Love of ‘vintage’ fabrics inspires new Rifle business
Citizen Telegram Editor
Cari Holland is an admitted fabric fondler.
She likes the feel of all kinds of cloths and materials, especially what are considered “vintage” fabrics.
Now, she has the perfect outlet. Holland opened Sew Vintage, 201 W. Second St., at the corner of West 2nd Street and West Avenue in downtown Rifle, a little over three weeks ago. Holland’s store shares the building with the Country Attic consignment shop.
“I’ve been collecting vintage material for 30 years, ever since my grandmother introduced me to it when I was a teenager,” Holland said. “She let me fondle the fabrics. I’m definitely a fabric fondler.”
The 550-square-foot store offers authentic vintage fabrics, notions, trims, linens and clothing, along with handmade gifts. Vintage items date from the 1940s to present times, with most of it between the 1950s and 70s, Holland said.
“It’s mostly the style of the fabric,” she explained of what she thinks of as “vintage” material. “Crazy prints, really colorful, and most of them here are made in the USA and are one-of-a-kind new, old stock.”
Vintage fabrics can be used to make clothing, curtains, bedding, quilts, pretty much anything, Holland said.
“Even if someone doesn’t sew, they can drape some of these fabrics over the back of their couch,” she added.
“Upcycling” vintage sweaters into small gift items and old pillow cases into young girls’ dresses or a kitchen apron are items Holland has on hand in Sew Vintage.
A lot of the vintage fabrics and materials Holland has came from estate sales and after rummaging through piles of clothes in thrift stores, along with online sources.
“Many of the things I find at estate sales have never even been used, because the owner thought they were too pretty to put out,” Holland added. “So they look just like new. It’s like the thrill of the find and the hunt when I find something really neat.”
Her prices are higher than what people pay for used clothes in thrift stores, Holland said, but the quality and appearance are much better.
Vintage fabric and clothing stores are becoming more popular in large metro areas, Holland said, but with much higher prices than she charges in Rifle.
Holland also hopes to start offering beginning sewing classes at Sew Vintage in July.
“I hope to make Sew Vintage a hub for sewing and crafting here in the Rifle area and reintroduce these lost treasures and skills to the community,” she wrote in an email. “Vintage is my passion and this is a lifelong dream of mine. “
Holland joined the Rifle Area Chamber of Commerce and said she’s confident “that once I get the word out that I’m here, people will enjoy coming in and finding out what I have to offer.”
For the last seven years, Holland worked as a computer software technician in Glenwood Springs, so her career has definitely changed direction.
“I’m having a blast,” she said. “The people who come in are all really excited at what they see, even if they don’t buy something.”
Word of mouth and a Facebook page are Holland’s planned promotion effort as a new business, along with noticeable signs on the outside of the building.
Sew Vintage is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Holland can be reached at (970) 309-8205.
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