[EDITOR'S NOTE — Each week, this feature section, “Movers and Makers,” will feature the stories of the movers, launchers, entrepreneurs and makers who contribute to the vitality of the Mahoning Valley. This section is supported by our first community partner, Farmers National Bank.]
AUSTINTOWN — Vintage of 330, a vintage clothing store, opened its doors inside a newly renovated area of Wedgewood Ramps Skate Park, an indoor skating park earlier this month.
The store, 1739 S. Raccoon Road, specializes in men’s 1980s and 1990s fashion, specifically sports teams' logos, university logos and band T-shirts.
Michael Jones, owner of Vintage of 330, started selling his vintage finds on Instagram in January 2019.
“[My friend’s and I have] all been into vintage clothing for years … We were going to the thrift [store] in high school at a young age like 15 and stuff and just wearing it about, and people were starting to think it was cool,” Jones said. “So, it had gotten pretty popular over the years. [Now] you see people all the time wearing vintage clothing. So one day we decided, ‘Wow it would be a great idea to open a store.’”
“There's none in our area and it's something that our area really needs because there's a lot of kids that have to go to the mall [to buy clothes] or order online from certain websites [to buy vintage], when instead now they can come right in person,” he added.
Jones, 21, and his three friends opened the first Vintage of 330 shop on the first floor of a house they were renting together in September 2019 as a test run to see if the business could be profitable.
Although Jones still has support from his original business partners, he and David Meadows, Vintage of 330 co-owner, decided to work for the clothing store full time while the other two have chosen to pursue different careers.
Meadows, 19, was approached by Russell Kaye, owner of Wedgewood Ramps Skate Park, with the idea of expanding some unopened spaces in the Skate Park to add in a Vintage of 330 store, along with other like-minded businesses.
According to Jones, Kaye plans to turn the space into an “underground mall” with other small businesses with a similar demographic to Vintage of 330, like an already existing skate shop and a barbershop.
“With the skate park, everybody that we're starting to meet and get close with, we all have a job to do together and it's basically to keep the same culture inside the whole entire business,” Jones said.
“We all get along; we're all friends. We hang out all day, all night. Like, if I'm here until 3 a.m., the skate shop is here, too, so we all hang out and do it together. It’s pretty cool being like one big community,” he added.
Meadows, 19, said Vintage of 330 has thousands of pieces in its inventory and prices range from $5 to $50 depending on factors like label, rarity, demand for the product and condition.
“For reasonable tee’s, we do a two for $15,” he said. “But everything we price is so different.”
Jones said Wedgewood Ramps Skate Park, along with Vintage of 330, plans to expand to Pennsylvania in the near future as well.
Vintage of 330 is open Thursdays from 1 to 6 p.m. and Fridays and Saturdays from noon to 6 p.m.
“Truly, to be honest, not to sound like a little kid or be giddy, but [it’s] a dream come true,” Meadows said. “My grandpa used to tell us, ‘When you know what you want to do for the rest of your life, you never work a day in your life.’ So every day we come here it's like a blessing to not wake up and be like, ‘Ugh the nine to five or flipping patties or in the factory.’”