This is Brittany. She owns the best vintage store in Brooklyn, MAHPS Vintage. Perfectly organized and curated, the store is easy to navigate, complimentary beer in hand. Something amazing can always be found and, fortunately, her price points don't do too much damage.
I visited her the other night and she picked out some outfits for me to try on!
petite tenue: Tell me about the lead-up to owning your store!
brittany: I've been selling vintage for about 8 years now and it all started when I had my own line called Fremont back in the day. I used to collect vintage as inspiration/reference samples and that collection started getting out of hand so I decided to unload some of it at a flea market. The first flea market I sold at was the Pasadena Rose Bowl. I did much better than I anticipated so I thought maybe I should do this on the regular. My line was up and running for about six years but it was during the midst of the recession so it was really hard to keep it going so I decided to take a break from designing and focus on what was accessible and successful for me which was selling vintage. I began to sell at the Melrose Trading Post in Hollywood every weekend.
petite tenue: Was it always your plan to open a vintage store?
brittany: It definitely was always my plan to open a store, and being from southern California and my whole family being there, my dilemma was deciding on where to open - Los Angeles or New York. I used to come to NY all the time for fashion week and markets and really loved being here and noticed that the vintage in New York was so expensive and very niche. There really wasn't anything like what I had in mind for a vintage store, so I decided New York would probably benefit more from what I wanted to offer.
petite tenue: Do you have a particular process when you are buying?
brittany: Yes, I do. I'm very efficient. I have my regular spots and dealers that I frequent and am always on the hunt for new resources, although I don't buy in-store. Once I've learned the floor plan, layout and merchandising of a particular place I always zig zag through every inch of the place and keep my eyes peeled for textures, colors, prints, materials and any interesting details. My eyes are well trained now and I can spot polyester which I usually avoid unless it's really, really special. I avoid the obnoxious, ugly vintage stuff and try to keep the store's aesthetic clean, sophisticated, and contemporary.
petite tenue: How hard is it to not keep everything you buy?!
brittany: Oh, believe me I keep a great deal of it, but I'm also good at letting things I don't love go because if it's not perfect or if I don't really end up wearing it, I know I'll eventually find exactly what I'm looking for. I also sew, so sometimes things just need a little altering.
petite tenue: Favorite thing about being a shop owner?
brittany: Since I'm a neighborhoody kind of shop, I have my regular customers that I've become friendly with and it makes me really happy when people buy things and express their joy of coveting items. I also love seeing people on the street in things that they've bought.
petite tenue: Any crazy stories that you have so far that you would like to share?
brittany: This is Greenpoint and some polish people are crazy. Most of them are lovely, but I've had encounters with older drunk men hanging out in the store too long and asking me out to get drinks to crazy polish ladies trying to return things and screaming at me and having to call the cops. And when the cops arrive they're are incredibly attractive which throws me off and I'm looking forward to calling them again.
We are trying to convince her to throw a party in her amazing back yard when the weather gets nice so, men-in-uniform, keep in mind that you are welcome guests!
110a nassau ave
brooklyn, ny 11222