A South Surrey teen whose childhood passion for all things vintage blossomed into the business of her dreams is riding a rollercoaster of emotions following a break-in last weekend to her in-house shop.
Lyric Kennedy was devastated to learn Monday (Sept. 6) that thieves had made off with around 150 items from her collection when they got into her family’s garage early the previous Saturday morning (Sept. 4).
The culprit or culprits gained access after smashing a window of her mom’s car and snagging a garage-door opener. Her parents were home at the time, but didn’t hear anything to alert them to something amiss – even the family’s dogs didn’t react.
Among the more treasured items nicked were her circa 1925 cash register, her custom-made neon business sign and five drawers that had been built by her grandfather and painted by her grandmother. They were full of smaller vintage items and trinkets, including tins and miniature brass dollhouse furniture, Lyric said.
As news of the theft has spread – Lyric shared video messages and photos of the missing items on her Lyric’s Vintage Instagram account – Lyric and her mom Tammy have been overwhelmed by an outpouring of support from the vintage community.
In addition to people wanting to help and offers to keep an eye out for the stolen items, messages from as far away as Australia included that “the vintage community has your back.”
Lyric, an Earl Marriott Secondary grad, described the vintage community as “like family for me.”
The 19-year-old discovered her love of “picking” when she was just four, when her parents would take her with them to garage sales. She has been hooked ever since.
Peace Arch News first featured her in December 2014, when the then-12-year-old Rosemary Heights Elementary student and a friend began selling their second-hand treasures.
While for Lyric’s friend, the interest faded after about a week, for Lyric, one could say the rest is history.
“What I like doing is finding that one piece that really stood out to me, and digging – going under peoples’ houses… crawlspaces, or old drawers and just finding things that are hidden,” she said.
“The history behind everything is just so cool.”
Tammy noted that the vintage community has “watched her grow up.”
“Even at 19, she’s still the young one,” she said.
“They all jumped in,” Tammy continued, of reaction to news of the break-in – which included fundraising to replace Lyric’s neon sign.
“I think I’ve cried every few hours in the last couple days just from what people are saying and how proud they are of her and that they want to support her. It’s just been overwhelming, almost.”
Lyric began operating out of the family garage during the pandemic. Pre-pandemic, she’d pack up and haul her wares to various vintage markets, as well as sell items online.
Business has been brisk enough that she is now looking for retail space.
She does not believe that her garage shop was targeted, but said whoever is behind the break-in “hit the jackpot.”
One aspect she and her mom try not to dwell on is what might have happened had those responsible not found anything of interest in the garage and decided to venture upstairs.
“You don’t want to think about it,” Tammy said.
Police – who note the incident is a harsh reminder of the perils of leaving garage-door openers in vehicles – say investigation into the incident is ongoing, and anyone with information is asked to contact the Surrey detachment at 604-599-0502. Anonymous tips may be provided to Crime Stoppers, at 1-800-222-8477 or solvecrime.ca