We had the good fortune of connecting with Joel Hoffman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Joel, what do you attribute your success to?
Hands down customer service. We enjoy getting to know our customers and providing an experience that will make them smile long after shopping with us. We are forthright about condition, age, and market value for all of the vintage items we sell. It can be intimidating walking into a vintage market and seeing some of the prices for vintage t-shirts. Some tees can sell for over $1000. We want everyone to feel welcome at our pop-up so to bridge the gap we added a rack of vintage t-shirts that are $5 each. Not everyone is a super collector and those just getting into vintage collecting should have a place to get started. I was told once that people don’t always remember what you did for them, but they always remember how you made them feel. Our intention is that when you shop with Orphintage that you feel like you got something unique that you wanted, at a fair price, and want to tell your friends about the experience.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
At Orphintage we carefully curate vintage clothing and goods for collectors, tastemakers, and those who appreciate rare items from the past. We are constantly searching for hidden gems in thrift stores, estate sales, and flea markets to add to our collection. Our hand-picked vintage finds can be purchased at Orphintage.com or at our monthly Vintage Market Pop-up in Athens, Georgia.

What sets us apart is the quality of our vintage goods but also that we focus on the customer experience. When we host our Vintage Market Pop-Up all of our items have been laundered, clearly priced, and categorized by subject matter. This allows the customer to find items that match their taste within their budget without frustration.

We are most excited about adding “Orphintage Originals” to our collection. The Originals refers to Orphintage brand specific items that I’ve designed. The first thing we released was a book I wrote entitled Vintage Tags. Vintage Tags is a field guide designed to assist thrifters and vintage t-shirt collectors in dating shirts by examining changes in the labeling of vintage t-shirt brands over three decades. We then released Orphintage stickers and enamel pins to the shop. Our latest release is a vintage tattoo shop inspired t-shirt printed on blank t-shirts from the 1990s.

Passion is what got me to where I am today. I am very passionate about my family, my business, the vintage culture and design. I was so passionate about design that at 33 years old I went back to school for a graphic design degree. I graduate Summa Cum Laude from The Lamar Dodd School of Art at The University of Georgia. I later applied the skills, theories, and techniques that I learned at UGA to my business. Creating a business isn’t always easy, but being passionate about your business allows you to work through the challenges easier and see those challenges more as opportunities. Many people think that more money will solve the problems of their business. In some cases that may be true, but I believe that having constraints like budget, time, or location allows for innovative approaches to problems. One of the biggest lessons I learned was that you can only control what you can control. No sense in worrying about things that you have no control over. I still struggle with this but try to put more effort towards things I can impact.

I’d like for people to know that the brand Orphintage consists of myself and my wife Jessica and our goal is to provide quality vintage items to good people and have fun doing it.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
We are based in Athens, GA and love our community. I would take my best friend to grab a pizza on the patio downtown at Ted’s Most Best, then walk over to Creature Comforts Brewing for a flight of local beers. We would grab dinner at Last Resort and head over to a concert at The Georgia Theater or The 40 Watt. For a nightcap we would stop by The Old Pal for a craft cocktail in Normaltown. If it was the fall we would tailgate on the UGA campus and watch the Dawgs play inside Sanford Stadium. If it was the first weekend of the Month I would invite them to our Vintage Market Pop-Up. It’s a lot of fun and so many different people come and hangout.

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
There are many who deserve credit for the success of Orphintage. My business partner and Wife Jessica, deserves a shoutout for the many hours and miles she’s logged over the years moving vintage clothing from market to market with me. She is a great partner whose perspective and guidance is always moving and pushing Orphintage forward. My parents who encouraged my entrepreneurial spirit growing up and my Mom especially who took me thrift shopping as a kid. My friend Bryan who introduced me to online selling and the many vendors we have worked with over the years to create fun and successful pop-up events. I am truly grateful for these and the many others who have helped or inspired our brand.

Website: www.orphintage.com

Instagram: @orphintage

Other: Here is the website to the pop-up itself www.vintagemarketpop-up.com

Image Credits
Melissa Poloncarz/MM Studio Co.

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