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Vintage shop hidden in historic opera building
H. Drew Blackburn
Senior Staff Writer
Recycled Books consumes the majority of the Wright Opera House building on the Square, with a few apartment complexes, business offices and a massage parlor on the same block. Hidden within the faded purple landmark at 109 E. Oak St. and up a flight of stairs is Alex and Afton Vintedge, a shop specializing in vintage clothing that opened its doors in November.
Caitlin Brax, originally from Tyler, Texas, owns and operates the vintage clothing shop for men and women.
Her rebellious nature in high school prompted her career in fashion.
“I wanted to be different, not like everyone else in Tyler,” she said. “It’s very country-clubby there.”
Brax said she worked two jobs while in high school so she could leave her small town. In 2004 she moved to Los Angeles to study acting at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.
Brax said she only attended the school for one semester and quickly got involved in fashion.
“I kind of just started pursuing fashion,” Brax said. “It kind of pursued me and I had a knack for it.”
While in Los Angeles, Brax worked at a boutique called Picket Fences.
“I assisted in helping wardrobe with productions and things that were around there because we were really close to Warner Bros,” Brax said.
She eventually moved back to Tyler and opened a vintage shop but once again grew tired of the small town. Her landlord recommended her current location in Denton, and she has been there since September and opened the store in November.
Though she loves the location at the square, the exact location is less than ideal.
“I struggle with keeping a lively environment when it’s so quiet downstairs,” Brax said. “There’s no other retail business in here.”
The bulk of her business is done through the Internet on Etsy and at Asos Marketplace. Brax hopes to move to a more prominent location by the summer, but enjoys Denton’s fashion sense.
“It’s not like the rest of Dallas,” Brax said. “It kind of has an Austin or a Silver Lake, California, type of feel.”
Merchandising senior Calli Buckelew said Denton is a great place to see individual style.
“It’s not just the hipster look here at all,” Buckelew said. “There’s lots of punk influence as well.
I spend so much of my time shopping and the stores are so great here that you don’t have to drive all the way to Dallas to find good vintage threads.”