Cool Down This Summer With Cool Stuff Vintage

 

Words by Ambar Ramirez & Carmen Macri

 

Walking into the warehouse located at the end of King St. is like stepping through a portal to another era, a vivid journey back in time. The moment you cross the threshold, a wave of nostalgia washes over you. To the right is a “Funhouse” display, bursting with treasures reminiscent of a child’s secret stash: vibrantly colored dice, miniature dinosaurs and a kaleidoscope of stickers. On the left is a shelf showcasing an array of vintage cameras and equipment. In the center of this eclectic haven is a charming floral couch, its fabric worn yet inviting, surrounded by an assortment of second-hand coffee tables. These tables are not merely functional but serve as pedestals for an array of vintage artwork and quirky decorations, each piece adding to the warehouse’s unique charm.

 

Venturing deeper, you’ll discover a room on the right dedicated entirely to vintage clothing. The racks of timeless garments invite you to sift through and find your next statement piece. To the left, a music lover’s paradise unfolds in a room brimming with records and vinyls. 

 

Every inch of the space is utilized, leaving no wall or area untouched. Vintage neon signs cast a warm, nostalgic glow, their light reflecting off the array of collectibles that fill the space. Cool Stuff Vintage is a treasure trove for thrift lovers, a dreamscape where every item has a history and every corner offers a new discovery. It’s not just a warehouse; it’s a curated experience, a tactile museum where the past is lovingly preserved and the thrill of the hunt is ever-present.

 

Thrift-loving aficionados find it thrilling to walk into a shop that seems almost overrun with art, furniture, clothes, knick-knacks and everything in between. And, it only makes sense that a vintage shop should be set up in a vintage warehouse. Four years ago, Eric and Christina Ogle bought the old Pepsi-Cola factory to turn it into a second-hand wonderland. 

 

“We just like to collect and treasure hunt. And it just became a situation where we couldn’t have everything in our tiny little house, so we would have yard sales in order to clear out some of this stuff so that we could buy and bring more stuff home,” Christina shared. “It’s just that passion; you want to go bigger.”

 

Sitting in the newly added book lounge at Cool Stuff Vintage, Christina reminisced on how when she was a child, she would beg her parents to take her to thrift stores, antique malls and neighborhood yard sales. (One person’s trash was her treasure.) And when she and Eric moved in together, they filled their house with solely second-hand items. But as the saying goes, to make room for something new (or in this case, something vintage), you must let go of something old. And both Christina and Eric saw an opportunity to turn their passions into a career.

 

They started their journey in vintage selling by doing yard sales and setting up booths at local markets. While they were able to sell a significant amount of items, the money brought in was enough to pay for Disney trips and small family excursions. In other words, not enough to support all the expenses that come with living in America. That is, until four years ago when they decided to take the leap and become full-time vintage sellers … during COVID. 

 

“I mean, in America, let’s face it, we’re a consumer society, right? So there’s stuff everywhere. There’s no shortage. But sometimes you have to really go look for it. I knew we could find the stuff and I knew she [Christina] could. We could create a fun, kind of homey, welcoming place where people would want to go with fun music and movies,” Eric explained. “So I was confident about it. I guess the biggest challenge was COVID  at the beginning and getting people, you know, to come back.”

 

The key to getting people interested in yet another vintage store was to showcase that they’re not your run-of-the-mill antique mall. Not only do they offer unique vintage items, but they also offer a unique experience.

 

“We wanted to be different. We wanted to have music. We wanted to have TVs with old shows and old movies on them. We want people to come and hang out,” Eric said. “You don’t have to buy something every time you’re here, you can come and just have fun.”

 

Recently the Ogle’s have implemented activities and workshops to involve the community such as junk journaling, book clubs and listening parties. All of these community events were inspired by the opening of their new book lounge, a room reminiscent of an enchanted 19th-century French castle. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, laden with a mix of leather-bound novels and modern-day books cover the walls. Authentic French 19th-century tables, chairs and curtains surround the room, providing a cozy fantasy-like nook for bookworms to escape everyday life. 

 

“We want it to be more of a place where you bring your friends on a Saturday afternoon and spend some time,” Christina said. “Hang out, sit in the book lounge, kick up your feet and read some magazines.”

 

And that’s the charm of Cool Stuff Vintage. You don’t have to walk in with a consumer mindset: The Ogles want to create the perfect third place for people to enjoy without spending a dime (though, we do recommend it). With free wi-fi and a perfect place to unwind, we can’t think of a better place to cool down and escape the sweltering heat this summer (pun intended).

 

To keep up with all the events, workshops and store hours, head over to coolstuffvintage.com

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