Don't be scared of the squirrels guarding the entrance to this "Atomic" vintage store. Originally opening their doors selling furniture over 16 years ago then transforming into an eclectic vintage store filled with clothes, shoes, fashion accessories and unique chachkas.
Immediately upon walking down the few steps past the furry tailed sentries you step back in time. I defy you to look around and not come across something there that will spark a memory from your own life. From toys I played with as a kid to the style of clothes I wore in the 70's & 80's. There was familiarity with the objects and oddly I felt at home in the space.
Justin, one of the owners, who sits behind a centrally located desk in the store has a knack for discovering these pieces from your time capsule. Whether it's at a garage sale or vacationing, his eye is on the constant prowl for a new or old addition to his store.
"Vintage stores have come and gone here in the lower eastside over the years." Justin tells me. What makes this one special...... maybe it's the 8 horseshoes hung over the door. Well sadly apparently not... Atomic Passion is no longer in business. I photographed this store in March of 2008, not long ago I happened to be walking down the street and noticed the squirrel figurines. I hope that Justin has moved on to bigger and better things.
The purpose of this Mom & Pop series is to document these unique businesses and the owners. We are on a completely different business model path with online retailers. The brick and mortar franchises who are able to afford the exorbitant commercial rents, that's great for the landlord. However the overhead of commercial rent is financially strangling the individual business owner. As these Mom & Pop shops get pushed out of existence we become blind to the fact that we live and homogenized business model. The next time you go to a mall or a shopping area take a good look around. I think you'll notice the same shops over and over and over no matter where you are in America.
"Support your local businesses."
Stay tuned I have more of these Mom & Pop Shop stories on the way.