Brittani Haney and Ericka Roberts have been friends for nearly two decades. Growing up, they often visited thrift stores and flea markets to search for unique finds. Their desire to create a wardrobe based on vintage pieces has led them to open a new business, Grindstone Trading Co., together years later.
“When we were teenagers and got our license, we would go to the Consumer’s Mall on a Friday night,” Haney said. “We have always thought about this and talked about it when we were younger. We wanted to start our own curated vintage store with styles and things from other decades under one roof.”
At the center of their business venture is the desire to create a brand that empowers people to be bold and powerful no matter what size or shape they are. Described as a mixture of different styles and decades, their online store offers customers one-of-a-kind pieces they will not be able to find anywhere else.
“We want to bring something that is really unique to everybody,” Haney said. “Online shopping is still thriving, even in the middle of a recession. We thought why not right now?”
The store includes handmade clothing and vintage pieces that have been dip-dyed, tie-dyed, fringed, or cropped. Due to the rare nature of each of their finds, their clothing items will come from a very limited stock.
“We like to find handmade stuff.” Roberts said. “When you find something unique for a certain decade, you know no one else will have it. We have been all over — garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets — picking pieces wisely to create a unique and different bold look. We may start taking specialty orders in the future. If you don’t want to do it yourself, why don’t you have us do it?”
The duo said they named their business Grindstone Trading Co. because that title embodies their belief system about chasing their dreams.
“I had the name in my head from the saying ‘Keep your nose to the grindstone.’ If you continue to put in the effort and put in the blood sweat and tears, you will eventually get where you need to go,” Haney said. “Things will change, you will have roadblocks and have to pivot from what you originally thought.”
The pair describes their line of attire as versatile and vintage, upcycling pieces that were once mass-produced in previous decades. Counteracting fast fashion, pieces in this store are getting a second chance at the spotlight.
“We joke about a biker gang that met a rhinestone cowgirl,” Haney said. “My husband rides motorcycles so he has a lot of that collection; I fell in love with that kind of culture. We love the authentic 80s’ and 90’s T-shirts. We both love the 60’s skirts and the 70’s bell-bottoms, the really iconic styles from those decades. You get to pick what you love.”
Launching a small business and learning how to run it along the way has been fun for Roberts, who enjoys seeing her dream come to fruition, especially alongside her friend.
“It has been neat for us to bond over. We both agree that when we wear something cool, it empowers us to want to go out into the world. Being bold and unique in our bodies makes us want to help others to feel that way, too,” Roberts said. “We have been talking about doing this for so long.”
Haney and Roberts are thankful for the support of the community. After debuting the announcement for their store on social media, their business page received several new followers. They attribute being eco-friendly as a draw to their line, and say many will like the second-hand aspect of what they have to offer.
“When you were a kid in elementary school and wore your favorite jacket, you felt like the coolest kid on the school bus,” haney said. “Now it’s grown women and providing the ability to throw something on that no one else has in town. It’s not mass-produced today like it was back then which brings a really cool story to the picture.”
Grindstone Trading Co. launched Saturday at noon. The business has an Instagram and Facebook page. To see the new line, visit www.shopgrindstone.com.