Never going out of style: Hobby of collecting turns into thrift shop (2024)

EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) — Jennifer Nava has always had a love for vintage goods.

Whether they are purses or jewelry, she loved the charm and beauty the items had.

Nava is the co-owner of Fun, Funky, Fab Vintage, a new thrift store that recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Fun, Funky, Fab Vintage is located at 3900 Rosa Ave., above Old Sheepdog Brewery, in South-Central El Paso.

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Prior to creating the store, Nava has been involved in the vintage-selling scene for over 15 years.

“I’ve been collecting since I was a teenager. When I was little, my mom would take me to garage sales, the swap and estate sales and I just grew up in that type of environment. I started liking vintage when I was little. I saw ‘Grease’ and I wanted to be Sandy, cause I liked her whole 50s vibe with the poodle skirt and I was very into fashion with my Barbies,” Nava said.

Fun, Funky, Fab Vintage has a variety of items, from clothing to knickknacks and even furniture, ranging from different eras of fashion and functionality. Nava says that there’s nothing similar to vintage in terms of quirkiness and quality.

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“If you’re talking about jewelry, if you’re talking about fashion, housewares, the quality is just a lot higher. I like the aesthetic. I think that’s what happens with a lot of people. They just like that aesthetic. It’s unique from what’s popular now,” Nava said.

While working as a teacher for the El Paso Independent School District, Nava originally only collected vintage items as a hobby. After retiring and seeing her collection outgrow her storage, she thought it was time to open up her dream store.

“When I started collecting a lot of vintage jewelry, I said that I cannot wear all this jewelry. It’s just so pretty and gorgeous but some of them are not practical, not for everyday life. They’re very lucrative, so I thought, ‘Hey, I can make some money off of these.’ So that’s when I started thinking about selling,” Nava said.

Nava says that thrifting or vintage shopping has blown up.

“It’s gotten more popular, a lot more popular. Kids, 20- to 30- somethings have gotten, in Spanish se dice ‘agarra la onda (getting the hang of it)’ They’ve gotten aware of what it is to shop vintage and it’s just super popular now,” she said.

She also says that a good amount of her customers are people from younger generations, with most items older than her shoppers.

But she also loves the reactions older people have when they see some of the items too.

“The people that come in my shop the most, I say are like between 20 and 30. I also have people my age, or a little bit older say, ‘I remember when my grandma had this’ or ‘Mom had this.’ That’s always cool. I always like that part. It’s one of my favorite parts. People take a walk down memory lane,” Nava says.

“When they’re really young, I always like taking out like the special pieces and saying, ‘Hey look at what this does’ and they’re like, ‘Oh, my god’. They don’t make things like that anymore and that’s one of the main things, aside from the quality, that I like about finding vintage things is because they don’t make them anymore. I think that’s the big thing with all vintage collectors; you’ve find something and its like I’m not going to find another one of these,” Nava said.

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With a year under her belt, Nava is enjoying her business but is also wanting to become more involved with the community.

“One of the things that I like is that we’re getting more involved with the community. We’re going to embark on a project with the EPCC students from the fashion program and the UTEP students from the fashion club, we’re still talking about it, but the plan is to have a fashion show by taking clothing that no one wants and making something new out of it,’ Nava said.

Nava is also expanding out her store layout, from playing movies with iconic stars such as Audrey Hepburn and Marylin Monroe, to adding a small reading nook for people to enjoy some of her old comics and books.

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Fun, Funky, Fab Vintage is open on from 5 to 10 p.m. on Fridays, 2 to 10 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 to 6 p.m. on Sundays. If people want up any other time, Nava is open to inviting people privately to her store.

For more information on the store, you can visit their Instagram account @funfunkyfabvintage

Never going out of style: Hobby of collecting turns into thrift shop (2024)

FAQs

Why is thrifting a good hobby? ›

Thrift shopping whether it be at stores, yard sales, or flea markets provide you with the ability to find unique items that are no longer made. Additionally, thrift stores allow you to find items you need at a deep discount such as clothing and unique gifts.

Is thrifting a skill? ›

You are so right, thrifting is a skill you acquire. Once you have 'the eye,' to sort through things effectively the more time you'll save.

Why is thrifting trendy now? ›

Thrifting has surged in popularity, especially with members of Gen Z, who value individuality and sustainability. But traditional thrift stores are seeing a decline in quality items, retail experts said. The explosive growth of the resale market and the rise of fast fashion are partly to blame.

Why do people like thrifting so much? ›

Thrifting is not only a great way for younger shoppers to experiment; it offers them an outlet through which they can stand out. Thrift stores provide looks that can essentially never be replicated. “You can find so many more unique items,” Hui said. “Someone can't just go into a store and recreate your look.

What does thrifting teach you? ›

Thrifting is not just about finding cheap items; it's also about making sustainable choices for your home. Buying pre-owned items instead of brand new ones can help reduce your carbon footprint, while also saving you money. I've learned to prioritize quality over quantity.

Is thrift slow fashion? ›

However, although originally meant to be the opposite of wasteful, thrifting is becoming the new fast fashion for me and many others. Overconsumption of thrifted clothes is a neoliberal practice that boasts a sustainable image while leading to pollution and unnecessary spending.

Why is thrifting good for you? ›

The benefits of thrifting for consumers

Save money: You can save money by purchasing secondhand clothing. Thrift stores often have much lower prices than buying new items. Update your style: Thrifting offers a wide variety of clothing types and styles to help you develop a unique and functional wardrobe.

Why does thrifting make me happy? ›

When I go to a thrift store I know the prices or the price point I will be paying, so there isn't sticker shock. My thrifting habits make me very happy. I save money, help my family, and we all look great with our finds, PLUS we are all doing something positive for the environment by not contributing to the landfills.

What are the social benefits of thrifting? ›

Secondhand shopping is a way to reduce the waste in the landfills. These are eco-friendly ways to recycle clothes and benefit the environment. Secondhand clothing stores are also a way to support your community. Most thrift stores are non-profit and creates jobs for people to have.

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