The Vidette

The Vidette is the Illinois State University student paper, and last week they interviewed me, and yesterday, "Retrofit Culture Bring Vintage Goodness to Bloomington" appeared in the paper!

Here's the full interview...


V: When did Retrofit Culture open, and where did the inspiration come from to initially create this store?

Me: Retrofit Culture, the brick & mortar store, opened in late September and celebrated our Grand Opening on October 5th. But Retrofit Culture was actually born online on Etsy. My husband and I were moving from Chicagoland to Bloomington-Normal and I decided to start selling some items on Etsy to lighten our load. To my surprise and delight people started snatching up my vintage finds left and right! Fast forward through booths at antique malls, vintage shows and markets throughout the Midwest, and many shipped items, and here I am with a shop in the Downtown Bloomington Warehouse District. I'd known that I wanted a shop here in Bloomington-Normal for a while, and when this space opened up, in a really cool area of town, I snapped it up right away! I also knew I wanted to have a store that merged vintage, handmade, and upcycled items together for an eclectic feel to the store.

V: How would you describe the products that are sold at Retrofit Culture? How could college students benefit from shopping here?

Me: I describe the shop as selling "Vintage Goodness & Modern Indie Design". My vintage furniture, clothing, and home decor items are primarily from the 1950's through 1970's. I've also been able to locate some amazing handmade artists who make lots of fun and creatively designed pieces, such as art prints, kitchen towels and produce bags, baby onesies, and upcycled jewelry. Most of the artists are local to central Illinois, and all are small businesses. 

College students, and everyone for that matter, would benefit by shopping here because they would find lots of unique and one of a kind items to decorate their dorms and apartments, to wear, and to give as gifts for the upcoming holidays. Also, buying vintage is a form of reusing and recycling, and shopping small local independent businesses helps keep money in the local economy. 

V: What are the prices like at Retrofit Culture? Are some items affordable for college students? 

Me: Prices at Retrofit Culture are affordable. Especially, if you're used to shopping at the mall, "big box" stores, or other boutiques. We have lots of decorative items, clothing and gifts under $20. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram (/RetrofitCulture) because we post discounts and giveaways there. 

V: Do you have any events coming up that our readers might be interested in?

Me: We have lots of fun and special things happening over the next month. On November 1st - 3rd, we will have a jewelry artist setting up a special display in the shop. Her jewelry is fun and affordable, and made here in Bloomington-Normal. Also, on Saturday, November 23rd, my neighbor Alley Kats and I are throwing a Holiday Open House. It's a perfect time to pick out a holiday outfit, find unique and vintage holiday decorations, and find gifts for loved ones. All of our events are listed on our Facebook page, too. 

V: Where are you located?

Me: Retrofit Culture is just south of the US Cellular Coliseum, nestled amongst the awesome old brick buildings. Go to 400 S. Madison, and look for the bright blue doorway, that's me!


If you want to read the story that ran in the paper, click here


  1. How cool! You're kicking ass for sure, good for you!

  2. Thanks, Melissa! I was so happy when they asked to do an article! :)