CRYSTAL LAKE – In times of celebration, putting that special touch on your event is something that Janet Mathews, owner of Dish & Décor Vintage Rental in Crystal Lake, can help with.
The boutique rental firm specializes in vintage style stemware, mismatched china, props and additional unique odds and ends that can make any occasion something to be remembered.
“I have the details that can make an event memorable,” Mathews said. “It’s a unique rental company with unique collections that you cannot get at a traditional rental company. I built this company based on my strengths, what I like to do and, basically, what brings me joy.”
Weddings, showers, holidays, events, staged shoots: Mathews has an arsenal of items that will fit the bill.
Two years ago, after a 20-year stint in the mortgage industry, Mathews was ready to start out in what would be her third career, though she was unsure of exactly what that was.
Then, one day, a friend of hers went to a tea party and found inspiration for her.
“She said ‘Janet, you should rent china,’ ” Mathews said. “She knew I used to sell props to retail stores and I was always the friend that if someone was decorating and they didn’t know what colors to choose or how to style it, they would come to me. I would shop with them and help put things together. I guess your friends know what you’re good at.”
Vintage cameras, locks and keys, books, suitcases, globes, clocks, trays and even glass juicers are just a few of the hand-picked pieces that fill the shelves of Mathews’ home office and showroom that is equipped to handle events for more than 300 people. In a variety of sizes, colors and styles, rental items are priced to keep you from breaking the bank.
“I am a trusted resource to event planners, stylists, caterers, florists and photographers. I also work directly with the consumer to customize their event,” Mathews said. “I deliver early in commercial crates and, after the meal, the catering staff removes the food debris, rinses them and places them back in the crates for pickup. I pick up after the event. Everything is hand washed at my home studio, saving you time and money.”
Mathews’ vintage décor has been featured in Modern Luxury, Windy City Times and Chicago Style Weddings magazine and website.
On Nov. 3, Max and Nina King of Milwaukee were married at Bluestem Farm & Events in Hebron. They enlisted Mathews’ services to give their big day a vintage, moody sort of feel.
Their catering company did not provide dishes, so they shopped around looking for vendors between Milwaukee and Chicago. Upon meeting Mathews and seeing what she had to offer, the two found it to be an easy choice.
“She was very easy to communicate with,” said Max King. “She invited us to her house where she had a layout done on a main table of what she thought the tables would look like. She even brought in greenery from her own back yard. She really got the vibe we were looking for and when we walked out it was amazing, one, that she had everything set up and had this ideas based on what we told her, and two, the shear mass of items.”
The couple rented elements from Mathews’ bold and beautiful collection focusing on the couple’s colors of wine, navy, cobalt and gold. They even designed a dessert table while at the consult, an added bonus that they had not intended to have. Mathews even included some rustic looking gold crowns for the couple’s head table to accent their new joint last name, King.
“You deal with so many vendors when planning a wedding and just as much as it is about the service it’s also about the people,” said Nina King. “We were engaged for almost two years so that’s a long time to be in contact with someone and make sure all of your needs and wants for your wedding style are met. We just felt at ease with Janet and felt like she was really listening to us. I even teared up when we were in her place because we could just see our wedding coming together. It made me realize, wow, we’re getting married. It’s just something to see, your wedding coming to life.”
The two said that when they left the consult, they felt like Mathews was part of the family. They found delivery and set up to be a breeze with Mathews’ flexibility in delivery and found the pickup and washing process she offered to be a huge relief so as not to have to assign someone in their wedding party to handle the details. They also found the price to be very affordable.
On their big day, these unique elements did not go unnoticed and made their event, truly their own.
“People really noticed,” Nina King said. “The vibe of the whole reception was just how we wanted it and a lot of people complemented us on making our wedding unique and personal. It could not have happened without those key elements.”
For additional info and pricing, visit www.dishanddecorvintagerental.com.