From food kiosks to live musicians, the Downtown Farmers’ Market is recognized as a San Luis Obispo staple. Jose Celedon saw this strong sense of community and knew it would be the next perfect location for his “Streets of Vintage” market, a collective of local clothing vendors that come together to create a new way of shopping retail by building meaningful relationships and experiences.
Streets of Vintage joined Downtown SLO’s Farmers’ Market in August 2022. It has occurred on the third Thursday of every month ever since.
“We turn Morro St. into a vintage world full of nostalgia,” Celedon said.
Streets of Vintage isn’t like your typical shopping experience, according to Celedon.
“We think shopping should be fun so we produce each event to encourage discovery, connection and inspire people to sit down and make something in our DIY area,” Celedon said. “Shopping small has never been so cool.”
Streets of Vintage was initially created in August 2020 as a way to support small businesses during COVID-19 restrictions. What started as a one-dollar sale in Celedon’s parking lot in Oxnard, California, has now expanded to a “vintage street movement” in three counties: Ventura, Santa Barbara and San Luis Obispo.
“Re-defining the word ‘flea’ has grown to who we are now,” Celedon said. “We create curated, interactive and inspiring shopping experiences to allow people to meet, talk with and support the vintage and artisan language. This helps small businesses but it also helps to spread the idea of conscious consumerism by placing value on quality, craft, independent-made and more.”
Owner of Slo Cal Vintage Amy Beams has sold at the Streets of Vintage’s farmers’ market location since October 2022. She said it’s an amazing opportunity “for connection” between secondhand clothing businesses and the abundant thrifting community in San Luis Obispo.
“Farmers’ Market is a staple every Thursday in Downtown SLO. You go to shop for your fruits, veggies, handmade sauces, pies and meats. Then you can grab a bite of barbeque, kettle corn or churros among the many food vendors,” Beams said. “But to have a whole section of smaller, local vendors selling clothing, home goods, handmade jewelry and more is a great thing.”
One Cal Poly student business owner immediately contacted Streets of Vintage once he found out it was starting downtown.
“Vintage items are on the chopping block every day. They are the first items to go into trash compactors in Goodwill,” owner of Thrifty Beaches Adam Kemp said. “These items get the appreciation that they deserve at events like Streets of Vintage and that is incredibly important to me.”
Kemp said his favorite part of selling at the market is celebrating the stories behind vintage clothing with other college students. He enjoys being a catalyst in someone’s interaction with the history of vintage items that they often weren’t alive to see.
“There is something really poetic about giving people the opportunity to interact with genuine vintage goods,” Kemp said. “Streets of Vintage is helping bring an appreciation for sustainability and history to San Luis Obispo.”
Streets of Vintage is in agreement to continue to take place at Downtown SLO’s Farmers’ Market until June 2023. However, Street of Vintage vendors and Celedon hope it becomes a permanent feature of the market.
“I don’t think I would want to be anywhere else on a Thursday night,” Celedon said.