Mtn Scene: Commonwealth Vintage & the Rise of Treasures from Years Past

If you love American made vintage clothing but don’t have the time and patience to dig through charitable thrift stores, check out Commonwealth Vintage, downtown Lewisburg’s newest vintage clothing haven. This shop is a can’t miss location on any respectable city map (yes, it’s on the Hashtag Lewisburg City Paper Map!) because it’s right at the sweet spot of vintage gear. Nowhere else will you so easily find quality vintage jeans, jackets, tees, flannels, boots, and everything else head to toe.  Bonus: Commonwealth is dedicated to American made garments with a focus on utilitarian, ie practical attire. The inventory currently includes Union Made and Military issue clothing and brands: Levi’s, Wrangler, Woolrich, Pendleton, Pointer Brand, Carhartt, Eddie Bauer, Dickies, Five Brother, Sears and other classic American manufacturers.  To add a little extra excitement, the inventory is updated every week.

Owners Keith and Tiffany own Pop City in Richmond, VA. This is a sister shop to Commonwealth and offers more of a pop-culture centered fashion aesthetic (urban). It is located at 106 W. Broad Street and you can find used records, video games, cameras, and other nostalgic items that are more focused on the later part of the 20th century.  Commonwealth is unique to Pop City in that it serves as Keith and Tiffany’s home base so to speak. “If you come into Commonwealth, chances are you can catch some of the latest inventory that’s headed to Virginia!”

Since opening in mid-October, the duo tell us that have been blown away by the local support. “We are already seeing more familiar faces coming in to see us.  We think we’ve provided the community with a unique place to shop. Customers from out of town have also given us great feedback and have commented that they will come see us again when back in Lewisburg”

Keith and Tiffany say they look everywhere you could imagine for unique pieces.  They search through thrift and consignment shops, as well as flea markets, yard sales and antique malls.  They have also been fortunate to have friends and customers occasionally deliver or refer them to items that would fit their niche and mission. Their travels have thus far taken them to Kansas City, Denver, New Orleans, Detroit and places in between.  They go onto say, “Where we find most of our pieces actually played a small role in us laying down roots here in Lewisburg.  We started our first vintage shop in Richmond, Virginia but ended up doing a lot of our searching outside of that area and closer to the mountains for inventory.  So much success hunting for things for the shop happened nearby that we thought it just made sense to live closer to here, even if it was part time.”

They go onto say that in recent times, they have noticed more and more folks gravitating towards unique items rather than pieces you can find anywhere. “Vintage clothing in particular is probably more popular than ever and with a lot of younger people being reluctant to support ‘fast fashion.’ Buying second hand clothing is one of the most conscious investments one could make in terms of saving money as well as lessening textile waste which of course is a huge environmental concern.”

The vast majority of Keith and Tiffany’s items are priced well below what comparable items are priced in traditional retail establishments.  For example, in the winter months they carry a vast selection of heavyweight flannel shirts priced from $16-$34. They tell us that similar items at most chain stores start at around $25+ and typically are not built with quality and unique material and craftsmanship.  “Some of our rarer items will cost a little more because they lean more towards being collectors’ pieces but we price everything with affordability in mind.  We have no intentions in being an establishment that prices items out of reach for anyone.”

To find staple tees from the 90’s, legitimate fashion house outputs, and recent drops from your favorite streetwear brands, stop in Commonwealth Vintage. It’s located beside Greenbrier Valley Theatre, at 1036 E. Washington St. Hours are Tuesday and Wednesday from 12p-5:30p.  They are often open for most of the major weekend events in town.  Starting in June they plan to be open every weekend as Keith and Tiffany will most likely be calling Lewisburg home by then.

For more info, visit commonwealthvintage.com (launching soon) and follow them @commonwealthvintage on fb and insta. Also watch their weekly vintage hauls on YouTube @Vintage on the Reg.

– HashtagWV #121. January 2020.

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