The ’90s Are Back

New Cold Spring shop stocks ‘modern vintage’

By Alison Rooney

Cadah Goulet, a longtime seller on Etsy.com and at the Brooklyn Flea, was so taken with Cold Spring that, despite living 90 minutes away, she decided it was the perfect spot for her shop, Poor George.

Cadah Goulet (Photo by A. Rooney)

The vintage clothing and accessories store, named for a painting Goulet saw in a book, opened in May at 165 Main St. Its owner says many people have discovered it while strolling past but also on Instagram, where it has nearly 1,200 followers.

A sampling of photos from that account provides a window into what Poor George is all about, from 1960s corduroy car coats to a Patti Smith T-shirt, black vinyl lace-up booties, brass jewelry, lots of denim, menswear, children’s wear, wicker chairs and succulents. (Goulet admits to being “obsessed with cacti.”)

She began selling vintage clothing because “I’ve always liked antiques and fashion, and I went ‘thrifting’ a lot. I would find exciting stuff, but rarely in my size, so I started collecting. My favorite part is the hunt. The more I sell, the more I can bring in.”

Poor George has been well received, she says, both by tourists and locals. “Lots of guys, too — they’re excited to be included,” she says. The only early hiccup was the weather. Goulet expressed surprise at “how rainy it can be in May.”

Before selling to the public, the shop owner worked as a merchandiser for Urban Outfitters and The Gap, as well as at retail boutiques.

 The work taught her a great deal about retailing, she says. “At Urban Outfitters, we were given a floor setup and a theme — one year it was decoupage and stenciling — and we got to work,” she recalls. “We got to interpret the storyline and the display artists would add ‘art layers.’ Merchandising is a ‘silent seller’ and so much is about knowing how the consumer enters your store, where his or her focus goes to first.”

Designing Poor George with that in mind, Goulet takes advantage of every wall, nook and cranny, grouping garments in “color stories” as well as style. The stock includes mostly “modern vintage,” which she defines as anything at least 20 years old (“the ’90s are in right now”) and contemporary pieces, typically “easygoing soft-fabric basics, in solid colors.”

Stationery items, vintage jeans, shoes and hats vie for space at Poor George. (Photo by A. Rooney)

Goulet says she aims for affordability. Teenagers are welcome, along with those who may be more vintage than the vintage on hand. “If a piece is rare, it might have a higher price point, but most are under $50,” she says.

Poor George is open from noon to 6 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. See facebook.com/poorgeorgevintage.

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