A Brooklynite passionate about vintage clothing and objects that tell unique stories is looking to make her presence felt in Greenpoint.
Erin Silvers, operates a pop-up business venture, Zingara Vintage, specializing in clothes from the 1960s and 70s in addition to handmade perfumed oils and dreamcatchers.
Currently working out of a pop-up market on Rockaway Beach, Silvers wants to have more of an active presence in North Brooklyn as well.
Silvers got the name for her business from the Italian word for Gypsy, “Zingara,” and it’s how she sees her work and her life’s philosophy as well – collecting objects and items over the course of life’s journey – items that focus more on the emotional value of the piece rather than the financial one – objects that have rich narratives and appeal to individual who are able to relate to their stories or are impressed by them.
“I like to think of myself as a match maker,” said Silvers. “I like people to come and spend time with me and share their stories and to really spend time looking at the clothes and objects, so they can find that unique piece that really calls out to them.”
Silvers grew up on Long Island, one of four children being raised by a single mother. She said a lot of her childhood was spent shopping at flea markets and that’s where her love for the business continued to grow over the years.
“You never know what you will find at a flea market,” she said. “You meet so many different types of people, you make bargains, and you always end up finding treasures. Because I visited flea markets right from when I was a child, it just became a part of my life and I thought why not make a living like this as well.”
Today, a single mom herself, Silvers runs the business along with her six-year-old daughter, the latter helping out at the end of her school day, interacting with customers and partaking in their stories.
Part of the reason Silvers has chosen to keep Zingara a pop-up is because it allows her to interact with a far wider customer base but also because it allows her to keep her prices low compared to other vintage stores that are driven by the escalating rents in one Brooklyn neighborhood after the other.
Silvers said she was really trained in the art of the business while working out of the Park Slope Flea several years ago. She said it was the support of the other vendors there that really allowed her to become comfortable in her trade. She also spent a few years working out of flea markets in Williamsburg and has had pop up shops at the Brooklyn Night Bazaar on Banker Street.
Silvers supplements her income by working as a bartender two nights a week but says what really pays her debts and what ensures that her business thrives are the interactions she is able to have with her customers.
To find out more about Zingara Vintage visit https://www.facebook.com/ZingaraVintage