Before venturing onto the www, the first Olive's Very Vintage opened in 2001 as a lovely women's vintage clothing boutique in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. It is still owned and operated by stylist and vintage connoisseur, Jen McCulloch, originally from Baltimore, MD.
Jen grew up exposed to the arts, high fashion, and antiques, all of which molded her love and passion for everything that is fine, old, and exquisitely beautiful. She acquired her sophisticated eye for editing from her parents who were enthusiastic collectors of all. Jen's main muse is her mother, "Olive," whose timeless beauty and style has always been an enormous source of inspiration and she credits her adventurous and business-savvy father for her entrepreneurial spirit.
Jen's passion for vintage clothing blossomed in art school, where she enhanced her educational experience by attending class dressed in elaborately stylized vintage outfits and roller skates. As her vintage collection grew, Jen started to sell her wares to fine vintage dealers in town, eventually setting up at the Santa Fe Opera Flea Market to make extra cash to help her through college. With a BA in Moving Image Arts from the College of Santa Fe, Jen moved to LA to work as a set decorator and wardrobe stylist on independent and children's films.
In 1999 Jen moved to NYC and worked as both a fashion stylist for print and a window display artist at Saks Fifth Avenue, while learning more about high-end fashion. Eventually, she became inspired to take her talent, love of vintage fashion, and passion for styling and start her own business. Opening in the Carroll Gardens neighborhood of Brooklyn, Olive's Very Vintage strove to reflect Jen's love of timeless vintage style. Jen always says, "vintage fashion offers limitless potential for creativity and has a great sense of sustainability... recycle and reuse!" Olive's specializes in exquisite vintage clothing and accessories from the late 1800s through the wild 1980s and pays particular attention to unique design, quality construction, and fine textiles. The inventory is seasonally edited with attention to current runway trends. It didn't take long for this cozy Brooklyn boutique to become a popular destination for vintage-hunters and fashionistas alike, attracting designers and their teams.
These include Marc Jacobs, Zac Posen, Ralph Lauren, Jill Sturat, and Behnaz Sarafpour.
Both Rita Ryack (Hairspray!) and Julie Taymor (Across the Universe!) have used Olive's clothing on set.
The Olive's community is as fun, unique, and diverse as the store's fabulous inventory! Jen's outgoing and sociable personality has endeared her to all those who know her, making Olive's an important fixture in the Brooklyn community. Taking as its motto the famous quotes by Coco Chanel,
"Fashion fades, only style remains." And
"Fashion is not something that exists in dressing only. Fashion is in the sky, in the streets, fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening."
Olive's strives to help its customers find that special piece of clothing, accessory, or complete outfit that will make them feel unique and fabulous. The Olive's team knows that dress is a visual expression of one's inner identity and style, so helping women to define their look with unique vintage style is the Olive's team's first priority.
Since its inception, Olive's has participated for four years in the Manhattan Antique Textile & Vintage Clothing Show, where 80 of the top vintage dealers in the United States sell their wares. She has also held two Olive's Very Vintage fashion shows, from which the proceeds were donated to "Dress for Success," and has been featured as a vintage shop-owner-cum-guru in Vogue Brazil, Japanese and European shopping guides, and international in-flight magazines.