Etsy Journal

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Retro-Cool Jewels, Clothes, and Homewares From ode{vintage}

Create your own vintage eclectic vibe with rare and unique finds from this Cleveland-based treasure trove.

Vintage zodiac necklaces from ode{vintage}.

In our Featured Shop series, we shine a light on a standout shop from Etsy’s talented seller community, offering readers a behind-the-scenes look at their process and story.

Poking around a really good vintage boutique can feel like exploring a time capsule full of nostalgia and possibility. Vibrant clothing and rare objects await a fresh chapter, a new home, a reinvented look. For Olivia DeIyamu, owner of ode{vintage}, that opportunity to accentuate your originality with unique, storied pieces is what retro treasure hunting is all about. “Anything goes!” says the Cleveland-based curator, who stocks an eclectic mix of garments, jewelry, and home goods primarily from the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s, and encourages combining eras and styles as a form of self-expression. “There are so many ways to incorporate vintage in your everyday," she explains. Pair a retro patterned blouse and chunky beaded necklace with your favorite jeans. Jazz up a tabletop with a speckled stoneware centerpiece. "Style is a way of sharing who you are. Do you!”

Overflowing with an enticing assortment—think zodiac necklaces, tropical tops, Southwestern silver rings, ceramic mugs, glass candlesticks, and more—both Olivia’s online shop and her Cleveland brick-and-mortar, Slow Union, beckon you to browse. And it's no wonder her collection calls to us, considering the keen-eyed business owner has spent a decade mining online auctions and estate sales, antique malls and flea markets for quality vintage gems full of character and style. The only question now is: what wonders will she help you discover?

Read on to find out Olivia’s tips for blending eras and fashioning the perfect look, then shop the ode{vintage} collection.

A portrait of ode{vintage} shop owner Olivia in her brick-and-mortar shop in Cleveland.

Why is the concept of selling vintage important to you?

Shopping second-hand has always been something I've done. It's part of my growing-up story. When I was younger it was all about style. I went to high school in a very suburban, cookie-cutter area where everyone shopped at department stores. For my friends and I, it really was a way to define and assert ourselves. And, as a 15-year-old with no money, going to a thrift shop was a very easy way to do that. Getting older, I started incorporating vintage into other aspects of my life, like my dorm decor and interior designs—not just my closet.

How would you describe your shop’s aesthetic?

I feel like “eclectic” is the best catchall—it’s always changing. I do tend to like pieces from the seventies—in terms of clothes I’d say patterned, flowy garments that are kind of bohemian in style. With jewelry, it's a mix of really pretty southwestern sterling pieces, but then I also love gaudy eighties and nineties costume jewelry and just simple gold chains.

Vintage gold zodiac necklaces from ode{vintage}. SHOP: '70s zodiac necklaces from ode{vintage}, $34 each

Olivia arranging necklaces in her shop.

Vintage ceramic speckled vase from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Ceramic speckled vase from ode{vintage}, $23

Vintage home decor from ode{vintage}.

Leather slingbacks from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Leather slingback heels from ode{vintage}, $48

Olivia styling mannequins in her shop window.

How much does your inventory match with your own personal style?

A lot of pieces are in my personal collection before they come to the shop, so I’m always stocking stuff I really do love. It is inevitable to have to chase certain trends because you do have a customer base and people that are looking for certain things. But even within that, I don't really need to stray too far from my taste. I've been doing this for so long, people kind of know my style and will even DM me asking for certain things, or to be on the lookout, and it’s always within the realm of what I would already be sourcing.

What kinds of pieces do you get especially excited to find?

I always love finding jewelry, especially bolos. When I was doing more markets, I was definitely known as the bolo girl and a shoe girl because I had a ladder in my booth set up a bunch of shoes, and a dress form that just had a bunch of bolos on it.

Olivia showing off a handful of gold necklaces with zodiac charms.

A rose patterned crop top from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Rose-patterned crop top from ode{vintage}, $29

Olivia styling a mannequin.

Vintage copper link bracelet from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Splatter copper link bracelet from ode{vintage}, $25

Homewares available in Olivia's shop ode{vintage}.

Vintage Y2K faux croc purse from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Y2K faux croc purse from ode{vintage}, $25

Are there certain materials you're drawn to?

I love brass and gold chains—it’s just so beautiful the way the light hits them. And I cannot turn down a bead or a sequin. I love finding embellished dresses or pieces with beautiful beadwork. And then with fabrics I always look for natural fibers, like cotton, linen, felt. It's hard with some eras because you can't really escape polyester, so I check tags for the fiber content. And with clothing I also look at the union labels, and seek out things that are made in the USA.

How does sustainability factor into your vintage philosophy?

It’s infuriating to see how much of a throwaway culture we have. We need to save and love the stuff that's already in circulation. At the brick-and-mortar shop, my business partners and my mission is to give things new life, new love. It's a passion of ours. We've even started hosting mending workshops at the store. We’ll show you how to sew a button or a cool way to patch up something. It’s a way to love something you already have that you might not have reached for because it just had a minor imperfection.

Vintage floral paperbag shorts from ode{vintage}. SHOP: High-waisted floral paperbag shorts from ode{vintage}, $29

A rack of blouses in Olivia's shop.

A vintage wooden rose plate from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Wooden rose plate from ode{vintage}, $14

Olivia modeling a stack of vintage bangles.

Enamel snake earrings from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Enamel snake earrings from ode{vintage}, $24

Olivia holding up a vintage dress.

What are some ways to incorporate vintage with more modern pieces?

For people who aren’t sure where to start with vintage, try accessorizing what you already have. A purse is an easy way to add a punch to an outfit. Like, you could have a totally neutral outfit and then this really fun, colorful bag. Or dip a toe in with jewelry, like vintage gold chains or costume rings. And if you want something a little bit more bold, who doesn't love an oversized blazer or vintage sweaters? Not only do they have fun patterns, but they're probably made better than a lot of the ones you’re going to find now at your big-box, fast-fashion store. You're not only getting a fun, whimsical pattern, but you're getting good construction, too.

Are there any particularly popular styles that your customers are looking for lately?

Online, I find that my zodiac jewelry is definitely the most popular category. In the store, I find that our Y2K and nineties stuff gets the most eyes, especially for 20-somethings, who maybe didn't go through this the first time. They're like, “Give me all the low-rise pants.” That stuff is so popular in the store right now. It’s giving me flashbacks, but it’s a fun style for sure.

What’s it like seeing styles coming back around that you’ve already experienced within your lifetime?

It's cool to see how each time things come around, how it changes and how people put their own spin on it. There's different things that are trending at the same time now that maybe weren't trending or as accessible when it came around the first time. I love seeing those mashups and how people mix styles and all the different expressions.

Vintage pink glassware from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Vintage blush pink rocks glasses from ode{vintage}, $55 for set of 6

A shelf display of vintage homewares and necklaces.

Silver and stone striped ring from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Silver and stone striped geometric ring from ode{vintage}, $55

Olivia packing up a jewelry order for shipment.

Paisley floral button-down shirt from ode{vintage}. SHOP: Paisley floral button-down shirt from ode{vintage}, $37

A portrait of Olivia at her desk in her home studio.

What has running your own small business meant to you?

Last year, I finally took the leap to doing ode{vintage} full-time. It feels so freeing because I've always worked for other people. But to be able to work for yourself doing a thing that you love—to see how your talents and dynamism can be used to sustain you—that makes me feel so lucky.

Follow ode{vintage} on Instagram and Facebook.

Studio and portrait photography by Suzanne Price. Additional product photography courtesy of ode{vintage}.

Julie Schneider image
Julie Schneider

When Julie Schneider isn’t writing and editing, she’s carrying on her family’s pun tradition, making custom GIFs, or scheming in her cozy art studio. Keep up with her latest projects on Instagram.

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