A sourcing expedition with this year’s Best of Philly vintage store.
Located in Queen Village, this year’s Best of Philly winner for best vintage shop is run by Tracy Feldman, Jen Zimmerman and Abby Codrea, who have been peddling groovy pieces from the 60s to 2000 since it opened last fall. We took part in a supply expedition.
The trio head in Zimmerman’s partner’s SUV to three thrift stores in Fairless Hills, a 40-minute drive from their 4th Street storefront — a 1970s fever dream filled with everything from cowboy boots- retro boy in mod dresses. A group excursion is special (due to schedules, they often go solo on road trips or to local flea markets), and at each location they split up, then reunite to discuss fabulous discoveries, brainstorm to questionable items and, on occasion, exercise a hard veto.
The first is Good Stuff Thrift, where they usually look for unique artwork. But they start with the jewelry: Quality and age indicators include 925 hallmarks for silver, an 18 or 24 karat hallmark on gold, and chunky bracelets with clasps. Among the other treasures is a 1970s crochet portrait of a German Shepherd, spotted by Feldman.
The Salvation Army family store is next, for jackets, pants and menswear. Gray 1980s tweed trousers catch Codrea’s eye. (She looks at the labels and the lining; satin was popular until the mid-’80s.) Zimmerman finds two 1940s men’s work pants and Feldman grabs some 1970s pointed collar shirts.
After lunch, 2nd Ave Thrift Superstore awaits, for homewares and fashion accessories. Zimmerman immediately sees a must-have: a large porcelain cat from the 1970s.
Back at the store, the trio will clean, inspect and determine potential profits. (They spent about $330 for a trunk full of wares.) They mark up the cost but keep it affordable: Most items are under $50, with rare or high-end pieces under $200 . So, was the trip a success? Yes – and their findings are now in store.
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Philly Vintage Bazaar is located at 744 South 4th Street in Queen Village.