Sean McGuigan has opened the doors to his fresh, new vintage store '2nd Avenue' on Monaghan Street.
Eco friendly, Vintage stores have provided a new sense of expression and a sense of individuality for the Gen-Z community. People like Sean McGuigan are paving the way for a greener, fashion forward future for young people of Newry.
The store has been open for four weeks but had its grand opening on Saturday. Sean was delighted with the turnout and support from the community, “The day went very, very well, the turnout was brilliant, it was nonstop all day. It was great to open a lot of people’s eyes to sustainable clothing. I was teaching a lot of the customers about the products in regard to the age of products, so from a consumers point to view it went really well.”
Sean wanted to do something a bit different with his launch event and decided to use the event to raise money for the PIPS charity. The whole store ceiling was filled with black balloons and one balloon was filled with a £200 store voucher. When people entered the store, they donated money and popped a balloon for a chance to win.
Being born and raised in Derrybeg on Second Avenue, this is where Sean got the idea for his unique store name. He started off the business through an online website for 4 years and held a weekly pop-up shop on Railway Avenue, every Friday. However, he decided it was time to take the leap and open a store for the people of Newry. Having worked in and out of trade jobs, Sean has only ever felt true fulfillment when he started up 2nd Avenue. He said, "this is the only think I that love doing. "
Sean understands that young people do not receive large incomes in their part time jobs, and so this is a store for them to be stylish at an affordable price:
"Newry really needs more affordable vintage shops, there are vintage shops around the area, but there’s not many that are affordable for the times that we are in. There are students out there who are working, and it takes them 16hrs to make up even close to a minimum wage.”
Although Sean offers student friendly priced items, there are some higher priced limited edition vintage collector's pieces on sale. However, you are still getting a bargain as he would sell collectors football jerseys from the 1990’s for affordable prices.
Sean discovered his passion for vintage fashion when he was travelling. Manchester was one place that he really witnessed the growth in urban culture:
"I think Newry needs a bit more of an urban culture, if you go over to Leeds and Manchester, the vintage culture is unbelievable, we are 10 years behind everyone.”
Growing up in a small community like Newry, Sean had slight hesitations about going into the clothing industry. It took him 10 years before he felt ready to take this leap:
"Growing up in the Irish culture I was nervous about doing anything to do with clothing. It took me a good ten years to even chance something like this because of the culture we have here. Although, I do feel it is moving forward now because the younger generation are going off to university and being introduced to different styles and cultures."
Sean’s store also offers a range of vintage rework pieces, where old clothing is taken and made into something new. He has connections over in England that work with him on this and hopes to find more in Ireland.
With the store receiving raving reviews and success Sean hopes to bring 2nd Avenue to other locations:
"We potentially would like to open another store in a different destination and bring 2nd Avenue to other places, at the moment it’s about showing Newry what we can do within Newry. Someone from Newry, showing people that there are people being creative here and taking affordable clothing to Newry. "
If you are looking to put a more sustainable spin on your style and update your wardrobe, then get down to 2nd Avenue today for all the latest vintage fashion trends!