Shop Talk: Smartypants Vintage
Located in the Short North’s historic Greystone Building is a shop that is a must-see for any avid vintage enthusiast: Smartypants Vintage. Started eight years ago as an Etsy online store, owner Justina Smart started her business as a way to share her love of vintage with others. “I’m huge a advocate of repurposing things, I like putting putting out vintage items that are still great quality, often better quality than clothing that’s being manufactured today,” Smart said. “I like to put them out there because they’re still quality goods, and we don’t need to be wasting resources on new things.”
Smart moved into her Greystone location in March of last year, and has been devoted ever since to finding new homes for clothing items dating from the 1880s to the 1970s. The 1970s are the end of what Smart sees as the “true vintage” era. “Technically a piece has to be at least twenty years old for it to be considered a vintage piece. But I like to go back a little further to true vintage, because I really can’t see 80s and 90s items as vintage, I just can’t,” Smart said with a laugh. The 1970s are the cut-off point for the pieces she selects for the store, and she has everything in the store from 70s denim jumpsuits to elegant, bejeweled 1920s evening gowns.
While many of Smart’s loyal customers are knowledgeable vintage enthusiasts looking for unique pieces, she also says that she sees many younger people getting into vintage, especially high school girls on the hunt for a vintage prom dress that will stand out from the crowd. “I love to see the amount of young people that are starting to appreciate vintage,” Smart said.
But just like everything in life, fashion is cyclical, and the most sought out era tends to go with what is being heavily featured in the media at the time. Currently, it seems like people are on the hunt for clothing from the swinging 60s, thanks to the popularity of the AMC series Mad Men. “I have a lot of people coming in looking for the same styles that Joan [Holloway] and Betty [Draper] are wearing,” Smart said.
Smartypants is an amazing vintage store in a beautiful vintage building, and if you have an interest in vintage, this is a must-see.
Smartypants Vintage is located at 815 N. High St., in the old Greystone Building.
For more info, visit www.smartypantsvintage.com.