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'I always liked dressing cool' downtown Corpus Christi thrift shop discusses influence behind storefront

For all three friends their business isn't just about what you wear, but how you wear it. Believing that an item is worth just as much as the story behind it.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — One Corpus Christi business strives in giving visitors a blast from the past when they walk through the door. 

From fresh prints, retro video games, and nostalgic posters are all items you can find gracing the walls of Vintage Nostalgic Pieces (VNP) Gallery. 

Founder and Co-owner Jonathan Winfrey said there was just something exciting about walking into a thrift store. He said that each piece has a story of a past life, but also an opportunity for new experiences. 

"I always liked dressing cool," Winfrey said. "And also I find cool clothes that are literally not my size, but you know, someone will still love. So over time I just kept everything and did a couple pop ups around town and that turned into a store basically." 

Winfrey started the business in 2018, eventually growing into a fun partnership with friends, Jimmy Canela and Emilio Trevino. 

"Growing from there being around that whole scene of his shop got me more interested in it. Now it kind of just grown and we have this now," Trevino said.

What started as a hobby for the three friends ended up paying off as some pieces collected throughout the store ranged from $20 to around $1,000  based on its rarity. 

"Just seeing peoples reaction when they find cool stuff, maybe from their childhood or just anything that they remember back when they were little. That's always cool," Winfrey said. 

With an inventory as infinite as their drive, Canela said that variety is what sets their store apart from other retailers around the Coastal Bend. 

The thing about our store is that we don't categorize certain things that we want to sell," Canela said. "You can really find anything here."

For all three friends their business isn't just about what you wear, but how you wear it. Believing that an item is worth just as much as the story behind it, all three owners strive to help customers find their sense of self whenever they step into VNP. 

"I think whenever you come to VNP Gallery, always have an open mind. You never know what you're going to find," Trevino said. "Just like for everybody else, you express yourself through fashion. And I feel like that's the greatest part of it. You can tell a story just by what you wear, how you feel that day."

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