By Sarah Richardson
“Things men have made with wakened hands, and put soft life into are awake through years with transferred touch, and go on glowing for long years. And for this reason, some old things are lovely warm still with the life of forgotten men who made them.” -D. H. Lawrence.
Lewisburg can be defined as an established antiques destination, with a variety of stores located downtown and in the immediate area that aim towards antique hunters and collectors. However, a store specifically revolving around vintage fashion is a new sight. Nestled to the right of the Greenbrier Valley Theatre downtown is Commonwealth Vintage, which opened this fall.
Owners Keith Goldsmith and Tiffany Browning own both Commonwealth and Pop City, another vintage shop in Richmond, VA. Pop City has been in business since early 2018, and has become a popular spot for trendy, retro attire. Keith said that although both shops sell vintage clothing, they have a completely different vibe.
“Pop City is a little louder, more pop-focused,” said Keith. “Lots of band t-shirts, it’s more of a fashion statement. Here, there is a stronger connection to nature, so we sell a lot of practical clothing.”
After visiting Lewisburg during their thrifting travels, Keith and Tiffany knew they wanted to become involved with the town. “We saw this space and we knew that was our reason to be here more,” Tiffany said. “It’s been great so far, the community is very supportive. We really feel like we’re a part of something here.”
They split their schedules between Pop City and Commonwealth, with Tiffany also operating as a hairstylist at two salons in Richmond. However, vintage is the couple’s passion, with a focus on Americana and traditional items. “With vintage, you are wearing a piece of history,” said Keith. And it takes a lot of effort to assemble a collection of high-quality items when they are years and years old.
“Thrift stores are where we find a lot of things,” said Keith, “it just depends on where we go.” The couple travels to antique malls, flea markets, and other outlets in search of retro garb. Their stores are meticulously curated, with a heavy emphasis on quality and style.
“We love the thrill of the hunt. With vintage you just never know what you’re going to find,” said Tiffany.
Commonwealth Vintage sells a selection of shirts, jackets, flannels, jeans, boots, and more, with new items added every week. The couple says that jackets and jeans are their most popular items right now, due to fast-approaching winter weather. They hope to add more women’s wear in the near future, and continue their frequent quests to find the perfect pieces.
Follow them on Facebook at Commonwealth Vintage, as well as their YouTube blog, Vintage on the Reg, to get an inside look at the curating process and new items. Their Lewisburg shop is open on Tuesday and Wednesday from noon to 6 p.m.