What do they say about marriage? You fix in the second what went wrong in the first?
Same for owners of vintage stores, says Liz Power, the 28-year-old Australian behind Awoke Vintage, which has expanded to Greenpoint in a fresh, upgraded space.
Three years ago, Power opened the original Awoke on North 5th Street in Williamsburg, just a few short months after moving from Perth to Brooklyn. She came to do the thing she loved most in the city she’d fallen in love with: Sell vintage. Power had first started selling vintage for fun in college, and if she ever managed to open her own store, she thought, it would be named after her favorite Bill Callahan album, Woke on a Whaleheart (hence, the whale printed on store shopping bags).
It might sound unlikely that a young transplant to Brooklyn could successfully open yet another vintage store in the borough of vintage stores, but Power had an especially strong read on her market. There were loads of very cheap thrift stores, and many expensive consignment shops, but few mid-range options–pieces ranging from around 20 to 100 dollars that were cool, carefully-selected, and in great, ready-to-wear condition.
I have come to find it highly difficult to leave her Williamsburg location without purchasing at least one thing, usually a beautiful print dress from Japan. I always find something unique, without having to look too hard, or spend my whole damn paycheck on that linen onesie I really, really want. If I want it, Awoke most likely has it.
Which is why I was especially excited to hear Power had opened another location in Greenpoint. The business model is more or less the same, but she was very happy to hire professionals to remodel the space at 688 Manhattan Avenue (she nabbed the same firm who did Dimes). In Williamsburg, she did the repairs on her own, and—though I’ve always been too focused on her clothes to notice—according to Power, they’re not really top of the line. Not so in Greenpoint, which also carries some favorite labels, like the London-based Lazy Oaf, and candles from Brooklyn-based Hi Wildflower.
And the stock? Well, it’s a tiny bit more tailored for the Greenpoint crowd (read: actual Brooklyn residents), she said, versus the increasingly tourist-heavy Williamsburg set. There, she’ll get a whole busload of tourists, and they’ll ask her how to walk to the Brooklyn Bridge, which is nowhere nearby. To them, all of Brooklyn is Williamsburg, she says.
“I was a tourist once, too,” said Power. “I get it.”
Find Awoke Vintage at 688 Manhattan Avenue, Greenpoint or 132 N. 5th Street, Williamsburg