Vintage Phoenix Q&A: Brandi Kvetko
Bo's Funky Stuff. Shaboom's. Elbo Antiques. Go-Kat-Go. Honey Buns. If you've shopped at any of these landmark vintage shops -- all of them now truly things of the past -- you've shopped with the Kvetkos, the Valley's first family of vintage retail. What started as a mom-and-pop antiques store 35 years ago became a dynasty of sorts -- a chain of different vintage shops that's currently represented by Jackalope Trading Post, recently opened by Brandi Kvetko, who reminisces about growing up in auction houses and antique shops all over the valley.
Brandi Kvetko gives us the scoop on how she got into the vintage game and much more.
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Robrt Pela: So how does this happen -- a family dynasty of vintage retail?
Brandi Kvetko: My dad pretty much started it all. He started collecting Coca-Cola memorabilia right around the time I was born. He always wanted a store instead of a real job. So, about 35 years ago, he opened Elbo Antiques -- El for Ellie, my mom, and Bo is my dad's name. They had partners who got out of the business really quickly -- you know, selling vintage isn't for everyone. And then when my parents split up, my dad opened Bo's Funky Stuff, and my mom opened Honey Buns, where she sold vintage clothing.
RP: I remember Honey Buns. You know, no one ever called it anything but Miss Ellie's.
BK: I know. It was like that with all the vintage clothing stores. Everyone just called them by the name of the person who owned them.
RP: Like Beulah's.
BK: Beulah's! I'd forgotten about that place. She was so nice. What was the name of her store?
RP: No one remembers. We just called it "Beulah's." So, then your aunt got into the business?
BK: Well, Aunt Jacque was always there, working with my parents, but in the '80s, she opened Shaboom's over in Glendale, and then my dad moved his store to Glendale, too. And my brother Shad was always dabbling in antiques and collectibles. He had a store, too. He was the one who had this real talent for retail -- he was into it from the time we were kids.
RP: You weren't?
BK: No way. I was going to nursing school! I wanted nothing to do with retail. Then I met my ex-husband, Chris, and we went to Vegas for our honeymoon and we visited all these great little vintage shops while we were there, and I said to him, "Why don't we open up a store!" So when we got back we opened Go-Kat-Go.
RP: What happened to nursing school?
BK: Vintage retail is in your blood. You can't shake it.