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Sunday, February 10, 2013

Self-described shopping addict turns passion for finding bargains into Fox House Vintage

Vintage shopping used to "creep" Erin Reynolds out - until she needed a more economical way to shop. Reynolds recently opened Fox House Vintage in Lexington. (Photo by Megan Smiddie)

 

By Megan Smiddie
KyForward intern
 

Located in an old second-story building with creaky wooden floors and a mix of scratched up colors on the walls, Fox House Vintage clothing and accessory store seems right at home.
 

Once people walk up the narrow gray-blue staircase to what used to be a dentist’s office and then a tattoo parlor above the Kentucky Wildcuts barber shop on Euclid Avenue, they find themselves surrounded by racks of clothes and the question of where to start.
 

Reynolds gets most of her inventory from Goodwill, estate sales and ebay. (Photo by Megan Smiddie)

Owner Erin Reynolds started out six years ago by turning a shopping addiction into a clothing store, keeping racks and rented rooms at other stores before opening her first storefront at the Woodland Triangle.
 

“It was really gradual because I didn’t take out any loans; it was more or less about consolidating,” said Reynolds. “Odds-and-ends things like a broom stick, and storefront came last.”
 

Reynolds then moved to Euclid Avenue and has a goal to keep moving up.
 

“The plan is to be here for a year and then move to Northside,” said Reynolds, but she wants to stay local. “I love Lexington because it’s growing and there’s room to do something like this here. This is my homestead.”
 

Reynolds admits that in the beginning thrift store shopping “creeped” her out, but she needed a cheaper way to shop.
 

“When you pay $5 for a dress you get more compliments on than on a dress you spend $200 on, you can’t get any better than that,” said Reynolds.
 

One of Reynolds most memorable thrift store buys was a Louis Vuitton briefcase she found at Goodwill.
 

“Even though it was an older style, it still retailed for a couple thousand dollars and I bought it for $30,” she said.
 

It is a “big deal” to Reynolds that she keeps a low price point.
 

“There’s just a rush in finding a perfectly cared for fur vest for $20,” she said.
 

Reynolds is adamant about keeping her price point low. (Photo by Megan Smiddie)

Reynolds gets most of her inventory from Goodwill, estate sales and ebay, but has also accepted things from people who want to support the place and drop things off.
 

“I am trying to get some friends from out of state to be my buyers and help me do some of the shopping as well,” said Reynolds, who is currently working two other jobs. “It’s hard to travel because I have to be here to run the shop, and when I’m not here, I am working somewhere else.”
 

Reynolds is busy right now, but that is how she likes it after a point where she was out of work for 10 months.
 

“It was so scary for those 10 months that having multiple jobs is how I feel comfortable,” said Reynolds. “I am confident in what I am doing here, but I am not confident enough at the stage I am at to not have a back-up.”
 

As Fox House continues to grow, Reynolds hopes to be able to start putting money into an anti-violent trust fund dedicated to her best friend, Chiara Levin, who was killed six years ago. That is also what sparked the name “Fox” in the title of the store.
 

“In high school we had pet names and Fox just stuck,” said Reynolds. “It’s my homage to her.”
 

Reynolds chose vintage because it’s one of a kind.
 

“The cool thing about vintage, and the best thing about vintage, is there’s always more room for people in this market. You’re always going to find different things,” she said.
 

Fox House Vintage is open Tuesday through Saturday from 12-6 p.m.
 

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