How To Score Vintage In The Burgh

The creativity of our generation is multiplying at a rate we can’t keep up with. Although we ourselves are guilty of the fast fashion fever, sometimes it’s nice to drop into a Goodwill and rock someones old flannel. Hey, our bank accounts kind of think it’s nice too. Vintage items are a great way to save money and own something no one else owns. Fashion that’s out of style is actually in style. That’s why we asked some with-it vintage shop owners why they love what they do & how we can get our hands on some ‘previously loved’ stuff.

Lexie Rains of The Hive Bazaar

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Name: Lexie Rains
Age: 23
College Attended: Kent State University
Degree: Fashion Merchandising, Marketing and Sales
Name of shop: The Hive Bazaar

PS: What made you want to own your own Vintage business?
LR: I got into vintage when I was in high school. My mom and I would go
around to different thrift shops looking for “treasures”. I would always
gravitate towards the vintage section of the thrift stores as soon as I
would walk in. Not only did I find that the quality of the material and
make of the vintage items to be superb, but I also loved the way they
looked. As I got older I experimented with mixing vintage pieces and
started wearing it on a daily. The more I wore vintage the more I
heard the question “Where did you get that!?”. When people found
out that it was vintage that I thrifted they would get discouraged. I
hated that they didn’t think they could find awesome vintage too.
That is when I got the idea to sell vintage at an affordable cost.

PS: Where do you get the items you sell?
LR: Oh man… I go all over to find vintage. I go to Salvation Army,
Goodwill, the Goodwill Bins, flea markets, peoples’ homes, auctions,
garage sales, and estate sales. I will say I definitely found a few of
my favorite spots during my time of buying vintage. I love my local
Salvation Army. It always amazes me what people will give away! I
also love auctions. I am super competitive, so I find auctions to be
extremely exciting. With the budget I have in place I typically go to
the brick-and- mortar stores when they have their sales.

PS: What do you use as your outlet?

LR:As of now I am using Etsy. Eventually I want my own website and a
mobile pop-up shop to take to different cities and events.

PS: Is your personal style reflected in the clothing you buy for your shop?
LR: Some of my style is reflected in what I buy, but not all of it. Since this
is a business I have to buy what I know my consumer will want from
me. It can get hard sometimes to set aside my personal style when
buying. There is a lot I would love to buy because it is my style, but I
know that it just won’t sell to my girl. I always keep my customers in mind while I’m out looking for inventory and luckily a lot of my consumers have similar style to me!
PS: What’s the secret to starting a vintage shop for people who may be interested?
LR: I believe the key to everything you do is to be confident in yourself!
Sometimes you just need to trust in yourself and go with your gut
even if it scares you. It is definitely not easy at first. The beginning is
very slow, but if you’re confident and patient it will start to take off.
Also, it is extremely important to have a game plan and know your
market. Overall confidence is the key to any success. Take the risk
while being confident and follow your dreams!

PS: What are some of your favorite vintage shops in Pittsburgh?
LR: I love Highway Robbery on Carson Street. Her store is always kept
nice and her products are super affordable. Many vintage shops
overcharge on products. It is a bummer because a lot of trendy gals
don’t have the means to drop $400 on a leather concho belt.
Highway Robbery is extremely affordable and the quality is great.
The owner is also a Kent State grad. For the most part I like the
thrill of digging in discarded clothing in thrift stores to find that one
piece of gold.

PS: What’s special about your shop?
LR: I love selling vintage and it’s not just about making money. Unlike
many vintage shops I price my pieces keeping the college student in
mind. I don’t overcharge. I don’t believe in that. I like to be as
honest as possible to my customers. My customers are extremely
important to me and I try to make their experience with me as great
as possible.

PS: What do you love about vintage (/why does it inspire you)?
LR: My favorite part about vintage is its uniqueness. Rarely will you find
the same piece twice. Honestly, I think I might have found one
duplicate my entire time doing this. There is so much authenticity in
vintage clothing and I think that is super important. Also, as a fashion
student I have a true appreciation for quality and textiles. For the
most part the quality of vintage is immaculate. There is so much
craftsmanship that you won’t find today. If you think about it, these
pieces were created when there was very little technology. It is so
impressive what people were able to create without using all of the
technology we use today!

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>Check out her shop here!

>Follow her on the Gram 

Kara Shields of KVAULT VINTAGE



Name: Kara Shields
Age: 25
College Attended: Kent State
Degree: None, dropped out my senior year
Name of shop: KVAULT Vintage

PS: What made you want to own your own Vintage business?

KS:Many girls between the high school and young professional ages are stuck in this circle of buying fast fashion that doesn’t last and that makes them a replica of every other girl we see.  I want to spread vintage clothing around because not only is it durable made well and lasts but everything I offer is a one of a kind piece.  You’re not going to find another girl wearing it.

PS: Where do you get the items you sell?

KS: Every Goodwill, Salvation Army, St. Vincent de Paul and Red White and Blue store the burgh offers.

PS: What do you use as your outlet? 

KS: My main outlet right now is Instagram. I just launched my website today ( and am in the process of getting my Etsy and Depop up and running!

PS: Is your personal style reflected in the clothing you buy for your shop?

KS: Very much so.

PS: What’s the secret to starting a vintage shop for people who may be interested?

KS: Having the right mindset and creativity to look for a few pieces out of hundreds from a thrift shop and know that it embodies both quality and on trend characteristics that  yourself or potential customers want hanging in their closet.

What are some of your favorite vintage shops in Pittsburgh?

KS: I have never been to any vintage shops in the area

PS: What’s special about your shop?

KS: Every single piece is a one of a kind.  When I buy pieces I will mend them, crop them cut them, distress them to what works and stands out in the modern society we live in but also sometimes it will be mended exactly to what the customer requests.  If I buy a sweater or pair of jeans and I have not touched them yet, sometimes I will post the piece to see if anyone is interested and if they are I will ask them exactly how they would like it cut or cropped.  So it truly is one of a kind.

PS: What do you love about vintage (/why does it inspire you)?

KS: Quality, originality and the untold stories that come with every piece.

Vintage, like stated before, is truly one of a kind because you can’t join the masses in wearing a piece straight from 1982.  And if you do run into someone else that is wearing something similar to that one of a kind piece you fell in love with, well just know you have the original and they’re wearing a wannabe replica.


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>Check out her shop here!

>Follow her on the Gram 

Here’s a couple other vintage shops we found near by:

> Highway Robbery Vintage

> Three Rivers Vintage

> Juju

> Buffalo Exchange

> Hey Betty


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