I was excited to hear that John+Jude, a local vintage shop, was moving into The Shop Across the Street, and, naturally, the Instagram feed of curated vintage pieces led me to a shop visit.
John+Jude is owned by Lakelanders Christina Judino Johnson and Charity Johnson. John+Jude’s curated collection includes big furniture pieces, dishware, unique vintage bar sets, and decorative pieces for your home.
Intrigued by their shop corner, I emailed Christina and Charity to learn more about them and John+ Jude.
The Lakelander: Tell us about yourself. What do you find most inspiring about Lakeland?
Christina Judino Johnson:
I grew up in Lakeland. After college, I traveled from coast to coast for about 10 years. Coming back after all of those years, what I found most inspiring about Lakeland was its desire for growth. So many Lakelanders have taken the same journey as me: traveling and seeing what other places have to offer and wanting to bring some of that back to our hometown. Our community is true to itself, and the support we have experienced has been humbling.
I am a Lakelander through and through, born and raised here in Lakeland. I am a married mother of three boys; our oldest just graduated from Harrison School of the Arts. During the day I work full time as a nurse manager for a local healthcare system, and by night we work on furniture and finds for John+Jude. It has been such a joy seeing Lakeland come into its own, and it inspires me to follow this John+Jude dream. Lakeland has become a place for artists and craftsmen, and they like to blossom and feel embraced and supported by their community. There’s no place I’d rather launch John+Jude!
The Lakelander: When did you launch John+Jude, and what does the name mean?
John+Jude: We started J+J in 2017, attending our first ever “Fancy Flea” market in Plant City. Our aesthetic stood out like a sore thumb, but our tent was empty by the end of the second day. That lit a slow-burning fire in us.
The name is a combination of our last names, Johnson and Judino (and Charity likes The Beatles).
“Our common passion is breathing new life into items of forgotten history. Restoring heirloom pieces that will continue their journey from one home to the next. And with each new owner comes a new story, a new chapter in its history book. ” – Christina & Charity
The Lakelander: What inspired you to launch John+Jude? How would you best describe John+Jude as a business?
John+Jude: In the beginning, we didn’t know there was a plan to launch J+J. We were just two ladies married to two brothers who bonded over our common interest of mid-century modern. We both bought homes in 2015 and began to work on furniture together to furnish our own homes. We would meet after our “real jobs” and work on furniture into the wee hours. These nights were long, but it was our favorite way to spend our spare time. Our common passion is breathing new life into items of forgotten history … restoring heirloom pieces that will continue their journey from one home to the next. And with each new owner comes a new story, a new chapter in its history book.
The Lakelander: What would you say is the John+Jude secret sauce or specialty?
John+Jude: “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” We like to curate items that go beyond what society deems valuable. To us, the value of an object is a comfort and a happiness that the piece adds to your space. We love the slow and ever-changing road that is “home.” It is built piece by piece. Treasure by treasure. They are pieces you have to live with, share your space with, and look at every day. We hope people that visit J+J find things that give them that “home” feeling. And if it’s worth something … bonus.
We love a 50-year-old table sitting next to a brand-new couch that is just starting its life. The combination of new and old creates that homey feeling we are all longing for when we walk through our door after a long day. We gravitate towards pieces that are quirky yet functional so they can blend seamlessly into any space.
The Lakelander: Besides The Shop Across the Street, where can Lakelanders find you and shop your goods?
John+Jude: Instagram is the only other spot right now.
We gravitate towards pieces that are quirky yet functional so they can blend seamlessly into any space.
The Lakelander: What has been your favorite vintage find ever?
John+Jude: One of our first exciting finds was a Richard McCarthy mid-century wood and iron rocking chair. It was found through a local classified listing and described as “junk” basically. It was in poor repair and needed a lot of work, but we were able to restore it and gift it to our father-in-law who fell in love with it. It was great seeing a piece that might’ve ended up in the trash get some much needed TLC and a new home (where no one sits on it still). It turned out beautiful and really showed us that with some work these forgotten treasures can shine again.
The Lakelander: Do you have future plans for John+Jude?
John+Jude: With the support of our community, we have big dreams that we hope to make a reality in 2020.