October 3, 2023

Unorthodox Vintage is a newly opened second-hand clothing store in downtown Raleigh featuring unique statement pieces and quality streetwear. Co-owners Julian Jacobs and Alexandria Taylor opened the store together in June after supporting each other through operating their own individual vintage shops. 

“We are an unorthodox pairing, but it works,” Taylor said. “It’s something you wouldn’t expect, but once you get it, it makes so much sense.”

After a year of friendship, Jacobs and Taylor came upon the space that would later become Unorthodox Vintage. They decided to become partners and create a shop that embraced self-expression and bold fashion choices.

“We balance each other out,” Taylor said. “[Jacobs] likes marketing and administration and I like aesthetics and looks. We both have our strong suits and we don’t step on each other’s toes, so it’s a perfect business marriage.” 

Jacobs and Taylor share a love for fashion and second-hand shopping through thrift stores, vintage stores and markets.

“I cared about fashion, but I didn’t really have enough money to buy what I wanted,” Jacobs said. “When I started thrifting, I realized I could buy fun pieces or sell things to be able to buy fun clothes.”

The co-owners advise students looking to start their own business to pay attention to a specific audience and remember that you don’t have to take all the advice others give you. 

“Many people will tell you how to run things, but just remember that it’s your business,” Jacobs said. “Know which advice to take and which advice not to. It’s not their business that is on the line; it’s your’s.” 

They also urge everyone to use fashion as an outlet to be independent and confident in themself.

“Pick the thing up in the store that you’re scared of,” Taylor said. “If there’s something that you think you can’t pull off, buy it. It will be a challenge, but you’ll surprise yourself.”

Taylor said the store caters to a younger audience who wants to stand out and have clothing that attracts attention and has flair.

“I’ve never been the person that wears what everyone else is wearing, so when I tried to follow the trends, I realized that my customer base wanted something different,” Taylor said. “I started shopping for what I would wear and what I would have in my closet.” 

In the coming weeks, Unorthodox Vintage will be taking part in a new pop-up market, The Burrow. The market will reflect a more intimate version of the State Farmers Market, with several vendors and a variety of items to shop from.

“We want it to be like the farmers market, but if someone lives downtown, they don’t have to drive all the way to the farmers market,” Jacobs said.

The co-owners also hope to reach out to local schools and educate young audiences about secondhand shopping and what sustainability with fashion looks like. 

“Learning about sustainability and the recirculation of clothing is extremely important to teach,” Taylor said. “Our generation is the one that cares, so being able to use that knowledge to create a sustainable business is important.”

The ultimate goal of Unorthodox Vintage is to bring distinctive pieces to Raleigh so artists and fashion enthusiasts can thrive, and younger audiences can find their individuality through fashion. 

“I don’t see many [people] like us, so we want to share this business with the community,” Taylor said. “I feel like it can be the start of breaking through and helping students to be sustainable and express themselves through clothing.”

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