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Find a West Bottoms vintage vibe in small town Greenwood, Missouri

Heather McCarty opened her Porch Swing store in the Greenwood Antique District three years ago.
Heather McCarty opened her Porch Swing store in the Greenwood Antique District three years ago. Special to The Star

For those who missed First Friday in the West Bottoms but still need to find that perfect holiday gift, opportunity waits to the east in the Greenwood Antique District. The main street strip of the small town tucked just outside Lee’s Summit is home to seven antique and resale stores that are open all month long.

Heather McCarty is a bit of a newcomer on the strip. She opened her vintage décor shop called The Porch Swing at 505 W. Main St. three years ago and has steadily expanded with local vendors and repurposed and hand-crafted items. McCarty explains that the stores in Greenwood were part of what made her fall in love with the town.

The Porch Swing specializes in vintage and vintage-inspired decor. Karen Ridder Special to The Star

Q: Why did you decided to open a store?

A: I started three years ago after I had my son. I decided I didn’t want to go back to the corporate world. So I started repurposing and flipping furniture.

I wanted to take advantage of the hobby to grow into making money for the family, but I was unsure. There was a for rent sign in Greenwood, which I saw on the way home from my mother-in-law’s funeral. She had died suddenly, and I saw it as a sign of the path I should take.

Q: Why Greenwood?

A: We live in Greenwood, but I always joke that the reason my husband got me to marry him was that there were so many cute little antique stores here already. I fell in love with the town.

Q: How did this little area of antique shops spring up?

A: It has been around a long time. I found an article that was written about Greenwood being an antique destination back in the 1980s, before I was born. There are a couple of stores that have been here for 20 years. I’m the newbie on the block.

Right now, we have seven shops all within walking distance. Each has its own little niche and style. There’s a tea room in one of the stores where people come and lunch.

We put on events throughout the year. We offer a lot of the same things you can find in the West Bottoms. We work together. We have a tiny little town, and you get this small town feel here, but it’s right in the backyard of Lee’s Summit.

Christmas decor at The Porch Swing in Greenwood. Karen Ridder Special to The Star

Q: What do you try to do at The Porch Swing that’s different from other places?

A: We have a very eclectic style. Our main focus is home décor and furniture, with some vintage goodies thrown in. We try to have something for everyone who comes in the door with a great price range. When I opened the doors, I wanted everyone to be able to come in here and purchase a gift or make their home beautiful.

When I was younger, I wanted to flip my house and build a beautiful home, but we were on a budget because we were young. So I understand that. We have Kansas City ware, women’s apparel, people who do handmade items, bath and body products, candles, signs, antiques and collectibles.

Q: With the holiday season upon us, what do I give that person who loves “vintage” everything?

A: I think that it’s the rage to give the vintage-inspired or vintage pieces. My own home is filled with so many vintage pieces. They all have a story, and I think that’s part of it. My favorite thing I hear is when people say, “Oh, my mom or my grandma had one of those.” I think vintage connects people to their memories.

We have a lot of awesome dealers. One cuts metal ornaments for trees, which seem to be one of our biggest sellers. We do a lot of custom signs, and have a handmade jewelry maker. A lot of pieces from her collection are going out the door as gifts for people. We have a lot of vintage mercury glass ornaments. They are beautiful and colorful, and they seem to be coming back around.

The Porch Swing carries a variety of Christmas decor, much of it vintage-inspired. Karen Ridder Special to The Star

Q: How do you decorate for the holidays?

A: I always put magnolia flowers on my Christmas tree. I have always thought it was beautiful. On my mantel, I have white Christmas lights and mercury glass in green foliage and big tall candle sticks from the store that are hand-turned.

At the store, I love pieces people can put on the mantel, because when I think of the holidays, I think of everyone cozy around the fire.