Retro is making a comeback, and Payton Prince wants to help you find the clothes you used to be your favorites.
Prince operates popup shops in Norman selling clothes he spends hours looking for in thrift shops, garage sales and any other place he can find them.
Residents can usually find his setup, Crown Vintage, in front of The Artifactory, 106 E. Main St., where he has a booth full of vintage University of Oklahoma gear, jackets, hats and anything else he thinks people might like.
“I come to Art Walk a lot and Norman Music Festival, but really any big event Norman has, I try to be there,” Prince said.
It’s a passion he’s had since he was a young man trying to figure out a style that could be his own. He said he has always had a different eye for fashion, starting in the early days of high school.
“I think it’s something I noticed early on, is people were wearing the same kind of things,” Prince said, “and I always thought of myself as different, so I would always go to thrift stores, garage sales or wherever else I could source from and get stuff.”
It’s that passion that pushed him to start his side hustle.
“That 90s nostalgia is something that has lived on for 20 years. Late 80s, early 90s was the icing on the cake for fashion,” Prince said. “I think at the end of the day, what really attached me to it was, it’s kind of a time capsule.”
Despite working a his main job as a front end manager at Sam’s Club in Tulsa, Prince still makes the drive to his hometown whenever he can to set up shop, even after a long shift.
“It can be hard, but it’s very rewarding,” he said. “If you take shortcuts, you’re not going to get much out of it.”
Prince attributes his hardworking mentality to his mother Michelle, who raised his in a single-parent household.
“I see that she’s self-employed and she started from the bottom and worked her way up to the top,” Prince said, “so I think that’s been a passion engrained into me from birth.”
The Artifactory owner Amy Baldwin says she’s happy to let Prince set up at her shop to sell his vintage gear.
“Any time we have young people, anyone who is an artist and someone who wants to grow their passion, anything that is a personal thing,” Baldwin said, “I have always been encouraging to young people to do outside feature vendors because this is your way to get out there and let people learn about you.”
She says it’s also a way for her to give back to her community and help young people just starting out with their dreams.
“Being blessed to be able to open this place and then being able to foster those young people grow just like I have … I love to see these kids blossom and grow themselves,” she said. “He’s got his degree, he’s got the drive and the passion, and now he can do something he really loves and tighten those ideas.”
It’s those ideas Prince holds on to so he can make his side hustle a full time gig.
“Vintage has definitely become a lot more popular, and after COVID-19, it kind of spiked,” Prince said. “I think it had a huge impact on it. Vintage culture has grown tremendously in the last couple of years, and I think will continue to be something that stays around.”
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