ALBANY PARK — A new thrift store in Albany Park is both a hub for vintage clothes and a pointed dig at the president.
Ada Garcia opened Anchor Baby Vintage at 4432 N. Kedzie Ave. earlier this month, carrying vintage and newer used clothing.
Garcia, a lifelong Chicagoan whose parents are Puerto Rican and Mexican, said she chose the name as a way to reclaim racist rhetoric toward Latinos coming from the White House.
“I came up with the name after 2016 election. The phase [anchor baby] kept getting thrown around by people who were against immigrants and I remember being so angry because I was almost born in Mexico,” Garcia said. “We pay taxes, too, and are part of this country.”
Garcia says she chose her business name as a way to “piss off” people who discriminate against immigrants.
“Hearing Trump use that phrase ‘anchor baby’ and calling Mexicans rapists and lazy workers. I’m using that name to piss off Trump and show that we are hard workers,” she said. “I’m taking that name back.”
Thrift stores always have been a part of Garcia’s life growing up in Logan Square and Hermosa.
Her family had a tight budget and Garcia’s mother often used her skills with a needle to touch up thrifted clothes for her children.
Garcia picked up that skill herself when she entered the professional world.
“I couldn’t afford suits for my job in insurance when I first started so I kept thrifting and touching up the things I found,” Garcia said. “My coworkers were always like ‘You have such a good eye for stuff.’”
The compliments made her realize she could be successful running her own vintage thrift store.
For the past three years she’s been hosting pop up stores in Logan Square but when she finally had enough money to open up her own business she found the rents in the area too expensive. She now lives in Albany Park and was able to find a spot in her neighborhood that met her budget with help from the local business chamber.
In February she finally decided to leave her corporate job and launch Anchor Baby Vintage. Garcia said her goal is to be as inclusive as possible to women of all sizes, and colors and orientations.
“It’s not just vintage clothes we have but also more recent clothing items I’ve ‘up-cycled,’” Garcia said. “There’s 52 weeks in fashion, so every week something new is coming out. Unfortunately some people just discard their old clothes and accessories to make room for the new stuff.”
Garcia has been open for a week and had her ribbon cutting Thursday. She’s still trying to figure out the online component to the business as she didn’t anticipate having to launch an online store so soon due to the global coronavirus pandemic.
In the meantime she’s limiting the store to three customers at a time and asking people to call ahead to make appointments. She will have hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes for customers, the store will be regularly disinfected as will all the clothes she has for sale.
“Please remember to support as many of your small, local shops in the neighborhood. Albany Park is such a vibrant community because of them and now more than ever they need your support,” Garcia said.
For the latest updates on the store visit its Facebook page.
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