so well in The Courier-Herald’s “Best Of” competition this year, taking first in all three categories – Gift/Specialty store, Consignment/Thrift store, and Antiques/Collectables – Wayman’s was nominated for, totaling 778 votes.

“Wayman’s was voted the best in multiple categories because with Chris and Kodie living and owning a small business in Buckley part of the Plateau, it sweetens the pot for them to consistently strive to do better and give back to their very own community,” one vendor said, noting that the two are always challenging themselves and their vendors to be “top-notch”. “Chris and Kodie try their very best to stay on top of every detail that makes WVM a gem for the community. They make sure the basics are covered daily starting with a clean and bright environment, always quick with a hello and welcome into the shop, excellent customer service and follow through. Chris and Kodie care, they care about people, animals and community. Their caring hearts coupled with their drive to be successful in business and life makes for a darn great shop.”

Outside of the shop, Kodie and Chris foster senior dogs from Old Dog Haven, providing them with end-of-life love and care.

For more information about Wayman’s, head to their Facebook page at facebook.com/waymansfarmhousefinds.