In Richmond, a Southern spell is cast on the arts and culture scene, wrapping the creative population in a cozy community embrace. Like it or not, we live in a city where everybody knows your name, and while reputations may go beyond Richmond borders, the city’s fashion influencers have become our stylish neighbors as much as they have become entrepreneurs.
As RVA Mag continues to get to know the people that bring our city’s style to life, boutique owners of every aesthetic are connected by their ties to this community. Richmonders have a big love for all things local, and at Addison Handmade and Vintage, community love practically built the store’s foundation.
Located just across from the virtual town hall that is the Addison Street Lamplighter, co-owner Lauren McCrocklin told RVA Mag the story of how the vintage-cool boutique came to be—and how it almost didn’t.
“I lived in New York after graduating from fashion design school at VCU,” said McCrocklin. “I had this dream in the back of my head of opening up a store, but I didn’t try to act on it at all…I missed Richmond all the time, and I missed my friends and the sense of community here.”
She made the choice to move back to Richmond, but McCrocklin said her dream to open a boutique didn’t become a reality until co-owner Mat Shelton saw that the property across from Lamplighter was up for grabs. The two decided to combine Shelton’s business savvy with McCrocklin’s creative vision, and the bohemian chic boutique was born.
Addison opened within a month and a half of McCrocklin and Shelton signing the lease, and the two immediately found support for the new business in their neighborhood networks.
“Once we got the keys, we started renovating on a shoestring budget…we invited a bunch of friends to make it a collective, so that we could kind of make it work, we could all share the space and share the rent,” said McCrocklin. “Slowly, everyone ventured off and did their own projects as the years went on, and now it’s come back around to just Mat and I.”
The vibe at Addison Handmade and Vintage is relaxed and welcoming. Hank Williams Sr. and Led Zeppelin tunes quietly float out between the racks of men’s and women’s vintage clothing, and the store’s wooden tables and shelves are lined with handmade items from the jewelry of Blue Begonia and Young Hearts to white sage smudge sticks. Within the jackalope-adorned walls, everything has the effortless-yet-unforgettable cool of some of McCrocklin’s top style inspirations: Brigitte Bardot, Erykah Badu, Stevie Nicks, Robert Plant and 70s Cher.
“I’ve always thrifted a lot on my own…[when buying], I just use intuition and my own personal sense of taste and style,” said McCrocklin. “I keep it simple.”
As Addison continues to grow, McCrocklin believes that the store became a reality largely because of the city it calls home.
Photo credit; Addison Handmade & Vintage
“Richmond allowed me to do this,” said McCrocklin. “I really don’t think it would have been an option for me if I lived in New York. There’s so much creativity and so many entrepreneurs here, and it’s inspiring to have camaraderie with people in your city. You feel like people have your back.”
You can find out more about Addison Handmade and Vintage here, or visit their brick and mortar at 103 S. Addison St.
Words by Gabriella Lacombe. Photo credit: Andrew Blake Jordan Styled by: Lauren McCrocklin. Model: Gabriella Lacombe