PHOTOGRAPHY BY JORDAN RANDALL
June Taylor has grown significantly over the past five years. Their recent endeavor took great risk and found themselves in a storefront in the heart of Dixieland, selling one-of-a-kind furniture, designs, and pieces while continuing to inspire an appreciation for the whimsical.
Venturing into June Taylor’s storefront is like being transported to a Far East bazaar. With artwork lining the walls and the spaces in between being filled with thoughtfully restored relics, June Taylor is a spot that visitors can easily get inspired by the whimsical. As you walk all the way to the back of the store, visitors will find a sign hanging next to the restrooms that reads a classic Mary Oliver quote: “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”The resolve to such a question is what would catapult Kelly and Bill Riley to venture out and create what June Taylor is today.
The process of starting June Taylor was, more or less, unintentional.
“It wasn’t something I was looking to do,” admits shop co-owner and founder, Kelly Riley. When Kelly had the desire to purchase a very specific blanket, she spent time tirelessly searching to no avail. So, she just decided to make it herself. The process of making the blankets became so therapeutic that she eventually set up shop and started selling them at a few local spots.
“I started small,” says Kelly. She would have her blankets displayed by hanging them on antique ladders at stores like Scout & Tag. This eventually led to setting up pop-ups across the city and selling at local markets. From there, June Taylor found itself at markets all over Central Florida.
“There are a lot of things out there that can be updated and made into abstract pieces of art that are functional.”
From occupying these larger spaces, Kelly began to fall in love with decorating her display for the markets. “There are a lot of things out there that can be updated and made into abstract pieces of art that are functional,” she says. This led her away from selling only blankets, and more toward finding, restoring, and retailing vintage goods.
As June Taylor grew, the business then spent about two years occupying a space in The Shop Across The Street, where Kelly and Bill would focus on selling vintage finds and restoring old treasures for clients. However, after two of their three children graduated from high school, Bill posed a career change that would require a big leap of faith.
“It was now or never,” Kelly recalls. She and Bill would quit their full-time jobs and go all-in with their business.
On June 6, 2019, June Taylor hit a huge milestone with the opening of their own vintage shop in the heart of Dixieland. Not focusing on a specific style, the store houses a mix of unique pieces that create a distinct look. “When people come in here, they express that it feels like home,” says Kelly. “I want them to be able to take that with them — make their house a home and just have elements they really love.” They’ve been asked, “Why a storefront?” With many similar businesses operating solely through their digital presence, Kelly felt that the online world would not accurately portray the heart behind the business. “I wanted to not only be an online entity, but to have a space where people can see all of the pieces and design their own art.”
On June 6, 2019, June Taylor hit a huge milestone with the opening of their own vintage shop in the heart of Dixieland.
Their tagline, “Fibers & Finds,” pays homage to June Taylor’s beginnings. “Because I was making blankets — which I don’t really do anymore — that was the fibers,” explains Kelly. “I love textiles, and I feel like homes need textiles and textures too.” The heart and mission of June Taylor is evident: to find good fibers and textiles that add a unique and whimsical touch to each customer’s home. Bill and Kelly have been married for 21 years and have found great joy as business partners and journeying through the growth of June Taylor together. For those looking to take a similar leap of faith with their own business, the June Taylor shop is a perfect example that it’s never too late to do what you are passionate about with your one wild and precious life.
1216 South Florida Avenue
Lakeland, FL 33801