At this month's morning meet up, we were at the Hill Vintage & Knits
in the East Village. For those of you unfamiliar with Hill Vintage & Knits, it's a vintage clothing shop with a unique history: it was one of Des Moines’ first pop-up shops.
Emily Carnes and Jessica Miller, the two owners, started selling their wares - which they found at thrift stores, garage sales, and anywhere else you can find old clothes - out of the back of a 1964 camper at random sites throughout the city. The name of the business comes from the place the two young ladies met - Sherman Hill. After moving out of the trailer and into their new location in June 2012, they added the "knit" to the name and have a wall full of yarns. Later in the year, they will teach knitting classes for men and women.
I learned all of the above this morning. I knew what Hill Vintage was, and I understood the concept, but I didn't know the history. It was fun to chat with Jessica and the other YPs who were present, and by the end of the meet-up, a number of people had also purchased items. There were a lot of clothes that took me back to my youth - a Munsingwear polo (before they were known simply as Original Penguin), gaudy ties from the 80s (puppies, anyone?), ironic t-shirts (that I'd never seen before and would probably never see again) that could have only been from 1987.
We were a lot more laid back than usual at this morning meet-up - it was a small group, maybe half a dozen people, plus myself, Jessica, and Zac Bales-Henry. The environment probably had a lot to do with the laid back feel: we set up the muffins and scones from Crème, along with the coffee, on a coffee table flanked by a couple of chairs and a couch, the front store windows let in a lot of natural light, and the clothing was merchandised in a way that gave a sense of space, topped off with music playing - at just the right volume - from old speakers suspended by shiny chains. It felt more like we were in a living room than a boutique.
I probably would have never wandered into Hill Vintage & Knits on my own - vintage clothing isn't typically my style, as those of you who tease me for "waking up in a suit" know - but I probably will stop in when I'm in the area to see if the girls have any unique knit ties, or anything else that catches my eye.
When we set up our morning meet-ups, this is exactly what we're trying to accomplish - we want to expose YPs to unique businesses that they wouldn't necessarily know about or go into. I had never been into Hill Vintage, On top of that, you get to typically hear the history of that business and its owners. But wait, there's more! If you come to a morning meet-up, you'll meet someone new AND we'll feed and caffeinate you. Why wouldn't you go?