From celebrities to sororities, Donna Wood knows vintage clothing appeals to a wide range of individuals, especially in chic towns like Athens.
Her store location may be new, but Wood—owner of Stage Door Vintage—is certainly well known in both the local Athens community and by out-of-towners alike for having top-notch vintage accessories and apparel.
“One of my claims to fame is that on the cover of the ‘Bang and Blame’ single by REM, they have one of my lamps and one of my ash trays that Michael Stipe bought from me,” said Wood.
One of her first locations was next to the 40 Watt Club on Washington Street, where she got her start with clothes her mom had given her and items she had acquired over time.
“I’ve been around doing this for fifteen years or so, and this is my sixth store,” Wood said.
Over the years, for one reason or another, Wood has had to move locations quite often.
She hopes her newest location, above Espresso Royal on Broad Street, is where she can hang her hat for some time to come. She is hopeful that the new location will serve her well and that Athens will continue to show demand for authentic vintage clothing.
Wood said most of her store is true vintage, with garments actually from the time period which they resemble, not just overly-washed Gap hand-me-downs.
“I used to focus on ’70s style and older, but now the kids want ’80s as well, so I’ve been expanding my collection,” she said.
Part of Wood’s collection includes a vintage ring from the 1800’s, several pairs of real Ray-Ban Wayfarers from the ’60s, and many other trinkets and accessories that each tell a unique story.
“I’ve been to a lot of vintage stores across America, some in other countries. I like this store because it has an authentic air to it that you don’t typically find in the South,” said Jordan Biasetti, a senior from Marietta majoring in Magazines.
Stage Door Vintage is certainly no Goodwill when it comes to cost; however, the items are not pretentiously priced and Wood guarantees their authenticity.
“I can see clothes on people walking down the street that I know I’ve sold them because I try to only sell one-of-a-kind garments. No one else has them,” she said.
What’s more is Wood truly values the local Athens community ethos and wants to make sure the store is an inclusive, community-centered hangout.
“I’ll be showing Disney movies on the weekends for the families of Athens with children,” she said. “And I’ll have a lounge area, with live music, for some art exhibit openings I’ll be holding here — all coming up in the next month or so.”
She even supports local designers by allowing them to rent out space in her store, so that they can have a place to display and distribute their clothing lines.
Bacon Neckwear — one of these local clients — makes custom neckwear in the style of vintage chic and has been featured in several fashion magazines and webzines.
Both Stage Door Vintage and Bacon Neckwear were included in a recent feature on DailyCandy.com, and Wood will be featured in the upcoming issue of Athens’s Blvd Magazine for the spring.
Stage Door is now having a winter sale that will most likely run for several more weeks, in hopes of familiarizing customers with the store and make it a welcoming environment.
“I haven’t really had a grand opening yet; I’m easing into the new location,” Wood said. “But I wanted to have this sale before I do because I’m getting in new items every day; I don’t have places to put them all.”