May 1 2013
Erica Dobbs is the delightful owner of vintage store Ana Chronos located in Greenpoint Brooklyn. I instantly fell for the carefully curated unique pieces (each clothing or accessory is hand labeled with its period) but also the delicate interior of this small boutique. If you are looking for authenticity and shop in an intimate yet friendly atmosphere, you are at the right place! I asked a few questions to Erica about her path and how to be a savvy vintage shopper, read and enjoy!
1) Erica, tell us about your background and how you decided to have your own vintage boutique?
For years, vintage was always a strong hobby of mine, but it wasn’t until about 6-7 years ago that I realized that my strong hobby turned into complete passion. That’s when I knew and said to myself, HA! So that’s what I’m supposed to do in life! But the store itself came about as a twist of fate. My boyfriend and I were actually looking for live/work apartment rentals in Greenpoint. That’s when we stumbled upon 135 Franklin street.
2) How do you curate your pieces, what are your criteria of selection?
The criteria for selecting pieces is based on quality and authenticity. 20 years or older is vintage. Curating the merchandise is a bit trickier. While trying to not overcrowd, my goal is to put wearable day-to-day garments out, while sprinkling in really unique and beautiful pieces.
3) Which item(s) currently present in your store would you say are pretty special and “must have”?
I love all of my pieces, but right now with the weather so finicky I’ve been really into layering comfy maxi dresses, caftans, cozy blazers and scarves. Specifically though, I recently picked up some incredible, oversized linen blazers that I’ve been living in while at the store.
4) Do you have any advices for people passionate about vintage about how to shop great pieces and make sure they are authentic?
Finding authentic and quality vintage can be tricky and it is definitely becoming more challenging, but my advice for finding quality vintage is to thrift, thrift, thrift. Persistence and patience is key and you shouldn’t get discouraged if you walk away empty handed. It’s common and it will feel that much better when you score those gems! There are a lot of different things you can look for when determining if the pieces are vintage. Zippers and Labels are a biggie (union tags, brand designs, Made in USA) and to more accurately mark the era of the vintage piece, you want to consider other characteristics of the garment, like style, material and the construction. All of these things have unique characteristics per era.
5) Any exciting plans for the next upcoming 5 years?
I first opened the shop about two years ago and it’s been a thrilling and incredible experience. It has been equally humbling and I see this entire endeavor as a journey with an organic process and I’m looking forward to letting it unfold naturally.
135 Franklyn Street
Brooklyn 11222, NY