While many students spend their semester focused on homework and exams, Business junior Samantha Elias is applying what she learns inside the classroom to launch a local vintage clothing store.
Specializing in remodeled and original design Elias’s shop, called The Vintage Twin, is located on East University Avenue and opened for business last Friday.
Elias entered the clothing business in August 2009, when she started selling clothes at a trunk show in New York City.
Elias said It not only sells vintage clothes, but also remodels some of its merchandise and adds its own designs with leftover fabric.
She said she “just wanted to bring it back to basics,” she said.
The store operates differently from other vintage shops, Elias said, because of its emphasis on remodeled clothing.
Some customers like Sander Bregman, a senior at Ann Arbor Community High School, said she liked The Vintage Twin because its affordable.
Bregman said he bought a “great suit” for $80.
Seventy-five percent of the store’s inventory is less than $35, according to Elias.
But Engineering freshman Emily Carroll said she had mixed feelings about the new shop’s inventory.
“They had interesting stuff, but some of the stuff they modified too much, like adding too many studs,” Carroll said.
Carroll added that she prefers The Getup Vintage Clothing, a vintage store on South State Street.
“Even though (The Getup is) more expensive, they have more things,” she said.
Bregman, as well as Ryan Shea, a junior at Ann Arbor Community High School, both said they like The Vintage Twin’s friendly atmosphere and knowledgable staff.
“(The employees) obviously know what they are talking about,” Shea said.
Elias, however, refuses to call her employees anything but “stylists” — many of whom are also artists whose work is on display in the store.
Elias said she hopes to accommodate a broad range of customers through consistently good service.
“We would like to make this so that people who are comfortable shopping in department stores are comfortable shopping here,” Elias said.
With just a few days since she opened shop, Elias said she’s uncertain what the future holds for her new business. Elias said she only has a three-month lease on the store’s current space and will have to see how business goes before deciding whether or not to renew.
“We’re just taking it one month at a time, one week at a time,” Elias said.