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Rising Stars: Meet Curtis Paul of Fayetteville

Today we’d like to introduce you to Curtis Paul.

Hi Curtis, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Over the past 5 years I have been building a treasure trove of information in my head regarding vintage apparel and style. You could say it all started with my first vintage t-shirt, the way the fabric felt or how it was perfectly worn in. Something about those subtile details that would go unnoticed by most, truly sparked a match in my head. All I wanted to know was the story behind each piece of clothing and the life it has already lived. For example, where did this 1987 Pink Floyd T-shirt come from? Was it bought at a show? Who owned this amazing item and wore it with pride? How did I end up with it? That was what really sparked my imagination for vintage clothing.

After starting my collection and quickly stacking up these pieces of material more valuable then gold to some. I swiftly realized that I couldn’t just continue hoarding everything, I needed a means of making money to afford some of my more prized pieces. On that thought I started my first online shop, selling mostly lower end vintage clothes in order to fund my ever growing love for them. After building my collection for quite some time all while working two jobs and managing the online store, I realized I wanted to take it one step farther. To build a future for myself doing something I loved.

The blessing I needed came almost one year ago to date when I was able to lock down a brick and mortar location for a store front. I had worked and saved for this exact moment, building the online shop to the point where it was sustaining me. I took the leap and quit both jobs. I had nothing more than a high school diploma and faith in my vision and myself, no credit cards, no trust funds, or investors. Just myself and the money I had saved.

It’s taken a lot of work and trust in myself to be where I am today, doing something I love full time! The journey is far from over and has barely begun but surviving an entire year, while battling an ongoing national pandemic and economic crisis, has made me very proud and grateful to be where I am today. Wouldn’t wish it any other way.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
The road has been far from smooth but its taken me to where I need to be. I have faced the struggle of teaching a mostly outdoor community that is mostly only concerned in the performance of a piece of clothing rather than the artist and story behind it, about why vintage clothing is special and truly a work of art.

Teaching and helping the community understand vintage has been a bit of a struggle, but it’s been fun. Nothing better than getting someone to realize the history and artistic value a piece of clothing has.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
I specialize in vintage T-shirts, hats, outerwear, and denim. I have more information in my head about those topics than most libraries. It’s been such an amazing journey learning what I have, and I still have so much more to learn.

When it comes to t-shirts I am a huge fan of band shirts from the 60’s, 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. I love collecting my favorite bands and learning about all the different designs printed and where they were sold. It so fascinating to hold a shirt that has been around longer than you have, it holds so much information and has seen more things than most people. If only cotton could talk.

So, before we go, how can our readers or others connect or collaborate with you? How can they support you?
The community only grows because of love and passion, I simply ask you to take some time to appreciate the little things in life such as your dads old t-shirt collection boxed up in your attic or garage.

On a more real note I’m always on the hunt for vintage and am happy to buy or trade. Some of the pieces on my “in search of” list might takes years to find without help from the community. A great way to support the shop would be to aid in the search for true vintage pieces. With the closets and attics slowly drying up it gets harder everyday to find amazing pieces. I am happy to support your wallets if you support the search and recovery of these endangered garments.

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