Oct. 29 2014 12:00 AM

Vintage Junkies


Last week, REO Town gained a new business that will anchor its southern edge: Vintage Junkies, a vintage clothing, furniture, home décor and jewelry store, moved into the former Kwast American Bakeries on South Washington Avenue. The store is the brainchild of friends Amy McMeeken and Aimée Macklin, who take the business’ name to heart.

“I’ve loved vintage things since I was little,” said McMeeken, 35. “My grandmother took me to a garage sale and I bought a bracelet for 25 cents. I still have it.”

“I just love ‘50s and ‘60s styles,” added Macklin, 41. “I think it’s great how fashions come back around.”

The two met through their husbands, who work together at Wolverton, a Lansing-based pet supply wholesaler. Both families live near the store.

“My aunt actually used to work here when it was the bakery,” Macklin said. “I’ve been coming in this building my whole life. It felt like coming home.”

The interior needed significant upgrades, including cutting through the concrete floors to accommodate heating vents; as a bakery, a furnace was unnecessary. They also had a fair amount of cleanup, as the building had been vacant for about 10 years, they have divided the space neatly into a retail floor, storage space and workshop area.

In addition to selling vintage goods — which the women buy online, find or have donated to them — they also feature original paintings and photography works and “upcycle” beat-up furniture and other items into art. And they plan to take full advantage of their position across the street from REACH Art

Studio to collaborate on a wooden sign for the side of the building that reads, “Welcome to REO Town.”

Vintage Junkies will have a ribbon cutting on Saturday. (The time wasn’t set as of press time, but Macklin estimates it should be around noon.) The daylong event will include giveaways, refreshments, live music and a classic car show. It was also going to serve as the official opening of the store, but it ended up opening unexpectedly a week early.

“My sister-in-law posted last Saturday that we were open before we were quite ready for it,” McMeeken said. “But I said, I guess we’re open now. So here we are.”

Vintage Junkies 1829 S. Washington Ave., Lansing 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Tuesday- Saturday; closed Sunday- Monday (517) 894-6732, reotownvintagejunkies.com