A Legacy of Kindness: Sweet Legacy Vintage gives back in style

by Lauren Fisher, photos by Andrea Paulseth

“Make every guest feel like the guest of honor.” – Tammy Hurt, Sweet Legacy Vintage

Tammy Hurt has been partying for more than 35 years. In college, she had the best-decorated living space of any student she knew, and she hosted shindigs and soirees there whenever she could. With the help of her daughters, Sarah and Molly Hurt, she has developed her passion for décor and hosting into a business and a way to help others.

The Hurts opened Sweet Legacy Vintage this year to provide décor rental and design services to people hosting weddings, receptions, baby showers, and home and office parties. Their inventory is in part made up of Tammy’s personal collections of vintage china and décor, and in part composed of hundreds of unique furnishings, handmade items, and complementary accessories. Each piece is carefully selected for its charm and quality.

“Most people get jewelry or flowers for their anniversary, and I get green pillars,” Tammy said, gesturing proudly at a set of mint columns staged on a bar she and her father had built for her son’s wedding. She is always on the hunt for beautiful things to add to her vast vintage selection. “People want more than lace and burlap,” Sarah said – and the Hurt women provide.

The accumulated miscellany culminated this summer in the construction of Sweet Legacy Vintage’s hosting venue, the Alta Viola room. Pieced together with reclaimed farmhouse windows and adorned with authentic trim from an original Eau Claire Third Ward home, the space glitters under strings of lights and boasts of Tammy, Molly, and Sarah’s design expertise. The room is named for Tammy’s grandmother, who inspired the family’s love for vintage.

Sweet Legacy Vintage works with Convoy of Hope’s feedONE program to provide food for hungry children around the world. They host a donation page on their website, and make donations from their profits.

Their dedication to service is part of a family legacy. Tammy’s parents hosted families and children in need often; she never knew who would be at the breakfast table. Through this experience, she mastered the art of making people feel welcome.

Tammy knows that going out of one’s way for a guest makes a big impact. She recalled a visit where the gesture of serving a woman water in a glass goblet, as opposed to a disposable cup, brought her guest to tears. “Make every guest feel like the guest of honor,” she advises party planners.

She and her daughters also recommend hosts take advantage of every sense. “Make it smell good, make good food – ” Tammy said, while Sarah piped in with “Make grandma’s recipes!” Use textures and colors in your decorations, and always iron the tablecloth!

The Hurts have big plans for the next several months. They are working on listing their entire rental inventory on their website so that party planners can browse and devise wishlists from home in their pajamas. They are also developing a retail space where local artists may sell handmade decorations, and working toward being able to offer delivery and pick-up services. Sweet Legacy works with local florists, woodworkers and photographers to create special memories for members of the community.

Molly and Sarah, who moved home from Missouri to start Sweet Legacy with their mother, are always thinking about the business. Since they all live together, sometimes they have business meetings on a whim at 10pm. “It’s so cool that we get to do this in the city we grew up in,” Molly said. “We get to play a part in the growth going on here.”

Sweet Legacy Vintage is located at 3031 N. Hastings Way, Eau Claire.  They are available Monday-Saturday by appointment. Visit their website at sweetlegacy.net to find out more.