Updated: Sep 6, 2019
" I just found our new favorite store". These were the words I heard over the phone from a close friend who was energized by the experience he had at a retailer on Newbury Street. After visiting the store together, I realized exactly why he had been so excited. More than the incredible selection of rare vintage finds, the store has something more, something intangible that you recognize the moment you walk through the door. We sat down with the owner Zach Goodman to dive further into how he created the hidden gem that is filled with hidden gems.
Breakthrough Marketing Group:Would love to hear about your beginnings, what initially made you interested in fashion & in collecting?
ZACH G: The beginning seeds really just came from going out with my friends and finding things that no one else was wearing. We always appreciated the original styles from brands like Nike that you couldn't find at your everyday store. Regular compliments on my style from friends and classmates, in addition to experiencing the sportswear fashion scene on the West Coast firsthand made me realize the potential business opportunity.
BMG: Absolutely, I think there's definitely that demand and desire to find personalized pieces. Are there any pieces along the way that you regret selling?
ZACH: It's tough, you come across some very rare and unique pieces throughout the years- but I've come to accept that my wardrobe is constantly changing. I'm constantly switching things in and out and it changes over time, just like your style evolves so does your closet. There are limitless style combinations and influences that go into curating a vintage wardrobe, in addition to styles yet to be rediscovered. I compare it to the number of species of fish in the ocean.
BMG: That's a great analogy. So here at the store, the inventory must be turning over pretty quickly as well- how are you managing the buying side of things?
Zach: The turn over for my rarest and most sought after pieces can be a few minutes after I post them to my website or social media feeds. Many collectors from around the world have contacted me about what’s on their wish list, and it’s a great part of the fun for me to connect people with such cherished items.
I am always interested in buying new items and collections no matter what the size. I encourage people to send me pictures of anything that might interest me to my email or Instagram, I offer cash or trade credit towards anything available in my store. When it comes to going out in the field myself there’s certainly less time, but it's still fun and exciting to me to hit the flea markets, and the home sales and the consignment shops. I am always on the hunt for the next great find.
BMG: You definitely have some gems in here. Do you have certain spots you religiously go to that you've found to be gold mines for you- I'm sure you keep those close to the vest.
ZACH: There are those places that I'll never tell anyone about, but I always offer, if people want to join me on my hunts @ 3, 4 in the morning- I'll bring you to the spots. I sift through clothes for 6,7, 8 hours sometimes, whether it be an open market or a hoarders house- I've been everywhere trying to find the dopest stuff out.
BMG: Might have to take you up on that, that sounds exciting. So with all of the time you are having to devote to this, how are you able to juggle your days without getting burnt out?
ZACH: Good question. I've always felt that the days you want to take the break, are the days you need to work the hardest. Right now I'm looking at how to scale & level up again. Initially we had a pop up shop which was supposed to last 3 days, 3 days turned into a month, and a month turned into a lease.
But the storefront is a whole different animal than the pop up, so it's about constantly trying to evolve and adapt as you go. It’s definitely a bit cliché, but I love what I’m doing and where I’m going, most days don’t feel like a whole lot of work. I’m very lucky.
BMG: Awesome, could you talk a little bit more about the store & how has it been sharing a space with Thrive- it seems like you guys have a great thing going on here.
ZACH: Absolutely, those guys are great and we really both benefit of the traffic and flow of the store. I think the ability for us to co-exist is a testament to what we're both doing and also the new age of shared space.
BMG: That's a very good point- and as you mentioned- it's mutually beneficial to introduce the audiences you each draw from to each others brands. What I noticed from the couple times I've been in here is that you really have created an environment rather than just a storefront. people are having conversations with strangers, complimenting each others finds, its really a community feel- was that something you set out to achieve or that came naturally?
ZACH: I'm so glad you said that- it is always a goal and will always be a goal to make this store a social experience when you walk through the door. I think in part it's in thanks to the audience we draw as well, it's folks who value individuality, that's why they are here. There are a lot of vintage stores in LA & NY, but really not much of a scene here in Boston so we're excited to be at the forefront in this area.
BMG: Well you're doing a great job of making waves here. Now, you mentioned to me that you initially started out selling baseball cards & pennants. How has it evolved to more focus on the clothing.
ZACH: Right , so I initially was an avid baseball card collector, building sets- and flipping individual cards then re-investing. My expertise in pennants is actually how the name "Felt Fanatic" came about- clothing fits seamlessly into the theme of curating all original vintage items, its fascinating to me how a shirt and pennant was made for just about every city, team or institution ever established in America.
BMG: So sports and fashion are obviously huge influences for you- what else do you draw from for inspiration?
ZACH: History has always been a major influence for me. I think that history informs and influences culture in such a significant way. Understanding that this clothing is actually a connection to a moment in time. These shirts, hats, jackets, they truly are hard artifacts.Part of what you’re buying is the right to maintain and preserve it, and connect with others. That's a really powerful concept to me.
BMG: I can tell the passion you bring to your craft and it's super admirable . What's next on the horizon for you?
ZACH: Well, in 2019 I actually am going to be getting back into a lot of pop-ups, this time curating selection of inventory with a specific theme or event in mind. It's funny to see how certain things come full circle. It's also wild to see how you have a vision for something and watch it evolve and come together as you go. A lot of the times you have to adapt & move in different ways than you anticipated, but its all a part of the journey, and I'm excited for the next phase.
BMG: We're excited to follow along in your next phase as well!
176 Newbury Street Boston MA
Mon-Sat : 11 am-> 8 pm
Sunday : 12 am -> 6 pm