As fall approaches and the temperature drops below 50 degrees, you should probably start pulling some of your jackets out of the corner of your closet or consider upgrading your closet to the Op Shop.
The shop is located in a quiet area of Charlotte Street, next to the Ugly Duck cafe. Shop owner Jo Carroll started the business as an entrepreneur five years ago at the age of 24, a graduate of Alfred University. Passionate about art and design, she opened this vintage boutique in 2017 with the encouragement of her sister and business partner Justine Carroll.
The shop has grown rapidly from two initial sellers to 15 after just two years, and they now offer a total offering of 32 different brands of vintage and handmade sellers. This makes the Op one of the largest vintage stores in Rochester.
“I really think all the different vendors really attest to the fact that you can mix and match styles, sizes, different eras and create your own style,” says Carroll.
Carroll also points out that she purposely gave each seller a rack of her own so customers could look through each room and immerse themselves in each seller’s style separately.
To this day, Carroll continues to run the store with her love of design and fashion. The walls are hung and decorated with patched clothes and stylish skirts. She works with different local brands to create and produce unique clothes. Carroll says she is always looking for opportunities to work with local colleges and students who are passionate about arts and design.
Carroll also tries to keep her stock up and the supplies stay on top of the trends. She thinks a vintage is a form of fashion in itself, as art regularly looks to the past to revamp and reshape itself. This year, the 90s and the Y2K era are very popular as 2000s fashion resurrects, and one of the biggest draws of the store is its trendy stock and supplies. On display, Carroll chose to feature layered clothing and accessories, including sheer and lingerie. Garments that were once intended to be worn as underwear are now designed as outerwear, according to Carroll. “People buy vests [and]cool corsets […] High boots are coming into fashion, and leather boots in general. I think ethically sourced leather, so vintage leather, is what’s going to be hot for fall. And “maxi” – anything […] either max or min. So it will either be crop tops and wide leg pants and long skirts or dresses,” says Carroll.
The shop is also looking to support minority groups, as Carroll expresses openness to LGBTQIA+ sellers and those offering extended sizes.
“I’m always on the lookout for people who are part of the LGBTQIA+ community themselves so they can be a unique influencer for those who shop here and feel seen. Also, people are offering extended sizes, so plus sizes and all vintage sizes starting at size 14,” says Carroll.
The store is a five-minute walk from the Red Line shuttle stop at the Eastman Living Center and is open Thursday through Sunday.