Step Back In Time At Shags Vintage

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“My inventory ranges from Gibson Girl to Spice Girl,” said Alexandra Miller, when describing the vintage store she has been steadily building over the last year. “I opened my (online) store on Etsy on Sept. 21, 2019, in ode to the Earth, Wind and Fire song ‘Do You Remember the 21st Night of September.’ My love of vintage started with old music, that was really my thing. Opening on Sept. 21, was a way to pay homage to that first love.”

Miller opened Shags Vintage online, using the Etsy platform, a little over a year ago and has quickly expanded into needing a storefront. Shags Vintage will officially open on Saturday, Dec. 12, at 433 South Main Street in Hillsboro, Suite B - the back suite in the building that houses Tres Chic. While Saturday is the grand opening of Shags Vintage, Miller held a soft opening on Tuesday, Dec. 1, and opened for Imagine Hillsboro’s Friday Night Lights and Saturdays on the Square holiday shopping promotions last weekend, giving early birds the first chance to scope out the new store’s old wares.

Hillsboro’s newest store emits a strong retro vibe, with its mellow yellow walls and burnt orange borders. Patrons will find everything from vintage clothing and records to old board games and home decor. While her personal style leans more towards what she describes as the “Happy Days’’ era, ranging from the 1950s to the mid-1960s, Miller’s inventory includes items from the 1950s through the 1990s, offering a piece of nostalgia for almost everyone.

Miller’s love of old music sparked her early interest in vintage items but it was her grandmother (Gaylyn Casey) and her mother (Terri Miller) that unknowingly instilled a love of vintage clothing in Miller, through their personal style.

“I didn’t start out with the intention of opening a store,” Miller explained with a laugh. “I personally love vintage, so I would go to thrift stores and find all these great items that were really cool but didn’t fit me. I was getting such a great deal that I started buying them anyway. After awhile I realized that I was accumulating a lot of items, so I started listing them online. After the first month or so, I was hooked.”

Even with a booming online business, the recent Hillsboro High School graduate (2019) quickly found her inventory was taking over its allotted space in her family’s basement.

“When the space I had been using as a stock room started to overflow I decided to rent a storage unit,” Miller explained. “Once I started looking into storage units I realized that it would be more profitable to try to find a space that I could physically sell items out of. If I sell items that is great but if I don’t it works for the storage I need.”

In addition to selling items, Shags Vintage is always looking for new inventory to purchase.

“I used to go to thrift stores but I don’t do that very often anymore,” said Miller. “A lot of my recent acquisitions have come from people who have been using their time at home to clean out their closets. I also get a lot of inherited clothing. When a family member passes away people often turn to auction houses to help them dispense of unwanted items, but auction houses don’t take clothing. I do. I love it in fact. I always tell people that I will happily buy in bulk and sort through it myself. Often when people think of vintage they will discard the more modern items, but I’ll take the newer 1990s era things as well.”

Shags Vintage is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Items can also be purchased online at www.etsy.com/shop/Shagsvintage. Those with old items (from the 1950s and earlier to the 1990s) may contact Miller at 217-532-3626 or via email at shagsvintage@gmail.com.

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