Walking into That Little Vintage Shop you are instantly thrown back into the 1980s. All sorts of patterned garments covering every inch of the Hartlepool store is enough to make your eyes ache. The dim lighting makes it obvious as to why neon clothing was so popular during this decade – it was the only thing you could see in shops!
Owner of the shop is Jo Johnson; wife and mother of two with a passion for live music and fashion.
Constantly bringing in new stock from the warehouse is what she loves most about having a vintage fashion business.
“I can go and get clothes by the kilogram, anything I think people will enjoy I can get at a knock down rate,” Jo said.
Hartlepool is admittedly not the most trendy town in the world, however there are a few regulars that are always popping in hoping to find a bargain.
Jo said: “Just the other day a woman came in for the first time and spent over £50 on everything from Levis denim shorts to Spiderman shirts, she couldn’t believe the clothes were genuine.”
Balancing being a mother and a worker is something that Jo demonstrates brilliantly, luckily both children are over the age of 18 so she has spare time.
Back to the subject of owning a fashion shop and Jo tells me that it isn’t as easy and enjoyable as it seems.
“We’ve moved shop twice in the last year and for months we had to trade from our own house,” She said.
“There are weeks when we might sell one shirt in five days, others we can sell ridiculous amounts, it is an unpredictable trade.”
But would Jo pack it all in? Absolutely not. Smiling she says: “When I see people coming in and looking like they’re found treasure it makes it all worthwhile.”
“Being able to make Hartlepool a bit more fashionable and driving past people knowing you’ve sold them their bespoke jacket always lightens my mood.”