From Victorian sofas to ornate rugs, On Solid Ground has storied goods for any event
Romanian parlor chairs and reclaimed barn wood furniture line the walls of the warehouse space of Lisa Loudon and Alonso Sierralta.
The husband and wife are the owners of On Solid Ground, a vintage rental service in the Strong Scott Building in Northeast Minneapolis. The business offers antiques, some of them more than a century old, for weddings, photoshoots, corporate events and more.
There aren’t any plastic-wrapped or out-of-the-box pieces in their eclectic collection. The duo’s authentically aged pieces come with much of the natural wear and tear from the hundreds of people who’ve used them before. Loudon said it gives them life.
“We want to leave the patina on it. When people rent from us they like to hear the story. They like to know that the piece actually has a history — a life — so we leave it,” she said.
Loudon and Sierralta, both artists and teachers by trade, bought the business last year from its original owner. At that point, On Solid Ground was located in a space about one-third the size in the 900 Building in Marcy-Holmes. The two Windom Park residents then expanded the business and relocated to a 2,600-square-foot space in the Mid-City Industrial neighborhood.
Over the past year, Loudon and Sierralta have added their own pieces — Loudon is a hobbyist vintage collector — and doubled the inventory, which consists of refurbished dining chairs, rustic wood cabinets, swag lighting, chalkboards and vintage bikes. The two said they find many of their new pieces through estate sales, thrift stores or right off Craigslist.
Many of the items available for rent come from around the Victorian era of the late 1800s and early 1900s, including some of their most popular pieces, Loudon said. Their sofas are common backdrops at weddings and editorial photos shoots, especially a royal gold lounge sofa named Vivian.
“She’s sort of a little starlet,” Loudon said.
Instead of buying new, one-off furniture, Loudon said their service offers event planners a chance to rework old pieces into their gatherings.
“We’re reusing stuff or recycling stuff, so there’s something ‘green’ about it,” she said.
Sierralta brings his experience as an artistic sculptor to build unique rustic pieces, such as rare ceremony doors made from barn wood. He also designs and builds custom items specific for events.
On Solid Ground’s pieces have attracted ad agencies, event centers and florists, including big names like Macy’s and even comedian Jim Belushi, who needed props for a local show. The business has no minimum rental and clients can put together wishlists online before ordering.
On Solid Ground, at 451 Taft St. NE, is open for appointments and drop-ins. Information on pieces and prices is available at onsolidgroundrentals.com.