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Pilsen, Little Village, Back of the Yards

Vintage Shops Relocate To Pilsen’s Bustling 18th Street In Hopes Of Getting More Foot Traffic

The owners of 18th Street Vintage and Just One Vintage, which operate as different businesses in the same storefront, hope a larger store on 18th Street will help them grow.

Elena Saenz and Jesus Diaz reopened their shared store space on 18th Street last week.
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PILSEN — More vintage shops are setting up on 18th Street in Pilsen.

The owners of 18th Street Vintage and Just One Vintage — which operate as different businesses in the same storefront — relocated their brick-and-mortar store from 1616 W. 18th Place to 1549 W. 18th St. in hopes of growing and attracting more foot traffic. The shops opened in the new storefront last week.

“We were on a residential street, so I felt a lot of people missed us,” said Jesus Diaz, owner of Just One Vintage. “So the next logical move was to move over to 18th Street.”

Just One Vintage and 18th Street Vintage, which was founded by Elena Saenz, have operated in the neighborhood for about five years, Diaz and Saenz said.

Just One Vintage focuses on reselling sportswear and streetwear, Diaz said. He started by selling his old clothes after moving out of his mother’s house, he said.

“I was just doing it for fun, but I’ve always been a fan of sportswear,” Diaz said. “I caught the bug. I started selling a few jerseys, and I saw that there was something in it.”

Saenz said she was inspired to strike out in the reselling business after being inspired by Diaz.

“When I started reselling online, I had a corporate job and I was feeling really burnt out and I didn’t feel like I had a creative outlet,” Saenz said. “I saw what [Diaz] was doing and I kind of wanted something to have an outlet.”

Saenz started reworking vintage pieces to give them a modern twist. For example, she would turn an oversized vintage T-shirt into a bodysuit, she said.

Credit: Provided
The owners said this space on 18th Street is almost twice as big as their original space.

The shops’ new space is almost twice as large as the original, which they hope allows them to host pop-ups, open mic nights and other events, they said.

The duo also recently started refurbishing and selling vintage furniture, so they’re excited to have more room for that, they said.

Saenz said she’s excited to join the community of other vintage and resale shops on 18th Street.

“I think people get an idea … we have competition with each other yada yada, but it almost feels like they each have their own personality and we all bring something different to the table that another shop might not have,” she said.

Just One Vintage and 18th Street Vintage are open noon-7 p.m. Tuesday-Saturday and noon-5 p.m. Sundays.

Credit: Provided
Just One Vintage focuses on vintage streetwear and sportswear, while 18th Street Vintage puts on a modern twist on some vintage pieces.

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