Q & A
Painted Pony Vintage
Briefly tell us about yourself.
Hi, I'm Tom, and I'm Painted Pony Vintage. I was born and raised in rural Wisconsin, but currently live in Los Angeles. I grew up in the boonies, with a whole slew of animals, playing in the woods, and thrifting with my mom and grandma. They are where I got the love for vintage and antiques. It's the same old story of every vintage seller. Thrifter as a kid and it just evolved.
How did you come up with the name for your shop?
I wanted it to be something western and related. It was definitely inspired by my mom who always kind of a cowgirl in my life, rescuing and riding horses and bringing home all kinds of critters. She also had a Paint horse when we were growing up, and there's a whole lot more about paint horses that made it seem like a good fit.
What’s your favorite decade and why?
Aesthetically, I like the 50's. I feel like the 50's is when a lot of really niche interests started to be explored and have more purpose made and interesting pieces.
Functionally, you can't beat 1940's wartime stuff. All of the military clothes made for World War Two were extensively thought out, and made to just work. A lot of cool innovation came from that as well.
And then I also like the 1930's depression era just because I do.
Do you have a favorite piece in your wardro? If so, what is it and why?
I do, and it's not even vintage. My favorite piece is a pair of jeans that my friend Anthony Stone made for me. Anthony is an amazing tailor with a great vision, based in De Pere, Wisconsin (in the 101 Crew with Locals Only Vintage and Northern Tide Tattoo).
Are you currently on the hunt for any pieces to add to your collection?
I would love to complete my 1930's CCC denim uniform. I have a photo album from a CCC camp in northern Wisconsin, and I just feel like the full uniform would be a great companion to it. Specifically looking for the denim pants, and the denim daisy mae hat.
Why is it important to you to shop second hand/vintage?
Vintage is important to me for a few reasons.
1. I think it allows you to explore your own style. You have to really work at finding pieces you want, or just hope you stumble upon something similar.
2. I like the thought of minimizing the fast fashion industry. It's much better for the environment to not shop fast fashion whenever possible.
3. I like keeping the textile history of people alive. Even if it was just some old grandma sewing clothes for her kids in the 1960's. I think that's important to preserve.
How would you describe your personal style as well as your shop’s style?
I would just describe it as me. I try not to stick to any specific aesthetic or style just because I feel like that gets boring. I just wear what I like and what I feel good in. And I try to keep the same idea with what I pick for my shop. If I think it's cool or cute, I grab it. If I can imagine a killer outfit with it, I grab it. I like what I like.
What’s your favorite part about the vintage community? Least favorite?
My favorite thing is the passion. Meeting people who are passionate about old stuff, and just love doing what they do.
Something that has been irking me about the vintage community lately is the lack of mindfulness and community. I will not be elaborating so if you want to know more just ask.