Old becomes new: 133 Vintage brings treasures to town
SHEPHERDSTOWN — Over the last couple of years, interest in vintage goods has grown across the United States. But until recently, Shepherdstown residents had to travel out of town to buy collectible items from the past.
On Nov. 9, Shepherdstown resident Johnathan “Turtle” Clingenpeel turned this situation around, opening 133 Vintage at 133 West German Street. Clingenpeel, who has been a prep chef at Blue Moon Cafe for 20 years, said he has been thinking about opening the store for many years, although his plan for opening 133 Vintage officially started in July.
“For about 15 years now its always been in the back of my mind,” Clingenpeel said. “I’ve always wanted to open a business that was related to art and design, which would give me the ability to be creative. I’ve never wanted to work at an office or any job that I was sitting around all day, bored out of my mind.
“I have a lot of friends who are into thrifting, making art and fashion, who have amazing taste and style,” Clingenpeel said, mentioning he graduated from Shepherd in 2005 with a bachelor’s degree in photography and art. “I always thought that it would be great to have a store that could feature that and give an outlet for myself and them to sell the things that we find and create.”
Clingenpeel’s interest in vintage items started many years ago, with one visit to a thrift store.
“I think I was 17 the first time I was taken to a thrift store, and found a Beastie Boys vinyl record for $1, which I thought was the coolest thing ever,” Clingenpeel said. “Ever since then, I’ve always been on the lookout for bargains and anything interesting to me.”
According to him, 133 Vintage offers everything from glassware to art to clothing, some of which is from the collection of Sara Autrey, owner of Baltimore’s “Get Shredded” vintage store.
The majority of the merchandise in 133 Vintage costs between $5 and $50, according to Clingenpeel, who said there are many reasons for the growing interest in vintage items.
“I can’t speak for other people, but personally I like the fact that you can find something that has lasted for years and years and is still useable and still looks great and will last for many more years,” Clingenpeel said. “For some it’s about collectibility, for some it’s about finding something unique and interesting that they haven’t seen before. Well-designed things are just that, well-designed, and will always look good and stand the test of time. “I don’t like that, too often, people will just throw away something they don’t need anymore and just buy something cheaply made at Walmart and then throw it away the next year. There is too much waste,” Clingenpeel said. “I can’t imagine, for example, that dishes bought at a huge box store now will still be desirable or even exist in 10 years.”
As he continues to add new additions from the 1920s-1980s to 133 Vintage’s merchandise, Clingenpeel said he hopes community members will stop in to learn more about the store and maybe find a treasure or two to take home.
“I’m looking forward to meeting new people and being a part of the community,” Clingenpeel said.
To check out 133 Vintage online, visit www.facebook.com/133vintage/ or “133 Vintage” on Instagram.