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Concrete

The Man Behind The Hunt: A VINTAGE GEORGE STORY

Biography Article

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  We all get the wonderful gift of free will. To make decisions that cater to our best interest. Sure we have our nine to fives and testy coworkers, but there's still a twinkle of hope in our hearts to make our dreams come true. The question is just, when? For George, it was almost immediate. Vintage George is a dedicated collector of all things from the past. Collecting is an art of excitement that lasts forever. Offering a rush of euphoria for the hunter of lost and forgotten artifacts. “One man's trash is another man's treasure” acts as the perfect commandment of this underdog skill. It might be safe to say that his interest for vintage was practically genetic. George grew up with his free flowing parents in Selden, NY and learned about the art of collecting through the cool duo. His mom was a bus driver and his father worked in construction. Their house was filled with old antiques and cool knick knacks of “way back when.” George remembers his mom fulfilling one of her daily bus routes when she noticed a five foot Native American Indian statue on the side of the road. She pulled over and claimed the guardian warrior for her keeps, loading it onto the bus as a worthy passenger. She then gifted it to George and it made a cool pal to have in his room. “I guess one day we needed some money and she sold it in a yard sale” he proclaims.

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VG started out his wandering journey finding lost goods in old junkyards with his friends. Prying into old cars, he’d explore the land of the once was and would find all types of valuables from its time. From music vinyls, antiques, art and clothing, he would collect whatever appealed to him, filling up old army duffle bags from dawn til dusk. By the age of 15, he started showcasing his findings in open park fields for local admirers to gaze upon and purchase. Various collectors of other sorts were there, making it the perfect environment for a flea market. When George started attending these settings, he would walk around and talk to multiple dealers and negotiate his findings for theirs, paving another way for himself to find more prized possessions. As time went on, people were fascinated enough with his collection that they asked if there was anywhere else they could shop from him -- turns out he has a barn packed with antique valuables in his backyard. After building a following of clientele and other passionate vintage seekers, VG was then able to sell more of his sophisticated findings and realized that he can make an income by doing what he loves.

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 He later graduated to turning his barn into a showroom and having his own section in a vintage shop. Although he has become more established in his passion turned hobby, VG still remains a collector before anything. “I hate selling. I’ve sold some pieces that still haunt me.” Out of all the desirable treasures, his favorite thing to collect is vintage workwear. He believes theres a pride and quality behind vintage workwear and tee shirts that sustain endurance and enjoyment. “New clothes are boring. They’re cheap and they fall apart” he expresses. George’s style is a mix of vintage workwear and military pieces as late as the 1920s mixed with modern accessories, completely revamping fashion to a more respected level amongst our working class heroes. The strategy in which he uses to find his pieces is simply following his gut and making his own adventure. “I’ll go out on my front porch, hold up my finger to the wind and decide i’m going to set out east today.” He finds achievement in simply making sure he’s in the right place at the right time. Zig-zagging across Long Island until he feels accomplished in searching for his lost and sacred items. “You gotta want to spend your day going through people's garbage” he proclaims.

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Although George goes wherever the wind takes him, he does feel that some areas are a waste of time. “Estate sales are a loss. I used to go to estate sales in search of new things but after the pandemic, more people are home with more time on their hands and realize they can make a little bit of money. So instead of a line of 10 people to go into a house, it's now 50 people and even though you write your name on a list, entry still isn’t guaranteed. So you’re essentially waiting hours on a maybe" he explains. Nowadays there's so much competition in trying to find quality vintage pieces. “Theres people that don’t even care about clothes that are buying up all the clothes.”  It’s evident that the hobby has definitely caught some momentum amongst many people but undoubtedly, all who part take aren’t participating for the most genuine reasons. Aside from collecting, George works a union job dealing with local parks and recreations. For his future, he wishes to move somewhere upstate on the countryside with his beloved girlfriend, solely selling antiques and all things vintage as a source of income for a sustained living. Taking in each day as a breath of fresh air and exhaling in pure bliss. As of now, VG currently has showrooms at "Rosie's Vintage" (Huntington, NY) as well as "The Holy Black Barbershop" (Lindenhurst, NY) whilst participating in flea markets (Brimfield, MA) offering memorable items for sale or pure admiration. 

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Photos by Julia Carriero

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