COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — It all started with a dream and a suitcase.
“I originally started Thrift Junkie Vintage when I was living in northern California out of a suitcase,” said Lauren Salant, owner of Thrift Junkie Vintage. “I would go to farm and art markets and sell the jewelry that I made as well as cool scarves and other knickknacks.”
But as Salant’s dream grew, her store needed to grow with it.
“Eventually that grew to me selling on Etsy which eventually grew to me buying a camper up in Denver, bringing it down to Colorado Springs and then five months ago turning it into Thrift Junkie Vintage, the mobile boutique,” said Salant.
It’s a first of its kind for Colorado Springs, but it’s part of a mobile retail movement that’s taking off across the country.
“It’s really, really cool that it’s finally here in Colorado Springs. There’s nothing like that here. It’s so new and different and unique and it’s amazing to see it. It’s really here! Right behind us!” said Abbey Koshak, friend and customer of Salant’s.
The shop has been open for a little less than six months, but it’s been a goal of Salant’s for more than 10 years. She said it’s been a long road to get to where she is today.
“I actually bought the camper about a year and a half ago and so it’s been a process over a solid year of gutting out the interior, renovating it, putting in wood flooring, a full dressing room, clothing racks as well as painting the outside,” she said.
And there were definitely some bumps along the way.
“I’ve been rained out four times now, I’ve been hailed on, I’ve been snowed on,” she said.
But Salant and her camper, which she affectionately named “Sammy” after her grandfather, rolled on.
“To finally see it, it’s like seeing a finished beautiful painting. It’s like she has put so much work into this,” said Koshak.
“Oh my gosh, it feels amazing!” said Salant.
Thrift Junkie Vintage showcases vintage clothing, goods and wares, as well as vintage-inspired pieces.
“If you really want to find something that nobody else has, something that maybe you didn’t know that you needed, or something that would just brighten up your day if you found it here, there’s so many different things here,” said Koshak.
Shoppers might even find some inspiration, to dream big.
“I would say that if you have a dream you can make it a reality. You just have to realize that it takes about 500 steps to get there and each one of them is very short, so you have to take each step as a small victory and keep going,” said Salant. “And every time you get defeated, just get back up again and dust it off and you can make anything you want to happen, happen.”
Salant’s ultimate goal is to open a brick and mortar store in Colorado Springs but continue the mobile boutique as well.
Salant also hosts private parties and accepts donations of vintage items.