BendModern Distinctive Inspiration in Design


Kelly Zimmerman and Serena Christy have been admiring and collecting mid-century classic furniture and timepieces for over two and a half decades. What began as a hobby in Westport, Connecticut, has lead them to their second careers in Bend. Their downtown storefront, BendModern, is a culmination of 27 years of friendship and customer relationships.

Zimmerman and Christy pride themselves in creating an environment where people can admire and gain inspiration from quality home design and vintage timepieces. The furniture is a collection of Danish modern and American mid-century classic pieces from the 1950s and 1960s.
“The Danish Modern pieces transcend the word modern,” explains Zimmerman. “The way they incorporate urban and country tradition, gives them a timeless and universal appeal though the use of quality materials and craftsmanship.”

“I really like the way the Danish pieces have been hand-crafted with precision,” adds Christy. “And, the American pieces are very innovative for their time.”

BendModern’s vintage and contemporary watches range from the 1950s to modern classic pieces. They also specialize in vintage glassware, barware, dinnerware as well as other objects.

Zimmerman, who grew up in Annapolis, Maryland, and Christy, originally from England, met in 1987. Christy, fresh out of college, had come to the United States to travel with three friends. What was supposed to be a couple weeks vacation turned into Christy liking what she saw and becoming an American citizen.

Zimmerman and Christy’s first business venture together was the Kelly and Company One to One Fitness Studio in Westport in 1989. The studio catered personalized fitness routines to long-term clients; some for over twenty years.

“Our previous business was all about customer relationships and sharing our passion for fitness,” says Zimmerman. “Now, we get to share our passion for this kind of furniture and timepieces with others.”

It was Zimmerman who began to collect furniture and timepieces twenty-five years ago. Their convenient, east coast location lent itself to the hobby-turned-career.

“She has an incredible eye,” concedes Christy.

The partners try to match their own talents to create a successful business. For example, while Zimmerman deals with public relations, Christy refinishes a recently purchased chair. In addition to the business aspects, they each have their own favorites in their collection.
“Chairs speak to me,” explains Christy. “Kelly loves watches.”

The friends discovered Bend after Christy came to Oregon for a golf camp at Bandon Dunes in 2006. After completing the camp, Christy was convinced by the other attendees to drive to Bend for the second half of her vacation. As with many who visit Bend, the trip led to a vacation home purchase in 2009, and finally, a move to Central Oregon in October last year. Zimmerman was equally taken back by Bend, so she followed in Christy’s footsteps.

“The beauty and outdoor activities are unmatched,” illustrates Zimmerman. “We both wanted to grow old in this unbelievable atmosphere.”

Zimmerman’s love of cycling is perfectly matched for Central Oregon’s roads and trails. Meanwhile, Christy takes what she learned in the mountains of Austria and Switzerland to the slopes of Mount Bachelor.

BendModern’s path to a Wall Street storefront was a serendipitous one. After arriving in Bend, the pair opened an online store in an upstairs office on Wall Street in November. But when their landlord mentioned a vacancy downstairs next to Patagonia, they decided to display their collection in a storefront location. The store opened June 5 this year.

In addition to selling wares, BendModern seeks to act as a, “concierge of good design.” If they don’t have a piece customers are looking for, BendModern can assist in finding it through their connections across the United States.

BendModern is open Tuesday through Friday from 11am to 5pm, Saturday 11am to 4pm and Sunday noon to 3pm.

1000 NW Wall Street, Suite 110, downtown Bend
541- 241-4277
CEOs: Kelly Zimmerman & Serena Christy
Employees: 2
Established: June 2014
Products: Mid-century modern furniture, vintage and contemporary watches, and vintage accessories.
Hot News: BendModern has turned a private collection into an online store, and then a downtown storefront in less than a year.


About Author

Bend-based freelance writer Gregg Morris honed his wit in suburban Michigan and his gift for the written word at Michigan State University. When not writing, Gregg can be found riding his bike, earning his turns, or playing guitar alongside his wife and daughter.

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