Vintage charm and eclectic fashion abound inside the walls of The Urban Eccentric in Downtown Vancouver.
The shop is located on busy Main Street but upon walking in, shoppers are immediately transported to bygone eras. The store is stocked with all sorts of relics that cater to collectors and thrift store shoppers of varying ages and style preferences. The resale clothing store specializes in vintage apparel, meaning anything older than 20 years, but they also have some modern pieces in the mix – especially those that have a vintage look. Inventory varies from week to week but some of the items that shoppers might find include velvet dresses, floral pants, sequined vests, funky boots, or sparkly costume jewelry. There really is something for everyone and what might be ugly to one person, could be another person’s gem.
The Urban Eccentric has been in business for more than two decades, and about 18 years ago, Chris Jochum purchased the store from the previous owner. Jochum had visited the store after moving to Vancouver for work, but when she heard the shop was available for purchase, she jumped at the opportunity to keep the shop’s unique urban vibe alive. Jochum credits her success so far to be a combination of several things.
“Some of the key reasons I’ve been successful include hard work and passion for what I do, but also having a good location with good property owners who want a win-win relationship with me,” she said. “I have moved the shop once and found a great location … with property owners who took pride in their properties and were fair with me regarding lease and other issues relating to the property.”
Jochum operates the store alongside one other employee and while revenue continues to grow, for the foreseeable future, she doesn’t plan on growing her staff. The community focus is part of what makes The Urban Eccentric unique, too. Neighbors in the area frequently visit the store to check in and see what kind of treasures are on the racks, and the regulars give it a down-home kind of feel.
“What makes the shop stand apart has to do with more than just quality merchandise and affordable prices,” Jochum said. “I really do believe that being warm and community minded to all who come into the shop makes us stand out. Being friendly and helpful is something that we strive for every day.”
As far as the future of The Urban Eccentric goes, Jochum recently renewed her lease in the space and believes Vancouver’s growth will have nothing but positive impact on her business.
“I still really love the work that I do, even after all of these years,” she said. “Having a resale business is incredibly rewarding. I enjoy recycling and I’m proud to have a business that’s ‘green.’ It’s important for me that my work reflect my values. I expect to continue for years to come.”
The Urban Eccentric is located at 2311 Main St., in Vancouver.