Around Town is all about celebrating the details and finding things that say Y-O-U. One way we tend to do that is through our homes and through the shops where we hunt for home.
On the Hunt & Home part of the site, you’ll find lots of Philly interiors that are full of unique things. I’m proud to say that a lot of those things were found in our very own city at our very own Philly-born JINXED.
JINXED is a retail brand comprised of five stores that sell vintage decor, housewares and t-shirts while also supporting underground artists and small businesses in the Philly area. What sets them apart is their unconventionally fairly priced vintage and their cool-yet-not-too-cool shop attitude!
In addition to the shops JINXED also sells some pieces daily through Instagram. If you don't follow them already, you should check them out! You never know when that perfect piece will pop up. Just act quickly, because they sell immediately.
S H O P T A L K
On the eve of the official opening of their FIFTH store- Grand Opening this Saturday, Dec. 12th, from 12-8PM @4521 Baltimore Ave, West Philly- I met up with the Philly born shop-owner, Mike Supermodel, to talk about the evolution of the business.
The first thing I asked him was how he wound up with five stores, most of which opened in just the past few years. His response: “things happen by accident- but, not really.”
Okay, I thought. Please explain...
U N E X P E C T E D B E G I N N I N G S
When Mike bought JINXED in 2004 it was a t-shirt company and the original store was on 4th street, just south of South street.
I was in high school at the time, and what I remember is an obscure little shop with lots of street-style art and in-your-face-shirts. I also remember Mike being a little intimidating, but no furniture to speak of. Then the recession hit and South Street, along with most of the stores on it, kind of trailed off.
At that point, JINXED shifted its focus to going to Tattoo Conventions where Mike continued to sell shirts. Through that scene, he also met a few other business owners who eventually asked him to share a retail space. And so, the JINXED store at the Piazza in Northern Liberties was born.
But when the other renters sharing the storefront ultimately decided to move on to other things, Mike was left with a big space and not a lot to fill it. Not wanting to close the store, he hit the streets to try to come up with a plan.
Where he wound up was at the intersection of Kensington and Allegheny, probably one of the gnarliest drug corners in Philly at the time. But, what he found there wasn't what anyone might expect.
In Philly, especially in the deep pocket neighborhoods farther from downtown, you'll often find furniture being sold on the street. K and A, in particular, was usually host to "clean-out guys" gutting houses and looking to make a buck off of someone's unwanted stuff. Mike? He saw it, he realized he could sell it, and then he hooked a boat trailer and some plywood up to his two-door Ford Explorer and loaded it all up.
Then, without jacking the price up too much, he sold it.
And so, not quite on purpose and not quite by mistake, JINXED became the JINXED that you see today.
But, even with access to all these unique pieces, you won't find any of it at Mike's house. "Selling this stuff," he says, "it changes the way you live." Because, if there's anything he's learned from selling vintage, it's that there's no point in holding on to anything. 'Cause at the end of the day, "this is just all of the stuff that won't fit in the coffin."
M O R E T H A N J U S T D E C O R
There are two other things that I love about JINXED and both have to do with communities that JINXED supports. One is the community of artists and the other is the community of business owners.
Perhaps what's so awesome is that you can tell that JINXED has a real relationship with both.
Take the relationship with the art world, for example. JINXED does something a lot of retail owners fail at, which is keeping things exclusive and accessible.
In other words, you can find art at JINXED that you might not see anywhere else. But anyone can see it or buy it, and they can do so without the usual gallery attitude that goes with it. I'm not a particularly art-savvy person, so I can really appreciate that! And the artists who just want to get out there, I'm sure they appreciate that too.
But, what I love most about JINXED is that it's from Philly and that it's part of our little city circle of life.
In fact, a few years ago- before I had ever formally met Mike or really knew much about the store- I ran into a friend who jokingly was making fun of me for seeing me there so often. At the time, I was a little embarrassed. But years later, I'm glad I'm still doing just that.
When I shop at JINXED I know that I'm supporting a small business. And more importantly, I know that they are supporting other local businesses too.
Take, for example, this weekend's JINXED West Philly Store Grand Opening. In addition to the artwork shown above by Kate Harrold, you'll also find Philly-based Little Baby's Ice Cream. They'll be there with a special JINXED "Box Truck" flavor. And if you attend this weekend's event, you'll get to be a part of the community and support all three.
And that is a detail of city living that's really worth celebrating.
JINXED WEST PHILLY
GRAND OPENING - Saturday Dec. 12th, 12-8PM @ 4521 BALTIMORE AVE
Featuring Artwork by KATE HARROLD, Curated by GUSH GALLERY