Vintage clothing store owners Shayla Boyd and Jared Wise share tips on navigating secondhand apparel market

Shayla Boyd owns Street2Vintage, a secondhand clothing store located at 796 Parsons Ave. Credit: Courtesy of Shayla Boyd

Shayla Boyd owns Street2Vintage, a secondhand clothing store located at 796 Parsons Ave. Credit: Courtesy of Shayla Boyd

At age 12, Shayla Boyd stepped into a thrift store for the first time.

Searching through a seemingly endless rack of clothes, she spotted a thrilling find: a vintage Nike T-shirt, priced at just 75 cents. At that moment, Boyd discovered a passion that would one day become her career. 

In April 2023, Boyd opened her own vintage clothing shop, appropriately named Street2Vintage. Boyd said the storefront — which is located at 796 Parsons Ave. — offers secondhand clothing items from the ’70s through the 2000s. The entrepreneurial spirit that drives Boyd, however, may be symptomatic of her entire generation. 

Flexible views on work-life balance, a focus on innovation and increased digital fluency are helping Gen Z business owners reshape the world of entrepreneurship, according to a June 2022 survey conducted by Microsoft. Out of 1,000 participants, 48% reported having multiple side hustles while 62% declared their intention(s) to launch their own companies. 

Having graduated from Ohio State in 2022 with a degree in fashion and retail studies, Boyd — now 24 — said she always knew she wanted to create her own brand. 

“I really didn’t even want to go to college, but my dad said I needed to have a backup plan,” Boyd said. “I’m not really good with following other people’s directions. I don’t know what it is; it’s just hard for me to sometimes comprehend what other people want me to do. Whereas me, I know what I need to do and I just do it.” 

Through trial and error, Boyd said she has forged a brand that accurately reflects her personal style. The pop culture she encountered as a child played a significant role in this process, she said. 

“I grew up watching ’90s sitcoms like ‘The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,’ ‘Martin,’ ‘Living Single,’ stuff like that,” Boyd said. “A lot of the time, the clothes that they wore were very fascinating.”

The interior of Shayla Boyd's vintage clothing store, Street2Vintage. Credit: Courtesy of Shayla Boyd

The interior of Shayla Boyd’s vintage clothing store, Street2Vintage. Credit: Courtesy of Shayla Boyd

Despite the fact her storefront has been open for less than a year, Boyd has carved out her own niche in Columbus’ secondhand shopping community, accumulating over 4,850 followers on the shop’s Instagram page. 

Networking at events like the recent Ohio Vintage Expo on Feb. 25 has assisted Boyd in this endeavor, she said. 

Jared Wise, founder of the Ohio Vintage Expo and owner of Dayton Vintage Clothing, said people are drawn to vintage shopping for more than one reason. 

“It’s interesting that older clothing can tend to last longer due to the higher thread counts and just the way they are made,” Wise said. “I would say the biggest advantage would also be the cost, too — especially for students.”

Those new to secondhand shopping or reselling should stray away from overthinking, Wise said. 

“Just the humor and the overall fun of finding a really either cool or funny shirt that really makes your day is always fun,” Wise said. “Just to find something, even if it’s like 10 bucks or 20 bucks. It doesn’t have to be some crazy shirt. Just a nice, little, make-your-day kind of piece.”

When it comes to differentiating her shop from others in Columbus, Boyd said understanding exactly what her target market wants is critical.

 “The majority of vintage stores here are owned by men, so they don’t really understand women, how they shop and what they like,” Boyd said. “Most vintage stores here don’t have anything dedicated for women, so for me, that is one thing that sets Street2Vintage apart.”

Boyd said sourcing authentic, distinct pieces takes patience, as well as a keen eye for detail. 

“For me, I go to a lot of garage selling, estate selling and thrifting,” Boyd said. “It’s crazy what people keep.” 

With the demand for vintage clothes only growing with time, Boyd said curating a sizable inventory that still aligns with her individual tastes can be challenging. 

“It’s not like I’m trying to keep up with the trends, but it’s so easy to see what everybody is wearing because of social media,” Boyd said. “But for me, even if something is trendy, if I don’t like it and don’t feel something in me saying, ‘I could see someone in this,’ I won’t put it in the store.”

With younger consumers becoming more drawn to secondhand shopping, Boyd said she has noticed definite growth within Columbus’ thrifting community. Even so, she said committing to becoming a successful clothing reseller or vintage shopowner requires much more than just passing interest.

“It’s definitely becoming saturated,” Boyd said. “A lot of people think it’s a quick money-grab scene, but if you’re not in it and don’t have a passion for it, you’re not going to do this long-term.”

 More information about Street2Vintage can be found on its Instagram page

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