The golden yellow sunlight filters down on the tops of the lined-up white tents — each one possesses a different smell that licks your nostrils the moment you stroll by. The scents of fresh cut wood, clean leather and pumpkin spice granola bars permeate the air, but the most domineering was the musty, attic-y smell of vintage clothing and accessories that filled the streets of HutchFest.
HutchFest celebrated its fourth year hosting the freshest talent across the Midwest. It was set up in Omaha this past weekend bringing together the best of modern maker design and hand-made goods. The festival, which took place Sept. 1, allowed over two hundred vendors to sell their one-of-a-kind vintage treasures. I had the opportunity to walk the streets of the one-day festival as a first-timer — these were the top five vendors that caught my eye.
Roland Fitz is a thrift store that sells pre-loved vintage clothing. A special system that Roland Fitz allows customers to purchase is a subscription to their monthly rotating wardrobe. You get to choose the pieces you take home, anywhere from $10 - $100, use the items for 31 days, buy what you like and return what you don’t like. The only reason I knew about HutchFest to begin with was because I follow Roland Fitz’s Instagram page. I’ve never been to Roland Fitz before, but after purchasing a comfy, stylish vintage sweatshirt from them there’s no doubt I’ll be stopping in. This thrift shop is perfect for students on a budget and it’s environmentally friendly. It’s a way for people to stop buying brand new clothes each season, which is adding to the cause of the second-most environmentally harmful industry out there, fast fashion.
Scout Dry Goods & Trade sells new and recycled fashion that comes straight from consumers. It’s a ‘resale’ store where they buy pre-loved clothing from the customer for store credit or cash which is an easy way for young students to get some extra money. I was excited to hear that Scout Dry Goods & Trade was going to be doing a pop-up at HutchFest this year. I may be biased because I have been to their store in Omaha before and was lucky in finding some vintage treasures, but no one can ignore their unique pieces. Just like Roland Fitz, they are environmentally friendly by reusing and reducing material whenever possible. They have perfected the art of buy, sell and trade winning the “Best of Omaha Contest, Best Clothing Consignment Shop,” every year since 2012.
Stella Clothing was started locally in Lincoln to give back to the community. The shop is set up of pieces that are ready to take home whether that be attire, accessories or leafy things. I’ve never been to Stella Clothing in Lincoln, even though I’ve lived here for 3 years now. Its pop-up gave me a laid back, bright, earth-toned vibe that I found to be relaxing yet professional. Stella Clothing is ever-changing and evolving with their eccentric vintage clothing, succulents and elegant jewelry.
HutchFest was full of surprises. Never in my life have I seen a bright green double decker bus full of vintage finds, but HutchFest made that a reality. It almost looked like The Knight Bus from Harry Potter, but filled with vintage clothing, jewelry, and other accessories. The traveling pop-up vintage shop on wheels is run by Mandy Heth, who is originally from Kansas City, Missouri and now drives the unique shop to festivals and fashion events around the midwest.
This small pop-up shop is run by Ellie McBride, who makes and sells bracelets, statement earrings and seasonal headbands. Ellie started this gig as a side job and after much success, it ended up not only being her passion but her main job as well. I was able to snag a beaded teal bracelet with moonstones that stuck out to me. Ellie in Her Element is a traveling shop that makes an appearance at different festivals or events around Nebraska and represents what it’s like to be an independently operated and owned company.
One of my most important takeaways from HutchFest was to support small and local businesses. The relationships formed by customers and those independent businesses go far beyond just a transaction. It’s a way to respect others in my community. I can feel how important it is to them and just how much they care about the neighborhood and community they are running a business in.