WILMINGTON — For a limited time only, a vintage clothing shop downtown will take customers back in time.
Lexi Oliveri, who owns the Antoinette Brooklyn boutique in the Williamsburg neighborhood of Brooklyn and teaches at Fashion Institute of Technology, lives in West Dover and thought of hosting a pop-up shop at a local brewery. Looking at different spots, she noticed the former Norton House Quilting in Wilmington was available for rent then it was for sale. She said she asked the owner if the space would still be available for leasing.
“The for-sale price is totally out of my price range,” she said, but the owner agreed to a rental. “I had said, ‘Well, I’d love to just do a pop up. You know, let’s see how it goes because I don’t know how the town is gonna respond.’ And everybody I talked to was like, ‘Oh my gosh, we need vintage.’”
Oliveri said The Fashion Plate is a consignment shop in downtown Wilmington and doesn’t have a lot of vintage clothing so she wouldn’t be competing.
“Plus I’m all about helping each other on anyway, just creating a buzz and a shopping town,” she said. “I basically got everybody’s blessing because I wouldn’t do it without the community’s blessing.”
Oliveri will be operating the shop out of the front of the Norton House building. The spot is in between Ratu’s and Vermont Country Store, which she described as some of “the best small business stores in Wilmington.”
Her plan is to adjust prices and products to be appropriate for Vermont but keep the Antoinette Brooklyn aesthetic. She’ll have “heritage brands” such as LL Bean, Eddie Bauer and Orvis.
Vintage clothing is typically between 20 and 100 years old.
“I’ve been collecting. I’ve been saving,” said Oliveri, who attends vintage shows and has access to warehouses. “I’m reaching out to some of my indie designers that I wanted to bring in the store but maybe didn’t make so much sense in Brooklyn but make more sense in Vermont, like really pretty knit sweaters that might be too heavy here but would be perfect in Vermont because there is a climate difference.”
Oliveri said she plans to gear some of the product toward “the Hermitage woman.” Based in Wilmington, the Hermitage Club is a private ski resort owned by its members.
A soft opening for the pop-up shop is scheduled for Thursday, with a party at 7 p.m. on Friday sponsored by Valley Craft Ales. The shop will stay open until Jan. 22, running from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday.
Asked if she believes the pop-up shop could turn into something long term, Oliveri said, “I mean, a girl can dream, right?”
“That’s the big dream, the big wish,” she said. “But I kind of have to leave it up to the universe because the building is for sale.”