Q&A with Maresa Ponitch of Dusty Rose Vintage

Photo: Greenpointers.com/

Photo: Greenpointers.com/

When you step into Maresa Ponitch’s Dusty Rose Vintage shop in Greenpoint, Brooklyn you’ll feel like a kid stepping into an amazingly stocked candy store. Towards the front of the store are curated collections that have been carefully picked and merchandised for shoppers. The majority of the store space is filled with bins upon bins that are stuffed to capacity with clothing and accessories. If you are a more ambitious shopper you are welcomed to dive right on in, climb a ladder and submerge yourself into pounds of denim. We were also lucky enough to talk to Maresa about Dusty Rose and all things vintage!

What’s the brief Dusty Rose timeline?
I started a shop on Etsy in 2008 while I was still wholesaling elsewhere. Then I started wholesaling for myself in Brooklyn, first at a different location, and when I settled in at my new place and launched permanent public hours I expanded the name to include all aspects of the business (wholesale, retail, events, etc)

What’re the most popular items purchased from Dusty Rose?
Tough call. Definitely the basics – tees, flannel, jeans. What has really been making me happy is my customers that purchase the stuff at retail prices at the front and then go in for a dig in the wholesale area for a bargain. It shows me that this town has lots of sophisticated shoppers that understand why some things are more valuable than others and embrace both. I’m a huge fan of mixing high and low so these people feel like part of my tribe.

Photo: Dustyrosevintage.com

Photo: Dustyrosevintage.com

Has there ever been anything you ended up not wanting to get rid of? And kept for yourself?
I’ve been trying to practice a “catch and release” system since I have a typical NY closet and don’t have the space to hoard. So this allows me to play with something a few times and then give it back.

What’s the big trend right now based off of what you see your customers buying?
A lot of my clients are European so what I sell wholesale is way different than what I sell to the public shopping for themselves. I’m definitely seeing the “normcore” thing with the local public. Lots of late 90s style beanies, solid colors, ribbed sweaters… stuff I would have never bought 18 months ago. I love that I have to be ahead of the trends in order to get the right stuff in. It keeps me on my toes. But I also love that my customers have such diverse personal style that everything sells. Watching people shop in an environment that has not been curated by style or colorway or any of the other ways that the retail experience is usually spelled out is a truly fascinating thing. I am moved by people’s self presentation decisions, so it’s really cool to see how they zone in on what they want in a sea of options.

Photo: Timeout.com

Photo: Timeout.com

Can you share with us some of your favorite places to shop (vintage or not)?
I’ve been a dedicated fan of Muji socks since living in Japan in 2001. Random but true. I also love About Glamour in Williamsburg for my Japanese nostalgia cravings – they carry lots of gently used Japanese brands that I love. I like The One Well down the street from my warehouse for an unexpected selection of local and eco products that I’m not cool enough to know about. The best vintage store in the city is Ten Foot Single. No contest.

What would be the next step for Dusty Rose?
There are a few. I want to continue hosting pop-ups because I recognize what a privilege it is to be able work with the heaps of talented people in this city. I’ve been wholesaling for almost a decade so it feels really good to branch out into more event based stuff in the warehouse like classes and launch parties and interactive engagement. I will also devote some more energy to a reconstructed vintage line (both clothing and home goods). This is something I got started with at Urban Outfitters ten years ago and I’ve always really loved it. And in the next few years I’ll be exploring some options upstate. I’d love to have a satellite operation in a giant barn that could accommodate the wholesale as well as events for all of the people who are fleeing Brooklyn and need fun things to do up there.


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