Two business partners decided to bring the vintage clothing scene, which is popular in Atlanta, to Columbus with their new store Silver Hanger.
Owners Felix Rosario and Owen Cotthaus opened the vintage clothing store in a 445-square-foot space in Highside Market on 2nd Avenue Oct. 6. The store offers vintage clothing, streetwear, accessories and select home goods.
Stores like Silver Hanger are popular in major metropolitan areas like Atlanta, Rosario told the Ledger-Enquirer, and he believes the trend will continue to grow.
“A vintage store is just different from a lot of retail clothing stores nowadays,” Rosario told the Ledger-Enquirer. “I think in the future, there’s going to be vintage stores everywhere all across the world.”
Not everything Silver Hanger sells is categorized as vintage, Cotthaus said, but most of the store’s inventory would fit in the category. In order to be considered vintage, he said, the items must be 20 years old or more.
“Anything from 2003 and prior would be considered vintage right now,” Cotthaus said. “And then there are other categories like ‘true vintage’, which is 50 years prior.”
Cotthaus and Rosario felt Columbus was the perfect location to build their business because of its proximity to Atlanta. The city is also near Alabama and not very far from Florida, Cotthaus said, with little competition from other stores.
“There really wasn’t a vintage store,” he said. “And I’ve done events here in the past, like pop-ups, and there’s strong interest. A lot of people are into it.”
Along with purchasing vintage clothes, people can also bring clothes or other items they’d like to sell to Silver Hanger. The store is willing to look at anything people might want to sell, Cotthaus said, but asks that individuals not bring a lot of items at once because of limited space in the store.
“We’ve been paying people super well,” Cotthaus said. “When people come in, we want to make sure they get something that they’re excited about, or we’re able to give them as much money as we can for something.”
All the clothes are washed and treated before they are brought into Silver Hanger to be sold, Rosario said. The store is taking extra precautions to make sure clothes are in a good condition before they’re sold, he said.
Rosario encourages people who haven’t shopped for vintage clothes before to give it a try. The experience is not like shopping at normal retail stores, he said, and the prices at Silver Hanger are affordable.
Along with being economical, shopping for vintage clothing helps reduce waste. Customers at the store are also shocked by the quality of vintage clothing, Cotthaus said.
“They’re made in the USA,” he said. “It was just a higher standard of quality back then, and you can feel it.”
As stores in Highside Market continue to open over the next few months, Cotthaus anticipates hosting vintage events at the development. He hopes to bring other people active in the vintage community to Columbus with their inventory for pop-up events.
When customers visit Silver Hanger, Cotthaus wants them to feel comfortable browsing in the store and chatting with the owner. If people are looking for something specific, he said, customers should tell the store what they’re looking for because they can find it.
The opportunity for community engagement is what makes him excited to run Silver Hanger, Cotthaus said.
“We want to meet you,” he said. “That’s the most gratifying thing is when someone walks in the door, and we now know each other.”
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