On June 3, located at 143 Nassau Avenue, a new vintage thrift shop came to the Greenpoint neighborhood. Frank Vintage is the baby of Hailey Clemens. Named after the hairless cat Hailey got during the pandemic, Frank Vintage is a family affair.
Hailey Clemens co-founded Frank Vintage with her mother, Liz Clemens. Her mother told Greenpointers, “This is all her [Hailey’s] vision so I just took her vision and helped her realize it.” She helped Hailey bring it to fruition.
Liz is an interior designer and florist. She helped put up the white walls and build the shelves in the store and put together the colorful flower arrangement of dried and fresh flowers that decorates the indoor and outdoor areas of the store. She gets the flowers from her own garden and from a vendor. Liz also sells flower bouquets as a part of Frank Vintage, making the store quite distinctive. Hailey’s brother Dan, deals with the business side of things.
Hailey has been dreaming of this moment for a long time. Her love of vintage clothes and thrifting started out as a hobby and grew in college. Hailey went to FIT here in New York City and was also surrounded by a lot of cool fashionable people. She began to think of her style and as a working college student, she was thinking of how to do it on a budget. With the combination of being mindful of budget and growing up in a city with a variety of vintage and secondhand stores, she became “a product of the environment.” Soon she realized, with her mother’s suggestion, she could make money from this hobby.
Before finding the Greenpoint space and becoming a brick and mortar store, Hailey sold vintage clothes through Depop and through pop-up shops and markets. Her first pop-up shop happened to be in Greenpoint Terminal Market.
Opening in Greenpoint is so special for Hailey and her mother. Liz Clemens is a Polish immigrant, she came to this country at the age of five. She lived in Greenpoint, on Milton Street, for a couple of years before her family moved to Manhattan. She still went back to visit her aunts. Here she is 50 years later back with a business, a full circle moment indeed.
“I don’t think anywhere else I would be getting this kind of kindness and just [this] open arms kind of thing,” said Hailey Clemens about Greenpoint. “The first day we opened, two separate people said ‘Oh, well in the neighborhood once you come here you never leave’ and it’s like, I can see why like I don’t want to leave.”
Now back at home, the shop is filled with pieces that have been gifted, donated and some they have bought from estate sales or other vintage stores. The space reflects the vintage vibe with the floral wallpaper, faded patterned rugs on hardwood floors, and the assortment of items from different decades. The colors from the floral arrangement against the mainly white backdrop make the space feel vibrant as light from the window storefront streams in.
Hailey Clemens hopes Frank Vintage will become a place for everyone and that she can make it a collaborative space soon with her friends who work in the vintage and vending industry and other vendors as well. She also hopes that a second location is in the cards.
But until then, Frank Vintage is open from Tuesday to Sunday, 11 a.m – 7 p.m (times sometimes vary so check the Instagram page) so stop by to get some vintage or thrifty treasures or get a floral bouquet.