The Facebook profile photo for Get Shredded Vintage is the store’s proprietor, Sara Autrey, dressed in a retro yellow top with black-and-white streaks and blue-rimmed shades, her head covered in streamers that resemble the glow and translucence of bubbles.
It’s surprisingly evocative of the store, which opened for business today offering an eclectic and fun mix of vintage clothes, mid-mod kitchen accessories, kitschy curios and music, art and jewelry by local artists.
Aside from the picture, Autrey’s unique style is certainly familiar to anyone who’s seen her play bass and sing in the local indie rock band Wing Dam. She’s a fan of classic staples as well as funkier, unique pieces, and that’s reflected in the current offerings on the racks at Get Shredded.
The selection includes oddities such as an old military cape from the state of New Hampshire and favorite standards like well-maintained flannel shirts and floral print dresses.
“This is actually kind of an amalgamation of all my phases in one place,” she says.
The home goods section offers a range from the stately (’60s-era glasses with print designs, classic-looking desk fans) to the kitschy (“Garfield” cups and a Thermos, a hanging yellow shag rug with mushrooms printed on it) to the fun (vintage board games, the aforementioned “Garfield” merch).
And in one of the nicer touches, there’s dedicated space for selling CDs, records, tapes and T-shirts from local bands, including Chiffon, Romantic States and Autrey’s own group.
“I have more bands bringing stuff down, which excites me greatly,” she says.
There’s also a line of specially designed fabric necklaces by Gina Denton, epsom salts and bath bombs by Amy Reid (also of Chiffon) and needlework by Sarah Magida of hands showing off elaborately painted fingernails in a claw-like pose, among the locally produced merchandise.
Autrey says she and Denton will also work on an up-cycle clothing line, taking older articles of clothing and fusing them together or adding embellishments to make them altogether new.
Surprisingly, Autrey says the whole effort came together in roughly six weeks. She saw the “For Rent” sign in the window of the store, located around the corner from Boz’s Burger Bistro, and decided it was time to leave the service industry and expand on her love of scouring thrift shops and eBay.
“It became what it is,” she says. “It was strangely organic.”
The name is a nod to the communal experience of seeing live music, and it’s the same name Autrey used for an interview series she started with the hope of connecting audiences to their favorite artist or an artist they might not know a lot about.
She has a similar goal for the store, with plans to hold workshops for the arts or poetry readings in the future. And she says she may get permits to hold small musical performances.
On Friday, she will celebrate the store’s opening with drinks and DJ sets from Lexie Mountain and DJ Gurl Crush.
With her store located so close to the Johns Hopkins University campus, Autrey says she hopes Get Shredded Vintage will help students and neighbors connect with the local arts scene.
“I’d just like to make it easier for newcomers to feel welcome to and a part of the music and arts scene in Baltimore, because that’s what drew me here,” she says.
Growing up in southern Virginia “as a weird person in a rural area,” Autrey says she knew she was different. A chance meeting with a now-former Baltimore artist while living in West Virginia introduced her to other Baltimore musicians, and she decided to move to a more welcoming place.
“Feeling accepted by that community and being a part of it was the ultimate goal,” she says.