Rearranging her bedroom as a child came naturally for Melissa Hoekstra, owner of James & Reid Home Antiquities. She loved envisioning her space in a different way and then aligning the pieces to create a new place that she could call her own.
Fabrics, paint, furnishing, colors, textures and décor are all part of Melissa’s palette as she has developed a style that is both eclectic and charming. Her interior designs and eye for finding those unusual pieces collectors love have earned her a loyal following at the Marburger Farm Antique Show in Round Top hosted in September and March. Now she is making her dream of opening a store front locally come true.
“We get asked a lot, ‘Why Waco?’ ” Melissa said. “Waco is becoming such a fun place where people want to come because of Chip and Joanna (Gaines, the hosts of the mega-popular HGTV show “Fixer Upper”). For me, ‘Why Waco?’ is because Waco is our home. We wanted to invest in our home and bring things to our community, things we were looking for and knew that others were looking for.”
James & Reid offers fine furnishings and decor that include both American and European antiques and LEE Industries custom furniture line exclusively to the Waco area, as well as Pom Pom bedding, home decor and gifts.
Melissa and her husband, Jonathan, chief financial officer for Texas State Technical College, carefully considered where they would open James & Reid Home Antiquities.
“We looked at downtown and did think about it,” she said, before they chose a Woodway location. “We draw people and our store is very much a destination store. We wanted people to have something on this side of town so people didn’t have to drive downtown. When I want to buy a gift for someone, I want to be able to pop in and buy a gift that I know they are going to love and have it packaged and ready for you.”
The store is located at 6912 Woodway Drive near the busy intersection of Loop 340 and U.S. Highway 84.
“We feel we are very attainable to Loop 340, I-35 and all the surrounding communities,” she said. “People who love antiques and love design will find us because LEE is very well-known in the design community. People are very excited to have us here in that regard.”
She also expects to see some of her customers and friends from Round Top make their way to her store.
“My affiliation with the Marburger Farm Antique Show has allowed me to gain the Round Top, Texas, following,” she said. “The show has the highest expectations of its dealers, who come from across the country to participate. Consequently, people come from all over the world to collect and curate for their own homes, businesses, and clients. Individuals that visit the show don’t have to travel to France and England to find a treasure from centuries past. The dealers have brought it to them. You find yourself in the middle of a cow pasture, completely in awe of the amazing collections and the extraordinary talent. It’s a feast for the eyes.”
The LEE Industries furniture line will be another draw for her store, Melissa said.
“LEE is made in America, green and customized for every single customer,” she added. “It is not like a big box store, where there are hundreds of the same sofa in sitting in a warehouse. With LEE Industries, we help you find the style of furniture you are looking for and bring it to life. It is generally a four-to six-week process.”
Bring It All Home
Melissa’s lifelong love of design has come full circle.
“My mother says, ‘Melissa was always moving furniture around.’ As a child, I would imagine spaces in new ways,” she said. “I was given much creative license by my mother to design and decorate the space I lived in, my bedroom. There were many days she would walk in the house to find everything in my bedroom in the hallway so that I could rearrange the space with what I had to work within. I did change paint colors and fabrics as often as I was could. My mom further influenced my style by letting me tag along to antique auctions and stores throughout my childhood.”
Even to this day, Melissa gets the urge to change the setting of her home.
“My children are very used to coming home, and our whole house being rearranged,” she said.
The Hoekstras have two sons, William, a freshman at Midway High School, and Harrison, a fourth-grader at South Bosque Elementary.
She also credits her grandmothers with encouraging her decorating creativity.
“My maternal grandmother would let me wash the china or polish the silver and redesign the china cabinet interior layout almost monthly,” she said. “And my paternal grandmother had a gift of stopping whatever she was doing when we stopped by to greet us with glasses of ice tea and engage in long talks on the back porch swing for hours. The hospitality demonstrated in their homes inspired my approach to creating a home style, and so James & Reid was actually named after them. We hope our store inspires creativity and makes people feel warm and welcome in the same way the store’s namesakes did.”
Through the years, Melissa’s style evolved as she worked in retail and merchandising for Harold’s Clothing Company and was introduced to European antiques.
“As my style began to take shape, people were drawn to it and began to request my assistance in decorating their spaces,” she said.
“My style is a blend of old and new, preferably old. I love objects that tell a story. I enjoy taking pieces and giving them new life through a new and fresh perspective. Often this is done with antiques, both European and primitive Texas pieces, fine upholstered furniture, uncommon or unexpected objects, industrial pieces, fine art, and usually a blend of masculine and feminine influences,” Melissa said.
“I love color and textures, with layers of pieces collected that express the stories and character of the different individuals that live in a space. We want to encourage families to want be home.”
Blending different styles in a space is where Melissa finds her flair for decorating excels.
“When you come in my store, my house or other people’s home I’ve decorated, my mom always says, ‘You never know whether Melissa spent 25 cents on it or $2,500 on it.’ I just buy what I like. I try to bring those deals to my customers. I try to give them the very best price that I can and that I would expect,” she said.
She selects items that appeal to her and she can envision in a home setting.
“Nothing enters James & Reid that wouldn’t be in my own home,” she said. “That’s kind of my standard. If it’s not good enough for my own home it’s not good enough for my store.”
Melissa also believes in incorporating a touch of sentimentality into her decorating style.
“My style is very eclectic, so lots of layering. It’s not just European, it’s not just new. I feel like a lot of stores are one or the other. We wanted to bring all of it together,” she said. “There’s a phrase that old is the new ‘new.’ That is very much what we try to incorporate. We love using what people already have when we are working their own homes. When someone asks me to work on their living room I try to save sand salvage as much as possible because that’s where the memories are.”
Growing in Waco
“We are hopeful that we can bring something rare to Waco, something you might have to travel far to otherwise get,” Melissa said. “The initial feedback has been excitement. Customers have stood in the store and said that there is nothing like it here. We see customers in our store calling and telling their friends about their experience and telling them they have to come in and see it. Sometimes, they return later that day with a friend or family member. Our hope is that we continue to have reactions like that.”
She especially wants to encourage her customers to create their own special spaces where life can be lived among their loved ones.
“Our goal is to help and encourage families to enjoy their homes, desire staying in, have dinner together, making memories and feel secure in having people over to fellowship with others,” she said. “We believe that the home is where all the really good stuff in life happens and the most memories are made.”
James & Reid Home | Antiquities
6912 Woodway Drive
10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday