Denton shoppers walk into a new shop on Oak Street and are greeted by racks of vintage, gender-neutral clothing sold by Denton resident Julianna DiGennaro.
Julianna is the owner of Salvage Shoppe, a second-hand clothing store that recently moved to a new location after outgrowing its old space in the Denton Downtown Mini Mall.
“I think you can only go so far being in another business, and I wanted to turn something into my own,” Julianna said. “I wanted to work for myself.”
Julianna uses her clothing store to eliminate gender stereotypes while encouraging sustainability. As her clothes are second-hand, she keeps clothes out of the waste stream while allowing her customers to revamp their wardrobe.
Julianna said during her experiences shopping at fast-fashion stores, she struggled to find clothes to fit her body type, and she did not want that to be the case at Salvage Shoppe.
“I want people to be able to come in here and be confident in what they leave with, or be able to find something that suits them,” Julianna said.
Over the last year, Salvage Shoppe has grown from a booth in the Denton Downtown Mini Mall into an independent shop near the Denton Square. Tessa DiGennaro, Julianna’s sister and Dallas resident, said she supports Salvage Shoppe because of the passion she has seen Julianna put into her business.
“Salvage is important because it’s the kind of business we need in the world right now,” Tessa said. “[It’s] small, good for the planet, supportive of other small businesses and artists and open to all.”
Salvage Shoppe’s new location features a wall that sells items from various small businesses in Denton. One of the businesses featured is Still Devoted, a multidisciplinary brand that sells earrings, home decorations and jewelry holders.
“The first few weeks at Salvage have already been amazing for my business,” Devin Gregg, Still Devoted owner and Denton resident, said. “The amount of new customers and support we have received since Salvage opened is so encouraging as a small artist, and it’s the best feeling in the world seeing empty slots on our display board from earrings that have been purchased.”
Gregg got involved with Salvage Shoppe after seeing an open call for local artists on Salvage Shoppe’s social media accounts.
“I absolutely love that they are using their space to help support other local artists and bring them a spotlight in their shop too,” Gregg said.
While being a vendor, Gregg also shops at Salvage Shoppe to support the local business and what it stands for.
“Salvage Shoppe and its message [is] incredibly important,” Gregg said. “I am so glad to see another business taking a stance against fast fashion and stressing the importance of being sustainable and environmentally conscious. Upcycling clothes, bags, and home items that could have otherwise been trash sends a great message to the community and customers and reminds us all to be more mindful of what we’re buying and throwing away.”
In addition to the small business wall, Julianna also has a local artist spotlight wall, where she showcases a new Denton artist every month, without financial compensation. She said she hopes this gives them an opportunity to bring awareness to their work and help them progress their art career.
“My ultimate goal is to make sure that people feel seen and heard,” Julianna said. “This is a town of a lot of college students [and] a lot of people [who] are in art. They need a space where they can go, and a lot of college students don’t have money to just throw away on displaying their art, but I know that they want to because I was an art student.”
During the month of March, Salvage Shoppe is hosting a food drive for customers to bring in canned goods for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate, and all donations received will be donated to the Denton Community Food Center.
In the future, Julianna hopes to open more locations and continue to expand her business.
“I hope that it succeeds,” Julianna said. “If it doesn’t, I failed doing something that I love instead of not trying.”
Salvage Shoppe is located at 225 W. Oak St. Individuals interested in learning more can visit its Instagram @salvageshoppe.
Courtesy Salvage Shoppe