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Vintage

1 min read

Black Owned Vintage Stores You Should Know

You know what they say, “One person’s trash is another person’s treasure.”  That’s why we’ve compiled a list of Black owned vintage stores that offer one of a kind finds at great prices.

Black owned vintage stores

Mawoolisa

black owned vintage shops

 

Circ Antiques

Black Owned Vintage Stores

Fundinho Brechó

Tracy Chambers Vintage

1984V

Backtrack

Black Owned Vintage Stores

Vinti

Stuck In The Nineties

NXCV

Golden Bird Boutique

BLK MKT Vintage

Black Owned Vintage Stores

Nostalgia Boutique

Vintage and Soul

Black Owned Vintage Stores

Black Culture Vintage

Black Owned Vintage Stores

 

Tony O. Lawson


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5 mins read

This Black Owned Vintage Clothing Business Offers Cool ’90s Nostalgia

The ’90s were the best years of my life. I remember my obsession with all things Hip Hop, RnB, Black sitcoms, and the best Black movies.

That’s why I was excited to discover a Black owned vintage clothing business that specializes in ’90s era paraphernalia, and other cool items. We caught up Eric Brown Jr, the owner of Backtrack Vintage to find out more about his business.

black owned vintage
Eric Brown Jr, the owner of Backtrack Vintage

What inspired you to start your business?

I’ve always had an appreciation for great retail experiences and, initially when I decided to go into the business full time, I wanted to build an amazing brick and mortar location for people to get their vintage clothing fix. Unfortunately, I couldn’t land a retail location no matter what I did or where I looked.

So after months of searching and hearing about seven “no’s” from different landlords around the city, I decided to bet on myself and build my store inside an old school bus.

black owned vintage

I spent about 5 weeks from sunrise and sunset building the inside of the bus and I took it to the streets in April of 2019.

black owned vintageHow do you find the items you sell?

During the early days, I would basically spend an entire day inside different thrift stores, flea markets, and weekend garage sales. Now we have a great network of sellers who we source high-quality vintage garments from, as well as sourcing from some of the best vintage rag houses in Los Angeles.

In addition to those items being mindfully hand-picked to be a piece of nostalgia, we also go above and beyond to find items that are like new and restore items as needed.


What is it about the ’90s era that appeals to you?

Not only were the ’90s the era of my childhood, but it also represented a time in American history where there was a lot of abundance. For a young person during that era there was no shortage of wearable merch from movies, tv shows, and sports teams.
Black owned vintage
Plus the vast majority of garments were made here in the USA and that higher level of quality when it comes to manufacturing has really helped these vintage items last almost 30 years later. Not to mention brands like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo Sport by Ralph Lauren emerged as the trendsetters in what we would call “streetwear”.

How has business been during the past few months and what are you doing to adapt?

Initially we were definitely anxious during the beginning stages of Safer at Home Orders, and, much like most businesses, we’ve shifted to being strictly online. We’ve doubled down on the customer experience and branding, showcasing the uniqueness of our company.
Black owned vintage
Obviously getting your retail fix in an old school bus is an amazing shopping experience and we didn’t want the online Backtrack experience to be underwhelming.
Black owned vintage
Our goal is to make receiving an order from us a complete experience, from the artwork on the outside of the bag to the items they’ve purchased within it.


If you could wake up tomorrow as an expert in any area of business, which would it be and why?

I’d have to say “communication.” In all aspects of running a business, communication is key. Whether it’s with customers, vendors, or employees if you can effectively communicate you will be effective at getting your desired outcome.

It’s something that I’ve forced myself to become better at over the years and it’s definitely paying off.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

The best advice I can give would be to realize that you don’t have to be better than the next person, but you do need to be different. Nobody likes a copycat.
You should try and figure out at least 10 things that make you different than the other businesses in your field, otherwise, you’re just another person selling the same old thing.
-Tony O. Lawson 

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6 mins read

BLK MKT Vintage: A Repository of Black Cool

BLK MKT Vintage is on a mission to “preserve black vintage artifacts, collectibles, curiosities, and curate them in a way that is accessible, inspiring and affirming.“

One of our favorite millennials, Syreeta Gates, spoke with founders Kiyanna Steward + Jannah Handy about all the coolish they collect and why. This is what they had to say:

BLK MKT Vintage
BLK MKT Vintage founders, Jannah Handy and Kiyanna Steward

How have you both been able to bridge Black thought, Black love, and Black business with BLK MKT Vintage?

BLK MKT Vintage is the meeting place of so many of our own personal experiences – professional and otherwise – identities, communities, and histories. We always call this our “labor of love” because it grew from our love of black people, cultural representation of black people, and curiosity about our histories.

It’s our pride, manifested. Creativity manifested. It’s our vision for how historical artifacts and products of the past can be sustainable and part of our imagined future.

We collect everything from vintage vinyl records, concert & blaxploitation posters, magazines, Afro-diasporic textiles, and vintage signs.

BLK MKT Vintage

BLK MKT Vintage allows us and our community to think about how the black experience can be codified via aesthetics to inspire, express identities, aspirations and ultimately, pay homage. It’s thoughtful and intentional curation. That’s what we’re trying to inspire.

BLK MKT Vintage

Why preserve Black culture in this manner?

Our visceral answer to this question is “why not!”. Black people are responsible for civilization as we know and understand it. Our histories are so rich and full of resilience and diversity of thought and experience. As black women, we see this work as personal responsibility and one that begs of us, integrity, and authenticity.

We also see this work as aligned with the missions of various black cultural institutions, for example, the new “Blacksonian” in Washington, D.C., and the Schomburg center right here in New York City.

Our history is worth monuments, brick and mortar, archival sanctuaries and decades of investment – you know.

Before artifacts ever make it into museum spaces, they must be collected or made.

Someone has to attribute value to an item. In our case, BLK MKT Vintage is our admiration for black culture and black people, personified. A curated love story, if you will.

What’s your vision for BLK MKT Vintage?

Our vision for BLK MKT Vintage is to thoughtfully curate the best of black vintage curiosities, cast-off’s and collectibles in order to inspire spaces and affirm pride. We see this business as a hub of blackness – where folks can come to find everything from historical artifacts to hip varsity jackets.

A repository of black cool, we suppose – but accessible and tangible for folks. In our current model, we’re operating as an e-commerce shop, but within the next year, we’re looking to open a brick and mortar shop that be a haven of black culture, personified.

An intentional shopping experience and community space that looks to the artifacts of our past to inform our present.

BLK MKT Vintage

How have you found a market for this type of business and how do you keep your audience informed on new pieces?

We believe firmly that if there are things you want and need to see in the world that don’t exist, you should create them. We see ourselves as filling a niche that hasn’t existed yet – at least in this form.

Between the two of us and our friends, there was a desire for a space to engage our nostalgia and be affirmed, not marginalized.

Word of mouth has helped us gain proof of concept at so many moments in our journey. What started out as us selling at flea markets every weekend has moved us into the e-commerce space and soon, to a brick and mortar home.

BLK MKT Vintage

Etsy and Instagram is where the bulk of our community is and with the engagement on our site, one can see the ways in which there’s a desire to invest in black history, black business owners, black creativity and black historical memory.

BLK MKT Vintage

All of our items are shared on the Instagram account daily and purchases are made via our Etsy shop. Instagram is such a dope way to build community, and it’s the platform we chose to share that BLK MKT Vintage has to offer.

 

-Syreeta Gates

Syreeta is a Creative, Collector, Archivist. Founder of The Gates Preserve, The Gates Preserve Archive & Yo Stay Hungry. She’s committed to preserving the culture. Check for Syreeta and her work at syreetagates.com

“On a mission to push the culture forward” #TheGatesPreserve
@YoStayHungry


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