As fall approaches and the temperature drops to the lower-50s, you should probably start to pull out some of your jackets from the corner of your closet or consider upgrading your closet at the Op Shop.
The shop is located in a quiet neighborhood on Charlotte Street, next to Ugly Duck Coffee. Jo Carroll, the owner of the shop, started this business as an entrepreneur five years ago as a 24-year-old college graduate from Alfred University. With her passion for art and design, she opened up this vintage shop in 2017 with the encouragement of her sister and business partner Justine Carroll.
The shop grew quickly, skyrocketing from an initial two vendors to 15 after just two years, and they now boast a total offering of 32 different vintage and handmade vendor brands. This makes the Op one of the biggest vintage shops in Rochester.
“I really think that all the different vendors really attest to the fact that you can mix and match styles, sizes, different eras, and come up with a unique style of your own,” Carroll says.
Carroll also points out that she purposefully gave each vendor a rack of their own so customers could look through each room and immerse themselves in the style of each vendor separately.
Even today, Carroll continues to run the shop with her love of design and fashion. The walls are hung and decorated with patched clothes and stylish skirts. She works with different local brands to create and produce unique clothing items. Carroll says that she is always looking for opportunities to work with local colleges and students with a passion for arts and design.
Carroll also tries to keep her stock and supplies stay on top of trends. She believes that a vintage is a form of fashion itself, as the art regularly looks to the past for restyling and refashioning. This year, the 90s and the Y2K era are very popular as fashion in the 2000s resurges, and one of the biggest pulls of the shop is its trendy stock and supplies. On display, Carroll has opted to showcase layered clothing and accessories, including sheer and lingerie. According to Carroll, clothes that were once intended to be worn as undergarments are now being styled as outerwear. “People are buying vests [and]cool corsets […] High boots are coming in style, and leather boots in general. I think ethically sourced leather, so vintage leather, is what’s going to be in style for Fall. And “maxi” – anything […] either maxi or mini. So, it’s gonna be either crop tops and wide-leg pants and maxi skirts or dresses,” says Carroll.
The shop also seeks to support minority groups, as Carroll expresses her openness to LGBTQIA+ vendors and those that offer extended sizes.
“I’m always looking for folks that are in the LGBTQIA+ themselves so that they can be a unique influencer to the ones that shop here and feel seen. Also, people offer extended sizes, so plus sizes and any vintage size from size 14 and up,” says Carroll.
The store is a five-minute walk from the Red Line shuttle stop at the Eastman Living Center and is open from Thursday to Sunday.