Savannah Camastro

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The newest member of the Bushwick vintage family, Brooklyn Vintage Company, just opened their store on June 1. Despite being a only a few days old, the one-stop shop for all things vintage seems to feel right at home.  At their soft opening on Saturday, people drifted in and out of the sunlit store, admiring the vast collection of furniture, clothing, and knickknacks.

“The turnout was beyond what we expected,” Cat Varga, a co-owner of the shop, told Bushwick Daily. “People flooded the space, spending at least 20-30 minutes just looking at everything.” While many items were sold, visitors also came to admire the new shop and welcome them to the neighborhood, “It was amazing- people came out of their way to greet us, and introduce themselves.”

After bonding over a shared passion for vintage, co-owners Cat Varga and Mike Estevez partnered up about a year ago to open up their own shop. “Mike runs an estate sale company, and I had a shipping container store on Knickerbocker. We would always joke about opening up a shop together, but then one day we just did,” Varga said.

Interior of Brooklyn Vintage Company.

At the beginning of 2019, they set out to find the perfect place for Brooklyn Vintage Company. “We know we wanted to stay in Bushwick because we both had customers here, and we wanted to continue to be a part of the growing neighborhood,” Estevez said.

Now residing in an old 1900s sewing needle factory on the corner of Irving and Himrod, the Brooklyn Vintage Company feels more like a house museum than a vintage store. Eclectic dining sets, mid-century modern furniture, and handmade, one-of a-kind clothing pieces, all live together, carefully curated by Varga and Estevez. “We believe in quality over quantity. Instead of packing in as many items as possible, we curate our space so people enjoy being here, whether they buy something or not,” Estevez explained.

Keeping Bushwick’s rapid gentrification in mind, Varga and Estevez hope to become an intersection of the old and the new.  Their main goal is to cultivate a sense of community over a shared love for history, sustainability, and collecting. “It’s heartbreaking to see how much of history ends up in landfills,” Varga said. “We’re really big on upcycling; we hope to re-contextualize these old items to show off their potential.”

Exterior of Brooklyn Vintage Company.

Their shop is home to items from every decade starting from the late 1800s. One can find a Victorian couch sitting next to a crate of Rolling Stones records, or an old Forbes magazine on a shelf of rare books.

“Not everything is for everyone, so we’re really trying to learn what people are drawn to and see how we can meet their needs with the things we have,” Varga said on staying relevant in a neighborhood already heavily populated with vintage stores.

They’re also open to working with costume designers, set designers, and students, to maximize the potential of their inventory and keep as much away from the landfill as possible. 

“This is a place for people to come learn about history as much as it is a shop,” Estevez said.

Brooklyn Vintage Company is having their official grand opening on Saturday, June 8 starting at noon at their location on 194 Irving avenue. There will be food, drinks, music, and of course, vintage available to anyone and everyone who stops by. For more updates, you can follow them on Instagram.

Cover image courtesy of Brooklyn Vintage Company.

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