The dreamlike, synthetic sound of Sigur Ros’ “Gobbledigook” sounds from the entrance of Star Vintage, drawing second glances from passersby.
Inside, down a labyrinth-like set of stairs, Julie Baibak, an employee of the vintage store, is fixing a display of colorful baubles.
“Sigur Ros — I hung out with them backstage,” Baibak said with a laugh. “That sounds pretentious, doesn’t it?”
The entire store seems to be on display. Customers are transported to an anachronistic space that holds trinkets from all decades except the present.
A row of go-go boots in Day-Glo colors is lined up against the wall. Styrofoam mannequins in various states of undress sport neon wigs.
“We doodle on the mannequin heads,” Baibak said. “We kind of just do whatever we think will add some kind of weird flair to this place.”
Baibak said her favorite part of the job is interacting with customers.
“The people that come in the store are really interesting,” Baibak said. “You get to play dress-up with them; it’s really fun.”
Out of the numerous displays, Baibak said she is most fond of the furniture room, which is located in the back.
The furniture room houses pretty much everything one would expect to find in a living room — but with a twist. An old-fashioned television set shows flickering black-and-white static bars, and off-kilter paintings hang crookedly from the walls.
“We have customers that come in (the furniture room) all the time because it reminds them of their childhood,” Baibak said.
Baibak, who had previously worked in Toledo at a chocolate store, found her job in Ann Arbor as a spur of the moment decision.
“Whenever I think of something to do, I do it,” she said.
Her laissez-faire outlook on life has led her to a bohemian lifestyle.
“I’m kind of a bum, actually,” Baibak said. “I don’t go to school. I hang out.”