Cheers Vintage Collective
October is Small Business Month! To celebrate, we are introducing numerous amazing downtown business owners all month long. We talked to each owner to learn more about their business and individual experiences making downtown a vibrant community.
Meet Szandi and Frankie, two of the five owners of Cheers Vintage Collective!
Rooted in the Past
Szandi’s passion for vintage is rooted in her sentimental personality and her Eastern European heritage, where clothing and household items have been passed down for many generations. When Szandi and her family moved to Canada, they were grateful for thrift stores as an affordable way to start a new life. Her romance with vintage and thrifting started there.
Frankie’s love of vintage was instilled at a young age. With her family travelling often, thrifting together along their way became tradition. She enjoys finding items that remind her of her childhood or gaining inspiration from old family photos. Selling vintage allows her to share this passion.
Cheers Vintage Collective is owned by five women who run their own independent businesses within the shop: Highway Kind Vintage, Csinos Vintage, Star Vintage, Frank Me Down and That Girls Rack. Before opening Cheers, they supported one another’s online businesses for years. They would reshare each others’ products and encourage exposure for their counterparts on social media. Their care and advocacy for one another extends beyond the digital sphere and into real life. (For example,
Frankie was able to go on maternity leave thanks to the support of the rest of the women). The emphasis on taking care of one another empowers them all.
All About Cheers
Szandi and Frankie described Cheers Vintage as a place that is exciting, sustainable, curious, and creative, where they focus on uplifting individuality and carrying products for all shapes and sizes. They shared that they care deeply about each others’ growth, which is the key to the business’ success. With different strengths and styles, these five women’s businesses compliment each other to create a unique experience for vintage lovers.
They also explained that the items in the store are carefully curated; each piece is selected with a focus on the style, era, condition, and story. They emphasized that Cheers has something for everyone.
“Come visit Cheers. It’s the best place on Earth!”
Sense of Downtown Community
When it comes to the downtown community, Frankie and Szandi shared that it’s refreshing to see people from all different walks of life coming in, expressing themselves creatively, and enjoying the store. They also love the thriving small business community downtown that has survived through all the hard times in the last few years, as well as the bountiful community support.
According to Szandi and Frankie, the vintage scene downtown is less competitive. Since vintage items are so unique, selling vintage is more of a complementary relationship with others downtown. They support other stores by sending people to other shops when they don’t have what the customer desires in stock.
Advice for Entrepreneurs
“Just do it!”
They also mentioned the importance of social media for starting up a business and testing whether people are interested in your products or services. Frankie and Szandi also suggest asking your community for help and making connections. Meeting someone face to face is helpful as you might get overwhelmed by all the steps and information online.
Make sure to visit Cheers Vintage Collective at 770 Yates Street!
Thank you to Szandi and Frankie for participating in Small Business Month and sharing your voice as a beloved downtown Victoria business owner! View our other blog posts for more incredible local business interviews.