812 Vintage - A Hidden Gem full of Hidden Gems
I walked into the small unassuming shop on Pearl Street in New Albany and my childhood greeted me. T-shirts that I had worn as a kid, VHS tapes I had once owned, and cereal boxes I had foolishly eaten the sugary contents out of and then thrown away like garbage are now on display and for sale at 812 Vintage.
Looking through the items in the store took me back in time as a poster that once adorned the wall of my childhood friend’s bedroom reminded me of the glory days of my youth.
I quickly realized that 812 Vintage doesn’t just sell shirts and hats and jackets and trinkets, they sell memories. Memories that can transport you back to some of the happiest times of your life. Memories that leave you smiling as you move rack to rack.
When I visited 812 Vintage, a young man was working diligently behind the counter looking over some t-shirts and putting price tags on new inventory. I asked him, almost half-jokingly, “Do you own this place?” and he surprised me with a resounding “Yes I do” with an abundance of pride and excitement in his voice.
Ryan Shean, owner of 812 Vintage, dropped out of college to pursue two of his passions; 1. vintage clothing and memorabilia and 2. entrepreneurship.
For such a young soul, Ryan is passionate about what he does and he seems to understand at a high level who his clients are and what they want. At just 21-years old, I was impressed by the sense of responsibility Ryan feels towards his customers. He spoke to me about a balance he wrestles with in wanting to make a profit for his business but also not wanting to take advantage of his clients in what is a very hot vintage market the way some of his competitors do. From what I experienced he strikes this balance well by offering good quality items at fair prices.
On my visit to 812 Vintage I saw the famous Michael Jordan ‘free throw line dunk’ poster, a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle dinner tray, a Larry Bird VHS tape, and tons of vintage sports clothes ranging from shirts to jerseys, and hats to jackets. Another section of the store is reserved for vintage music items like old concert tees and posters for those looking for merch from their favorite bands from the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s.
Ryan told me he works hard to find items that he knows his clients want. He spends countless hours at flea markets, shopping online, and trading with colleagues he’s developed relationships with in the vintage industry. You can hear the pride and passion in his voice as he talks about how he has obtained certain items and it was fascinating to hear the stories of the trials and hard work he puts in to keeping his shop running and his inventory fresh.
Ryan shared that while he is still learning the business of doing business, he’s trying to help other young people see that owning your own business can be a reality with a leap of faith and hard work. He even has plans to help some local want-to-be entrepreneurs get their start as a way to give back to others. As impressed as I was with the store, I was even more impressed by this young man chasing his dream. Having said that, I think Ryan would tell you that his shop is about the merch.
Want to pick up a shirt, jersey, or poster to add to your retro collection? Then 812 Vintage is definitely a must stop on your next shopping trip. And if you are looking for a place that will take you for a trip down memory lane and make you feel like a kid again, then take a trip to New Albany and visit this store that is a hidden gem full of hidden gems.
Find out more about Ryan and 812 Vintage on his website at https://812vintage.com
*More in-store pictures available on our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/812Living
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