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July 25, 2011 - Image 7

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Publication:
Michigan Daily Summer Weekly, 2011-07-25

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Monday, July 25, 2011
The Michigan Daily - michigandaily.com
*New vintage shop opens on East Liberty Street

Avtomobile offers
residents homemade
and vintage goods
By JULIA
SMITH-EPPSTEINER
ManagingArts Editor
Sandwiched between Kolos-
sos Printing and Vahan's Clothing
& Tailoring on East Liberty Street
lays a new vintage shop called
Avtomobile, abound with flowers,
heaps of one-of-a-kind clothing
pieces and original sketch art.
20-year-old owners Maris
Turner and Sara Renner said Avto-
mobile - pronounced Automobile
- isn't focused on specific eras or
appealing to costume parties like
other vintage stores in the area,
but is instead intended to provide
Ann Arbor with "everyday vintage
* wear."
The duo met at Columbus
College of Art and Design where
Turner studied illustration and
Renner studied fashion design.
After working and interning at
both Abercrombie & Fitch and

American Eagle, Renner said they
were both ready to move on and
start their own business.
"There's a lot of these kind of
stores in New York, but Ann Arbor
doesn't have it so it's a new, fresh
thing that I feel like,is cool that
we're introducing to the people
here," Renner said. "We want it to
be wearable."
She added that in addition to
being wearable, the clothing is
well priced and one-of-a-kind - all
clothing items are either original
graphic tees by Turner, tops sewn
from scratch, altered vintage piec-
es designed by Renner or "straight
vintage," according to Renner.
"We want to make sure it's
what our taste is, what we like,"
she said. "We want to eventually
have our own brand and have it all
be our own line and have vintage
intersected inside of it instead of
being just vintage. We want it to be
our own identity."
Both Turner and Renner also
replenish their clothing supply
by shopping for new items every
Monday and Tuesday at various
places in both Michigan and Ohio,
and eventually they hope to travel

to other areas in search of new vin-
tage items.
"We'll go to thrift stores, we'll
go to antique shops, my mom's
bringing me stuff from Ohio,"
Renner said. "We'll go up state in
Michigan like Traverse City, and
on highways there's just random
antique places, like trailers and
stuff, that we just love digging
through. Eventually we want to go
back to New York and go to our hit
spots there."
Renner said she and Turner
strategically opened Avtomobile
in conjunction with the Ann Arbor
Art Fair that was held July 20-22
in order to spread the word about
their opening and hopefully gar-
ner more business.
"The Art Fair has really
brought a lot more traffic," Renner
said. "Because it's such a kind of
hidden little nook, it's helped bring
a lot of traffic ... a lot of artists, a lot
of young kids, which is more of our
demographic - the college student
or young professional."
The owners said they are excit-
ed about their location on East
Liberty Street and look forward to
being amongst the already estab-

lished surrounding vintage shops
in Ann Arbor. Despite the compe-
tition, the pair said they believe
each store provides a different
style and personality, causing less
competition than anticipated.
Emilie Parker, manager of
Ragstock - located a block from
Avtomobile - echoed Renner and
Turner's sentiment and said that
each store has their own special-
ized style, minimizing potential
drawbacks from the competition
of having multiple stores in the
area.
"I think overall it's going to be
good for the area because it'llbring
more retail traffic down this way,"
Parker said. "And I think that's
something that's definitely been
needing to happen because there's
so much stuff up on State Street
but down this way, in between
State and Main, there just hasn't
been a lot."
Kelly McLeod, co-owner of
The Getup on State Street, said she
"really encourages" the opening
of vintage stores as a whole and
thinks providing students with
various locations is advantageous
to their personal shopping ven-

tures.
"I think my favorite cities like
Austin, Texas, parts of New York
and Chicago are my favorite cities
because there are multiple vintage
stores to shop at and it becomes a
destination," McLeod said. "And
I think if there were more plac-
es like that around here, it only
encourages the vintage commu-
nity to grow here."
Renner and Turner said they
are pleased with the way their
store has turned out thus far and
don't desire to expand or open
multiple locations. However, they
eventually want to become more
accessible - especially for the
winter months when there is less
foot traffic - by making their mer-
chandise available online, Renner
said.
She added that she hopes the
shop becomes more than just
another downtown store for Ann
Arbor, and will serve as a busi-
ness that impacts the community
"rather than being like a Starbucks
on every corner."
"We want people to go out of
their way to come see us," Renner
said.

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New vintage store Avtomobile during its opening week on Thursday, July 21.

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