Via’s Vintage, the Twin Cities staple for vintage fashion, closed up shop to prevent the spread of Covid-19, but owner Kellie Cameron is still making items available online.
Right now, with only essential businesses allowed to continue operation, Via’s iconic Hennepin Avenue storefront remains shuttered. Not deterred, Cameron still makes prime picks of her stock available for perusal on Instagram. Her followers, knowing that it’s important to dress for the world you want to see while in quarantine, have continued to support the local business, she says. Both loyal customers and those looking for an escape are shopping, as she’s been doing a lot of local and international shipping.
TCB: Could you describe what you do and Via’s role in the business community?
Cameron: We are a longtime vintage clothing store, with customers that we have gotten to know personally over the years. I have had the shop 16 years, and it is 37 years old this July.
Q: How has your work and Via’s Vintage been disrupted by coronavirus?
A | We have been closed over two weeks already. It is so strange to be at the store with no customers.
Q: Is there anything you’re able to do right now to compensate for lost business or create new streams of revenue?
A | I am listing things on our Instagram page for sale, and mailing purchases to customers. That is the only way any business can continue for us currently
Q: After this is all over, do you anticipate business bouncing back quickly or are you bracing for the worst?
A | I am prepared for people to be cautious. I don’t think anyone will be open before June 1, honestly. There needs to be time for it to calm down after the peak period passes. I think people will be happy to get out and about. And hopefully with all the aid available, they won’t have been negatively impacted financially.
Q: Are you able to find any bright spots in this crisis?
A | We have had such a great response to our online posts, and people shopping from home. The real bright spot however, is all the messages of support we are receiving––knowing that people enjoy what we do here, and are missing coming in. That makes all the difference right now. Also, how the local small businesses have all gotten together online to cross promote each other, and share information. That is an invaluable sense of community during this crazy time.
Q: What are some ways you’re keeping morale up for yourself and employees, especially now, given the stay-at-home order?
A | We are all checking in on each other to make sure we are all hanging in there. And sharing pics of our daily ridiculousness. That is a welcome laugh.
Q: What’s your best advice to everyone while staying home?
A | There is no clock on my days now. And that is fine. Eat when you are hungry, sleep when that happens. And just be glad we have the option to be at home, and aren't on the front lines of retail, at the supermarket or drugstore. We are very fortunate in that way.