MORTON – A beautiful space inspired a mother-daughter duo to open the vintage Funky Pumpkin clothing store in downtown Morton.
The location, which once housed the Miller Bakery, was such a neat space that Stephanie Brown and her 16-year-old daughter Olivia felt compelled to make it their own.
“This building is so cool,” Stephanie said during a recent tour around the two-room space. “The owner of the building made this yard. He was part of that room. I think she ripped off the roof and put that wall up. The court is also ours.
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Part of the deal consisted of a gigantic ventilation hood and huge table, both of which had to stay in the space. Mother and daughter creatively reused the ventilation hood in a walk-in closet, and the table is now covered in jeans.
While the pair weren’t sure exactly what type of business they wanted to start when they first entered the space, it wasn’t long before they got the idea for a vintage clothing store.
“Vintage clothing is something we both love,” Stephanie said. “We go to thrift stores all the time, wherever we have lived. We lived in California for a while, and they have some cute shops like this, so we kind of wanted to bring that back to Morton, stuff that we love from other cities. ”
The Browns sell clothing for men, women and children. They get their clothes from a California seller who spends hours rummaging through stores where clothes are sold by the pound.
“They have a list of what we’re looking for. They send us high quality things, and they wash and fix them before they send them to us, ”said Stéphanie.
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The Browns love vintage clothes not only because they are environmentally friendly, but also because older clothes tend to be of higher quality than newer clothes sold in stores today.
“We’ve found that our vintage jeans just fit better and last longer than the new type of jeans mixed with synthetic fabrics to make them stretchy,” Olivia said. “They don’t last that long, and they have holes, and they just aren’t as good.”
In addition to jeans, the store offers a wide variety of types of clothing, from coats to sweaters, dresses and accessories. Their merchandise dates from the 1940s through the early 2000s. The Funky Pumpkin also has a large selection of vintage t-shirts, including a 1970s Pink Floyd T concert that takes up top-notch exhibition space.
The store also offers old and new jewelry, hats and crystals. Most things are priced under $ 50, but sometimes a very special piece is priced over $ 100.
Olivia has been the main trader since the store opened in June. She has been involved in every aspect of the business, from designing the store logo and labels to setting up displays and even finding the originator of a bad check – one of the first customers to enter the store after it opens.
“I was so proud of the way she handled it, and it was only our second opening day. It was like eight hundred dollars worth of stuff, ”Stephanie said. “So we learned a lot right away – now we don’t take personal checks anymore. ”
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The business has been well received in Morton, said Stephanie.
“It’s fun to create something and make other people like it too,” she said. “It’s really fun for me because I love to be creative, and Olivia loves to be creative, and then people love her too – it’s like, ‘Oh, that’s fun.'”
Leslie Renken can be reached at (309) 370-5087 or [email protected] Follow her on Facebook.com/leslie.renken.