Article Originally Published by Maria Lawson on North Texas Daily
Salvage Shoppe in the Downtown Mini Mall is a second-hand shop that provides colorful, gender-neutral clothing and accessories to re-home used items.
Owner and Denton resident Juliana DiGennaro opened Salvage Shoppe on Feb. 3 of this year, aiming to take strides towards sustainability in fashion.
“The reason I started it is because I have always had this intense feeling with second-hand clothing and sustainability,” DiGennaro said. “When I first started thrifting, I fell in love with it. I loved being able to search through so many duds and then being able to find treasures within those.”
DiGennaro opened Salvage Shoppe to give a new life to clothes that other people did not want.
“I heard of the Mini Mall, I heard they had a booth, and I wanted to showcase this awesome clothing that I have found over the years, and hope that somebody else who appreciates shopping second-hand would be able to give it a new life,” DiGennaro said.
The fashion industry currently fosters harmful practices, DiGennaro said, so she wanted Salvage Shoppe to be able to provide fashionable clothes second-hand.
“The fashion industry is one of the most wasteful and harmful industries on the planet, and from a young age, I knew that I wanted to go into fashion,” DiGennaro said. “I’m currently studying fashion design, so I knew that I always wanted to be in fashion, but then when I discovered thrifting, it gave me this sense of purpose. I’m repurposing things that are already created and I’m not supporting fast fashion.”
Salvage Shoppe provides customers with a personal experience as they approach the booth in the Downtown Mini Mall to look at vintage clothing.
“I think that people can expect to come to Salvage in this little, tiny corner of the Downtown Mini Mall and find a little piece of joy,” DiGennaro said. “It’s colorful and it’s vintage-inspired, and I know that’s really appreciated right now. I think people can expect to find something that they resonate with and they want to take home [to] love it and wear it.”
The clothes and accessories at Salvage Shoppe come from DiGennaro’s closet, thrift stores, estate sales, garage sales, friends and family. Since she has started her business, DiGennaro said she has learned about the different moving parts that go into operating a business.
“I learned that starting a business is easier than people make it out to be, but also a lot of work,” DiGennaro said. “Opening up Salvage was something that I always wanted to do, but I was always scared to do it. When I did, I was surprised at how easy it was, then I started realizing that there [are] a lot of things that need to be done. There’s restocking, there’s inventory, there’s taxes, there’s a lot of little details that go into running a business that make it a lot of work, but it’s definitely worth it.”
DiGennaro’s friends helped with the startup of Salvage Shoppe as they knew about her desire to start a business.
“I love Juliana and I had known about her dream to open up a little shop for a while, and this opportunity was just too great to pass up,” friend and Grapevine resident Madison Fox said. “She’s a fantastic seller and has such an amazing selection of clothing. I also love how all of the clothes are second-hand so each piece gets a chance to be loved again.”
Her friends also wanted to help her because they were eager about the motives behind Salvage Shoppe.
“I thought the idea of selling second-hand clothing at a booth was a great idea and wanted to support her in any way that I could,” friend and Grapevine resident Logan Mulligan said. “Juliana curates very unique clothing and ensures high quality second-hand clothing. She is keeping the vintage and second-hand lifestyle alive.”
Salvage Shoppe opened approximately a month and a half before the pandemic became widespread in the United States, causing some challenges in growing the business due to having to close for more than a month.
“When it reopened, that flame kind of died down a little bit because I realized that there weren’t going to be people shopping as much, and I wasn’t going to be able to share my love of second-hand with people at the rate that I wanted to,” DiGennaro said. “I was really disappointed that something that I was so passionate about and so excited to be doing had done so [well] in its first month, and then like a month and a half later, practically gone. It’s still doing [well] now, but I definitely think that Salvage has so much potential, but because of COVID, its potential has gone down. I’m not stopping it — I’m not planning on shutting down anytime soon. As long as the Mini Mall is open, Salvage is going to be open.”
Fox said Salvage Shoppe gives customers an opportunity to shop for unconventional items to add to their closet.
“People should shop at Salvage because Juliana puts so much time into finding the perfect pieces to add to her shop,” Fox said. “You know that when you shop at Salvage, you will get amazing quality and unique pieces to add to your closet.”
In the future, DiGennaro plans to continue to grow Salvage Shoppe into a bigger business.
“I would love to be able to expand any way that I can, whether it be online, a bigger booth in the Denton Downtown Mini Mall or my own shop here in Denton,” DiGennaro said. “I want people to see Salvage and be inspired to buy second-hand and think about when they buy fast fashion, ‘What is that doing for our planet?’ There are so many clothes out there that deserve a better home and deserve to be worn.”
Featured Image: Owner of Salvage Shoppe, Juliana DiGennaro, poses in her shop, located in the Downtown Mini Mall, on Aug. 1, 2020.
Source: North Texas Daily