Animal rugs, maps and posters line the wall, spread out between odd items like oversized owl clocks. A closed coffin containing the remains of a human skeleton sits underneath a window. Clothing racks with everything from T-shirts to dresses line the center of the store, spilling out onto the front porch.
Cellar Door Vintage is a new clothing store owned by a husband and wife duo that opened last Tuesday on Sixth Street between Roosevelt and Garfield streets, replacing Nostra Style House that moved recently.
The majority of the store’s stock is T-shirts representing a long range of styles from decades past. T-shirts may have the highest quantity of items but there are many other items for store dwellers to browse. Cellar Door Vintage also offers purses, bags, luggage, past movie memorabilia – like a Stormtrooper helmet, old maps, paintings and other clothing.
“We carry a wide range of styles and tastes. It’s not one specific time period or genre of clothing,” co-owner Jake Ooley said.
The most expensive item in the store is a $10,000 human skeleton acquired at an auction. Although the Ooleys do not know the person inside of their shop’s coffin, they do know the Odd Fellows purchased it in the 1880s for ceremonial purposes.
Before Jake and Eyndia Ooley officially opened their doors on Tuesday, Cellar Door Vintage was already becoming established in the Roosevelt Row as they sold items in a temporary booth. The doors were opened during the February First Friday art walk and a “good amount” of customers came to the shop, Jake Ooley said.
Although the shop is new, Jake and Eyndia Ooley are not by any means new to the business of selling vintage items and goods. The couple became interested in vintage clothing and décor about a year and a half ago and began selling items on eBay.
Many of the first items they acquired came from Jake’s parents. The rest were purchased as they traveled across the United States from New York to California.
Eventually, they decided to stop traveling and open up shop. Because the couple had grown up in small towns they decided to settle down in Phoenix because it’s a good location and is growing quickly, Eyndia said. They still plan on selling items on eBay and shop locally in Arizona to obtain more vintage items. They expect to see a lot of customers because of their large collection.
“I feel like it’s similar as before,” Jake said. “The only difference is now it’s marketing an entire store versus an individual item.”
Chiara Altobelli, a 24-year-old accountant living in downtown Phoenix, said Jake Ooley was “nice and super friendly.”
“They have the most amazing T-shirt collection I’ve ever seen,” Altobelli said. “I’m a T-shirt, grungy jeans kind of girl so I like that they have an amazing collection of random T-shirts.”
She also said the store was affordable and “different from most vintage stores around here.”
Currently Jake and Eyndia are the only two employees at Cellar Door Vintage. They do see themselves hiring other full-time employees in the future. Ideally, they would like to work only a couple of days a week so they can spend more time with their three kids.
In addition to hiring more staff, the Ooleys plan on expanding their markets to include students on the Downtown campus as well as the larger Phoenix community.
“I’m really excited about our different customers,” Eyndia said. “It’s nice selling something they will enjoy and use and love.”
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Alexis Macklin contributed to this report.