Time After Time Vintage Thrift – Chapel Hill, N.C.

When Steven Schrenzel and his wife Annie Jackson decided to open a vintage store in 1983, most of their friends thought the whole thing was a pathetic idea. It was the 80s after all, and vintage wasn’t the rage it is today. Still, Schrenzel and Jackson persevered. It took them 10 years to get the store to where they wanted it.

“We haven’t become millionaires, but I can honestly, say we’ve never lost money. We’ve always been able to pay the employees, and I’ve always been able to take a salary,” Schreznel said by phone. “I’m kind of proud of that.”

He and Jackson have more than that to be proud of.

They’ve been married 32 years and have worked together for the majority of that time. Their store is a staple among local musicians and the large student population. They sell everything from vintage Pucci shirts to 1920s evening gowns. Last year GQ magazine named Time After Time one of the best vintage stores in America. Local musicians, college students and a famous men’s magazine, aren’t the only ones falling for Time After Time. The Grateful Dead, The Pixies, The Violent Femmes and Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros, have visited the store.

Although the idea for Time After Time was Jackson’s idea, they both run the business, dividing their time between the store and the warehouse. Fashion-conscious Jackson decides what clothing they should purchase and works in the store. Schrenzel handles the ordering and works in the warehouse.

They buy stuff by the truckload from as near as South Carolina and as far away as Montana. Sorting through piles of clothes, jewelry, and shoes — much of which never makes it to the store — is Schreznel’s favorite part.

“It’s kind of like a kid in a candy store,” he said. “To this day it’s still exciting to me.”

Schrenzel takes vintage seriously. It’s not just his livelihood; it’s his lifestyle. He wears vintage everyday. A room in his house is dedicated to Jackson’s extensive vintage collection. Whenever he travels, he always checks out the local vintage shops. As long as those shops are actually local and not the franchise “vintage” shops that are becoming more prevalent.

“It’s like an oxymoron!” he says raising his voice for the first time in the conversation. “A true vintage clothing store, you want to be able to know when you go in that there’s some passion there.”

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