On the corner of Norman Ave. and North Henry Street in Greenpoint stands an undisclosed brick warehouse that houses Dusty Rose Vintage. Inside the building are piles and piles of vintage clothes from any and every decade. Large black bins line the walls stacked on shelves that nearly reach the ceiling. Every bin is labeled and no two are the same.
The impressive collection includes everything from silk scarves and trucker hats to kids vintage, Halloween costumes, maxi dresses, and Mexican parkas. The center of the giant room contains the same black bins overflowing with dresses and blouses and shoes. One tub contains only denim shorts. The one next to it is filled with men’s sweaters. The warehouse’s owner, Maresa Ponitch said she recently realized that this is essentially her closet.
Glancing around the room as if she was seeing it all for the first time she said, “I own all this. I can do whatever I want with it.”
Thankfully for Greenpoint residents, a few weeks ago Maresa made the space public, inviting all vintage lovers in the area to come take a peak and purchase her items at affordable prices. Simply put, the stuff she’s selling is incredibly inexpensive especially for New York standards.
This Sunday September 22, 2013 from noon-6pm, Dusty Rose Vintage is having a Fall Solstice Pop-Up called The Mabon Market from local designers, plus free Tarot Readings and Nail Art. More info.
This West Coast bred woman is vintage to the core and no stranger to the fashion world.
“I would say that most days I wear 90% vintage. I grew up that way. It’s just in me.”
She began her career as a buyer for Urban Outfitters Special and Collectible Collections. After making substantial business connections in that role, she left Urban and entered the world of vintage wholesaling, which years later led her to develop her own business. She’s been selling vintage professionally for 10 years and loves every aspect of it.
“With this I work with everyone so I get to see everyone’s style,” she said. “I love style and personal style and the way that people totally approach it so differently.”
Dusty Rose Vintage specializes in wholesale merchandise for retailers, design reference and inspiration pieces, stylist rentals, recycled textiles, and TV/film costuming. Maresa has the opportunity to work with a vast array of people on a multitude of projects. She collects her substantial inventory from factories around the world that process used clothing.
“I don’t buy too far out of the country, but I buy across the United States which is really useful because different regions are good for different stuff. I cast my net pretty wide just to make sure that I’m getting a little bit of everything.”
Maresa stumbled into Greenpoint by chance when moving to the city eight years ago and hasn’t moved. She searched for the perfect warehouse in Brooklyn for more than two years before securing the space a year ago which is a mere eight blocks from her home in her beloved Greenpoint.
Having only opened her warehouse to the public a few weeks ago, Maresa says she’s already getting regular customers. She’s extremely passionate about her business and said opening a store for the public has introduced her to a new aspect of it that she appreciates immensely.
“Now that I’m open to the public and can watch people shop for themselves versus watching someone shop for other people, it’s completely different and that’s one of the reasons that I love it,” she said.
“A girl came in on Sunday and bought two awesome rompers. I saw her wearing one on the street on Monday. It was not a crazy romper, but just not something you would normally see and the way the she styled it, she looked awesome. I just love to see that.”
When asked who her favorite style icons are, Maresa drew a blank.
“I feel like the answer is different every day. I don’t even know. I have them, but they’re all so incredibly different.”
She described her adoration for Cyndi Lauper in the ‘80s and raved about Annie Hall’s androgynous feminism.
“When I work with stylists, I’m always the one asking for style icons if I’m pulling for them so I can get a sense of what they’re looking for. I have this catalog of people’s style, but I don’t know if I have one for myself. I like to change it up.”
If you’re on the prowl for vintage, Maresa urges shoppers to buy it if you love it.
“That’s what vintage is. It’s one of a kind. If you see it and you love it, you probably should grab it.”
Dusty Rose Vintage hosts open hours Tuesdays from 3-7pm and Sundays from 12-6pm. Shoppers are urged to come in and dig. On top of the public hours, Dusty Rose will be hosting a handful of events in Greenpoint throughout the fall.
Here’s a list of events they have lined up so far:
- Fall Solstice Pop Up Shop – The vibe is “nature-loving, modern gothic, witch” and the event will feature tarot readings, art, jewelry, clothing, candles, free nail art and more. (Sunday 9/22, 12-6pm)
- Fashion Bloggers Flea Market – Shop the racks of your favorite local bloggers. (Thursday 10/3, 7:30-11pm)
- Buy the Bag – Also known as a rummage sale, shoppers can purchase a bag and take home as many items as they can fit inside it. (Date TBA)
- Fall Clothing Swap – Dusty Rose hosted a clothing swap to kick off it’s new public hours. The event proved so successful, a second will be held next season. (Date TBA)
- Men’s Pop-up Shop – While details are still being finalized, the event is certain to include straight razor hot shaves for all the neighborhood’s bearded dudes. (Date TBA)
Maresa is also organizing DIY classes to make items from recycled vintage materials and is always looking for new teachers if anyone has ideas and wants to teach a class or event.