Northern Michigan has a wonderful selection of thrift, consignment and vintage stores and I may have just found my favorite one yet. Maggy’s Vintage Store in Traverse City opened May of this year and is run by a local mother and daughter duo.
I discovered Maggy’s while walking down to the Downtown Art Fair on Saturday. A small chalkboard sign that read: Maggy’s Vintage Shop (Down Stairs), drew me off of the sidewalk and into a large basement shop filled with treasures dating back to the 1800s. I was warmly greeted by Lenora Gordon, who co-owns the shop with her daughter.
Lenora Gordon and Maggy Adams, who the store is named after, are close because of the trials that life has thrown at them over the years. Lenora’s husband and Maggy’s father died when she was just five years old. Maggy is also a veteran who has PTSD.
Maggy’s time in the Air Force ended last April when she was medically retired for her PTSD. She and her mother are still trying to navigate the post-military Maggy.
“I was struggling with mental health really badly and I had lost my career. Things just changed,” Maggy said.
The vintage shop is a way for Maggy and Lenora to combine their passion for vintage and antique items, while also spending time together and strengthening their bond. Maggy moved back home from Florida after being retired. Both she and Lenora were longing for change and both had a desire to be business owners. The timing was perfect.
Lenora has been collecting vintage items for years because she also works and sells items out of Wilson’s Antiques. She wasn’t sure that she was going to be able to fill the 1400 square foot basement space where Maggy’s is located, but has found that she has more of an abundance of vintage wares than she thought.
Beyond vintage items the shop also sells items from local crafters and artisans. Items like jewelry, cards and doll furniture are put on display with a name and short bio of the local who makes them.
“We have a passion for the community,” Maggy said. “We have local vendors. We wanna support them and their business too.”
The ladies also plan on donating five percent of their net profits to a local nonprofit that supports vets and mental health awareness for vets, a subject that Maggy has personally experienced and is passionate about.
The space is broken up into several rooms, and each room has a theme that is dedicated to an influential person in the women’s lives. My favorite room was the room dedicated to Mary Jane Strauser, a woman who helped get them into the space, as well as a friend and mentor. The room is like being inside of a strawberry layer cake, and features a row of white and ivory wedding dresses from each era.
The room dedicated to Maggy’s father and Lenora’s late husband is decked out in 60s and 70s décor (his favorite) and other relics from the decade. Rattan, seashells, macramé, patriotic Barbie dolls from the era and so much more fills the room.
“Wyatt was a very midcentury to 1970s kind of guy,” Lenora said. “He loved all eras, but this room just looks like him.”
Every room is worthy of an Instagram photo shoot. Lenora designs the placement of the items, as well as runs the shop on a day to day basis while Maggy works on the digital side of the store. Maggy is an award winning photo journalist and utilizes her skills to take pictures of items from the store to sell on eBay and Etsy as well as run the store’s social media accounts.
Typically vintage and antique stores come with a high price tag but Maggy’s inventory is very fairly priced. Lenora and Maggy want the inventory to constantly be turning over and don’t want items to sit for too long. I was shocked at how affordable many of the pieces were, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t have a few things that I’m going back to grab.
Maggy’s is a community gem that has something for everyone. Everything is hand selected by either Lenora or Maggy, and supporting the store is a great way to shop small. The pair are warm, delightful women who have genuinely cultivated a vintage store that both men and women can shop at.
“It really is a mom and pop shop,” Maggy said. “Well, mom and daughter shop!”