Seven Things She Can’t Live Without – and why she might stop in to visit.
Vickie Senn knows a little about almost any subject you throw at her, and she’ll be the first to tell you that if she doesn’t know, then someone she knows will. Whether you’re looking for a handyman for a home improvement job or a place to find a good piece of vintage furniture, Vickie is your gal.
She is the owner of Jack Senn Plumbing, a company she started with her late husband, Jack Senn, in 1990. Jack learned the tools of the trade working under Ray Dauenhauer at Dauenhauer Plumbing. Eventually he left Dauenhauer to earn his Master Plumber License and open a plumbing shop of his own. “Once he completed his Master’s License, we bought an old van and he got an old metal army surplus desk. He put it down in our basement and that was his office. We just went from there,” Vickie says. In the spring of 1995, when Vickie was pregnant with her son Reed, they purchased a piece of property on St. Andrews Church Road where the plumbing shop still stands to this day. The plumbing shop was doing a booming business when suddenly everything came to a screeching halt. In October 2002, Jack passed away from a heart attack while he was on a trip to Florida with friends. “By the time Monday morning rolled around, everyone knew at the shop, and I immediately had to make a decision,” Vickie says. “Were we going to shut it down, finish the jobs we’ve got, or sell our customer list? We had just been in our new building for six months…but our employees David and Brenda both said ‘let’s try, let’s just give it a try.’ I just didn’t want to go down in flames…but here we are 16 years later and we’re a reputable name. There’s no way I could have kept the business open if we had not had a base in place that I trusted, and still do. They were professional and knew far more about it than me.”
In addition to being a business owner, Vickie has a love for “things that once belonged to someone else.” She loves a good antique store find and spends weekends searching for treasures with her sisters. Vickie’s decorating style could be described as eclectic, fun, and unexpected. Her home sports a miniature chair collection she displays on her game room mantel, various pieces of art she purchased at the St. James Art Fair here in Louisville, and even a life-size Yoda she won at an auction at Mike Linnig’s seafood restaurant. “I started going to the St. James Art Fair in 1986 and haven’t missed a year since,” Vickie says. “That was my introduction to art that you wouldn’t see otherwise. That then sent me in a direction of enjoying antique malls…like Crazy Daisy and Distillery Commons, and now there are so many places that don’t just have antiques, they may have a 1966 vintage floor model hair dryer with the chair attached next to someone’s Hoosier cabinet.” Vickie’s home was built in 1927 and was purchased as her and Jack’s second home in 1987. “The original owners lived here from 1927 to 1957, and then Jack’s uncle Leonard lived here from 1957 to 1987, when he sold it to us,” Vickie says. “So I said I had to be here from 1987 to 2017 so I wouldn’t bring down the great old house mojo.” The seven things Vickie can’t live without are a perfect reflection of her personality, passions, and daily life.
The Bible she received as a freshman in high school “It is so written in and cross referenced, it’s been re-bound once, and it’s heavily used,” Vickie says. “If I were to lose that, it would be devastating.”
Vickie purchased this pre-owned ice chest from an auction.
Her Signature Outfit Anyone who knows Vickie knows that about 95 percent of the time she is wearing a cotton button-up with her hair pulled back in a ponytail. She loves a good cotton shirt because of its versatility. She can wear it in the summer, and it will reflect heat while in the winter it absorbs heat and allows her the ability to layer. “My hair is thick, and I think some of this may come from the fact that Jack always used to tell me he didn’t care if my hair was short, long, my natural color, as long as it was out of my face,” Vickie says. “He just thought I had a pretty face and he’d rather see that than my hair in my face. Whenever I go somewhere I always have an extra ponytail holder.”
She purchased this old lounging sofa from a shop in Bardstown.
Old Things That Belonged to Someone Else Vickie’s home is composed of pieces from all different places, eras, and styles. Entering her home is exciting because you never know what fun new pieces she has added to her collection. “A lot of what I have has been given to me and I had it reupholstered or refinished or repaired it,” Vickie says. “Not everything, but a whole, whole lot have been family pieces that were firewood, they were ready for the woodpile and I’d say ‘No, I’ll take that.’ As I got older, people came to know that and they’d say, ‘No, ask Vic, she may know someone or have a use for it.’”
Her Swiss Mickey Mouse Watch “Like any woman, I have a couple of pieces of jewelry that are special to me, but none as special as the watch that I got from my mother when I was 10 years old,” Vickie says.
Her 50 Photo Albums “I am old school. I still print photos and put them in albums,” Vickie says. “The kiosk at Walgreens and I are good friends…I love that people know they can ask me what year something happened or where we were when something happened and I can reference that. (My son) Reed had instructions when he lived here that if the house was burning down and he only had time to grab one thing, grab a photo album.”
Her 2001 Chevy Silverado named Virginia While the truck itself holds some sentiment for Vickie because it was Jack’s, it’s more about what it allows her to do that she cannot live without. Vickie is known among her friends and family for the sweet surprise of dropping in to say hi every now and then. A huge part of her life is about staying connected to the people she loves, and she would rather do so in person than via a five-minute phone call. “If I were to wait for someone to visit me, I would wait, and I don’t like to talk to people on the phone.” Vickie says. “I don’t even have a Facebook page…that’s not how I like to communicate with people. I’d much rather drop in than call to say hi. Visiting is life giving. I figure if they don’t wanna see me, they won’t answer the door!”
Her Network of People Relationships are an important part of Vickie’s life, and knowing that she can go to any number of her friends and colleagues for advice or assistance is something she is extremely grateful for. Since Jack’s passing, she has found these relationships to be most helpful, knowing she can rely on this network to offer support when she needs it, whether that be as a mother or business owner. “It’s the people I’m surrounded with that know so much more than me, of all ages,” Vickie says. “I’m a reader and a researcher and I’m a student…that’s not just personal friends and family, that’s networking. I value the network of people that I have, who I work with and who I’m friends with and who I’m mentored by. People whose council I would call on when I need to make a decision about something. It’s that same network of people that I have relied on throughout the years with Reed.”