A new business in the Woodstock neighborhood not only offers savings, but often memories as well...

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - In the new vintage thrift shop at 42nd Avenue on Woodstock Boulevard, we found owner Brian Phelps and his dog Mommas, being visited by his friend George Patrina, who dresses in costumes - this ones Bigfoot - to let people know that the new shop is now open. (He usually does it outside on Sundays.)  In the space of a former print shop adjacent to the Woodstock UPS Store, an eclectic thrift boutique has opened. The new shop, "The Vintage Attic", at 4203 S.E. Woodstock, is owned by Brian Phelps — who grew up and went to school in the Brentwood-Darlington neighborhood.

"I was really trying to find a booth [in a second-hand boutique] for myself, but I went around to places, and there was a two year 'wait list' for many — and I decided there must be a demand for vintage. So I decided to open my own shop.

"Most vintage shops have started to turn away from knick-knacks and other vintage goods. Many are mostly clothing."

But Phelps wanted a more comprehensive, hand-picked vintage collection. The shop is offering vintage tee shirts, baseball caps, toys, knick-knacks, a large collection of vintage long playing records (LP's), CD's, pottery, movies, clothing, furniture, small appliances, books, and even a vintage 1970s wedding dress.

The Vintage Attic has ten vendor spaces inside, displaying unique items. "I have collectibles — like vintage miniature cars with advertising on them," Phelps remarks, while giving THE BEE a tour of the shop.

As a single dad for ten years, with sole custody of his ten-year old daughter and eight-year old son, Phelps has learned to be resourceful -- and also very empathetic to those engaged in single parenting. "It was a big turnaround for me. It gave me a whole new outlook on what a lot of women [and men] have to do as single parents." The organizing skills, patience, and perseverance he's learned over the past ten years have been a help in setting up his shop.

Phelps' good friend George Patrina has a liking for costumes and has acquired about forty. He is hoping to start an entertainment business (birthday parties) and advertising gig with the costumes, but in the meantime he can be seen on the boulevard wearing his Bigfoot suit or some other costume, with a sign in his hand, letting people know that Vintage Attic, at 4203 S.E. Woodstock Boulevard, is open for business.

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