Maybe it’s the recession. Maybe it’s because everything that’s old really is new again. Or maybe it’s just that digging through a closet full of musty-smelling clothes and discovering a 1940s fur stole is a hell of a lot more satisfying than finding an imitation one at Forever 21. Whatever the reason, vintage has remained inexplicably cool, and unlike Barneys and Bloomingdale’s, vintage can be found in any corner of America. Here are three vintage gems worth the road trip.

R.G. Vintage – San Antonio, Texas

Shelby Guevara fell into vintage out of necessity.

“Growing up I never had the money to buy any new things,” the 24-year-old store owner said over the phone. “I started digging through my mom’s closet. I would take things to my grandma’s, and she would help me make things smaller.”

It’s easy to picture Guevara as one of those hip girls with an insanely cool job and a vast knowledge of the best new music. In some ways, she is one of those girls. But she’s also a wife, a mother and a savvy businesswoman, who got where she is by herself.

In her teens she ditched vintage and became a devotee of punk rock. After years of wearing nothing but black though, she realized her fashion choices were getting stale. And so, nearing her early 20s, she began incorporating vintage back into her wardrobe. Along the way, she became a bit of a vintage “treasure hunter.”

“Today I’m dressed kind of 80s. I’ve got a shirt on from like the 40s — kind of like a nightie shirt — a high-waisted skirt and some fringe booties,” she said. “The only thing I wear new is undergarments.”

After getting married at 19, she and her husband began looking for a new home. She wanted to open an online store through Etsy or Ebay to sell her vintage finds, but she never planned to open a brick and mortar one. Until she of course, found the perfect place.

“I just happened to find a live/work space and I was like, ‘Oh my god, we have to do this right now.’”

That was in 2006. It started as a thrift store with Guevara putting her collection up on the walls. Around the second year of the store’s opening, she noticed a resurgence in vintage, so she started hunting down older pieces for the R.G. Vintage. But it wasn’t until the third year that she began to offer custom reconstructions, once she noticed how much it helped move merchandise.

It’s been a learn-as-you-go kind of approach, but it’s paid off for Guevara. “We’re one of the few vintage stores left in San Antonio now,” she said.

For Guevara, she’s living her dream job, getting to style people for a living. And she’s doing it all on her own terms.

“I don’t like working for other people,” she said. “I like making things and creating things.”

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