About Us

Celebrating the O Deer Mercantile Lifestyle

O Deer Mercantile Second Birthday in May 2017!

Welcome to O Deer Mercantile. Come in— kick off your shoes and make yourself comfortable.

Among other things you will learn about us if you stay a while, is that we are Southern Girls (in the south, you never really quit being a girl). Even in today’s generic, homogenized world, being from the southern region of the United States means that life is slower (it’s the heat and the humidity), very family and community centered—and that we are infatuated with our Homes, homemaking and decor. Though we can’t entirely escape the mad dash that life is these days, Southern Hospitality is still a thing.

The three women who make up O Deer Mercantile are an unlikely group from some viewpoints, but this multi-generational mash-up seems to work. I am Gwen and I would be the Matriarch, I suppose. I am mom to Gaia, and grandma to Kaylah. This project was a long time coming. I wanted to do a business that would be a combination of shop/website/bloggylifeandartstuff for a long time.

Maybe I was waiting to get my feet wet in the blogging world and learn a bit more about web design, social media and marketing. Or maybe I was waiting to live in an area (we formerly inhabited far western NC) that wasn’t so isolated and rural that I could run faster than the internet there. Probably I was waiting for these two beautiful, talented young ladies to grow up. It is lots more fun to do something of this scope with partners. I readily admit that my children and grandchildren are the Light of my Life. They make it all worthwhile, and keep me always learning and aware of what is going on in the world around me. 

We are an eclectic group, drawn to styles as diverse as Prim, Kawaii and Bohemian— a bit retro, adore vintage and antique but just as comfortable with industrial decor and hi-tech. What binds us and it together into a cohesive lifestyle is the Artist’s Eye—a way of looking at the world as an immense canvas to be filled with new experience. We hope you stay to check out our posts and articles about vintage goods, crafting, home-making, and Life.

The O Deer Women


Gwen Simmons

I’m Gwen— Mom and Gramma to the other two O Deer Ladies. As if that doesn’t keep me busy, I am also responsible for administering this website and curating our Etsy Shop. When I’m not doing those things, find me in the Kitchen, the Garden or the Craft Room. (Or sometimes, just curled up with a good book and a cup of tea!)

My life, much as I yearn (or think I do) for peace and tranquility, is, often as not, Chaos. I am actually a very organized person, but my life is compartmentalized into so many directions and personas, that I never quite catch up. While I am perfectly aware of the fact that I cannot be and do everything— this fact never quite breaks the conscious surface of my busy mind. So, I try.

I am just a bit otherworldly by nature, and often preoccupied to a dangerous degree. If I had to describe myself, I suppose it would be as an aging hippie with spiritual aspirations and a Martha Stewart complex. My persona is so eclectic that it confuses me. I feel as though I have had enough adventure and experience in this life to occupy several lifetimes, but apparently there is still more to come.

I have worked jobs that ranged from assistant manager of a car wash, to running a lawn and landscape service, owning a bead-shop, and working a vending machine route on Daytona’s Beach-side. Over the years I have worked as a machine operator in a tool and die factory, assembled delicate electronics, and done advertising and graphic design. I traveled much of this country as a footloose teenager; lived on a homestead in rural Wisconsin raising children, chickens and sheep; spent a couple of years in the high desert of West Texas (a place I still long for); and landed squarely back where I began, living for a time in the house I helped to build as a youngster and spent my high school years residing in. Now, circumstances have dictated that we move once again, this time only a few miles to a new/old house. I do not know if the best is yet to come, but it is always entertaining, and I have certainly been fated to live in interesting times.

These days my hectic schedule ranges from home-keeping and renovating, to gardening, thrifting, chauffeuring and doing a couple of part-time jobs, to web design and photo editing, I attempt in my lame way to juggle it all. And the biggest problem is, I want to do most of these things, and more. I have never been able to fathom people who go about declaring their boredom to the world. I can not imagine ever running out of things to do. Just reading good books could fill a lifetime.

I am a magpie. I love shiny and unusual, vintage or pretty. I am a collector, and a bit of a hoarder of buttons, beads, fabric, lace, and tons of other crafty paraphernalia. I have followed that inclination, and our shop is becoming largely oriented towards vintage items and treasures.
I hope that you will visit O Deer Mercantile to see what kind of vintage lovelies I have decided to part with, and check back from time to time.

Daughter and Granddaughter

My youthful partners are still just starting out on their own journeys through life, but already they are both not only bright, talented and a joy to be around— they are each unique. Neither of them fit into any molds, or behaved as archetypal teenagers, or young adults. As different as night from day to each other, they are also decidedly individual in their own right.


Hello there, I’m Gaia! I’m O Deer Mercantile’s resident plush and doll crafter. I also love to draw and sometimes I dabble in other crafts, too. My hobbies include playing video games, watching weird videos on YouTube, and thrift shopping.

In days and months to come we will welcome you to the World of Designer and Artist Gaia Robinette…

Gaia is the youngest of my four children (three girls and one boy). She exhibited artistic talent before she could talk, and has always had a distinctive way of looking at her world. She is soft-spoken, and those not in her inner circle seldom hear her speak at all. But she is also funny, quirky and quick to laugh.

Pixel Creature by Gaia Robinette

She lives in a world populated by imaginary beings and cuddly small creatures. Whether she is drawing, doodling, sewing or crafting, you just know that what she comes up with will be amazing. Besides her artistic endeavors, Gaia is in love with nature and endlessly curious about everything, from insects to weather patterns. She is an amazing help in the house and garden, and enjoys tending succulents and other potted plants.  She loves most all animalsand dotes over our two cats.  

Sewing, with a machine as well as still doing certain projects and all of her embellishments by hand, is a joy for Gaia, and remains one of her favorite pastimes. She continues to learn as she goes. You seldom see her without a sketch pad handy to draw out ideas she has, or just to practice her sketching and drawing skills. Each creation moves through a process, from sketch pad to paper pattern, before she chooses materials and decides on finishing techniques.

While a great deal of Gaia’s time is spent at her sewing, she has a wide range of other interests as well. She reads voraciously, studies the Japanese language and lettering, is a fairly accomplished Gamer, and an enthusiastic fan of You Tube.

Hey all — My name is Kaylah. I’m a twenty year old Gemini living in Daytona Beach, FL with my boyfriend and cat. My hobbies include being an over-bearing feminist, listening to repetitive indie music, and photography. Read about my life and follow along my not-so-mystical journey into adulthood.

The junior member of our Team is Kaylah. She is almost fourteen months younger than her Aunt Gaia. She is the one of us with her well manicured finger on the pulse of the cultural zeitgeist. She is a pioneer in many ways, one of those people who are so tuned in to the world-consciousness that she knows what is emerging as trend or vogue before it quite arrives. She adores fashion, photography and cats. Kaylah is O Deer Mercantile’s style maven. She is vivacious, spontaneous, enamored of color and movement, and as unpredictable as the Florida weather. She has embraced her immense talent and curiosity since she was a small child. She is still trying to decide her ultimate Path in the mundane world of jobs and making a living, and a new opportunity will soon take her to Savannah, GA, where we hope she will continue to share her adventures with us.  She is still seeking her creative direction, but the compass swings as her curiosity and zest for life draws her to push the envelope and try out new things.

She is accomplished in sketching, painting, photography and even videography, but Kay has yet to settle on any one medium. In the meantime, her photographs, both in front of and behind the camera, remain evocative and fascinating. Her canvas of choice has, often as not, been herself. Kaylah was truly one of the pioneers of Selfies She was taking them before that phrase was ever coined. Not only is she the mistress of maneuvering a camera or smart phone around to get the best shot, but she mastered the use of the tripod and self-timer for photographs while still a child.  She loves vintage cameras, particularly Polaroids, and is the proud owner of several.Kaylah

Kaylah has dabbled into esoterica for awhile, is enchanted by her fit into the Gemini personality profile, and looking to find a spiritual bedrock to use as a foundation for the future. A Gemini in the truest sense, she is a communicator, outgoing and funny, but not overly willing to share her real self. In the O Deer Mercantile future, look for more of Kaylah’s photography, her insights into being a young adult in these tumultuous times, and probably some of her quirky and serendipitous Thrift Shop finds.

This is a girl who doesn’t mind being a pioneer, whether it be in apparel, her hair style or color, or the application of the make-up brush. No matter what else lies in store from this Gemini Sylph, there will always be surprises. 

This is just a quick introduction and a little About Us. There will be lots more coming in our Blog.


p style=”padding-left: 30px;”>We look forward to getting to know you…